Backing a Crowdfunded Smartphone is a Terrible Idea. [Opinion]

If there is one, almost guaranteed to be terrible, financial decision you could make in tech today, it would be by backing a crowdfunded smartphone. That includes those from random companies you have never heard of that open up “pre-orders” for break-through devices that have features never seen before. We’re, of course, talking about the campaigns run by companies like Saygus, Turing, Comet, and maybe even Nextbit, to a certain extent.

Why would I tell you to automatically back away from what could be the next big thing? For a number of reasons.  (more…)

The Saygus V2…You Already Asked for a Refund, Right?

The Saygus V2 or V-Squared is back in the news this week, unfortunately. I don’t really have much to say about it, other than we met with them at CES and came away shaking our heads at the disaster that they have become since announcing their phone at last year’s CES. Honestly, we didn’t bother reporting on our meeting because we sort of decided to not even talk about this laughable company following their shady as hell Indiegogo campaign and 2-day, slap-in-the-face-to-backers, VIP party at E3 this past June. Not only that, but their main broseph, Chad Sayers, wasn’t around at the time we stopped by their booth and their lone PR rep wasn’t willing to just open up about how bad the past year has been.

But yesterday, they took to Twitter to basically say what they told us at CES, along with some other details. The main takeaway is that the phone is supposed to ship in Q1. It won’t, but that’s the new timeline. Rather then spend much time on this, here is a bulleted list of what’s going on for those who for some reason, have not canceled and asked for a refund. (more…)

Wow, a Crowdfunded Phone That Might Not Suck

Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Oh, wait, it’s only hate. You see, I don’t exactly believe in the idea of crowdfunding. I get that it can be a great thing for a large variety of products, but for smartphones, I have not seen much that would lead me to believe the idea of backing a smartphone, then waiting months to receive it, is a good thing. And since many of the devices don’t get reviewed by the usual tech circles, how am I supposed to know if what I am buying is any good? To keep it short, I have yet to fund a smartphone project through these avenues.

But today, a new device called Robin popped up on Kickstarter, headed by a few familiar faces that I could see myself getting behind and supporting. Created by Nextbit, the Robin looks to reinvent the way we handle storage locally on a smartphone. Instead of relying on microSD slots and set amounts of built-in storage, the Robin utilizes Smart Storage, powered by the cloud.  (more…)

Saygus V2 Will Ship Some Day, Founders Party at E3 and Launch Indiegogo Campaign for Now (Updated)

Saygus and its supposedly-existent, oft-delayed “world’s most advanced” smartphone, the V2 (or V-SQUARED), stopped off in early buyers’ inboxes this morning to update everyone on potential shipping times. Well, that’s being optimistic, as the email dances around virtual mailboxes with talk of “two SIM cards!” and “Android 5.1!” before “grumble grumble grumble…we’ll ship soon!”

The email specifically states that we “are approaching time for you to receive your V-SQUARED and will notify you of your shipment soon!” There is also a mention of a production partner change that was supposedly shared with us, though I don’t recall anything about such a major change in the last delay email. All I remember was something about “quality assurance and network testing,” not completely switching to a new partner to manufacturer the phone. Hey, who’s keeping track of such details?  (more…)

Comet Smartphone Scam is Fooling People Out of $200,000+

You shouldn’t back the Comet Smartphone because it’s a scam.

A phone with fins. Think about it. Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Keep thinking about it. “Yo, I’m knock-off Alien from Spring Breakers, and this phone floats!” Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Technology. Oonce oonce oonce oonce. (Insert model to distract you as she talks about dual camera mode, a feature that is at least two years old.) Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Wub wub wub. “Hey guys, I’m the CEO, and this phone, which will never ever launch (at least not in its presented form or after four or five years worth of excuses as to why it hasn’t), is the future. It’s called Comet Smartphone.”  (more…)

Indiegogo Launches Official Android App, Browse Campaigns and Follow Your Favorites

Crowdfunding does not appear to be going away anytime soon, even though it seems many projects end up being nightmares for consumers. From what I have seen, there are either ridiculously long delays, or even worse, the product is nowhere near as advertised. It seems as though Pebble is the most successful project to come from this environment in our industry, but there are surely others I am just unaware of at this time.

Putting my feelings aside, Indiegogo has launched its very own Android application this morning, allowing users to take advantage of its services while on the go. For example, if you just can’t get enough crowdfunding in your life, you can browse countless categories of campaigns, and then end up tracking the ones you care about. Users are also encouraged to look into campaign perks, as well as share campaigns with friends.  (more…)