Rewinding back all the way to CES in January of 2015, I remember first stumbling upon the Saygus V2 and instantly I was excited by the phone. Top-shelf specs, a unique design, tons of expandable storage, and a company that seemed refreshingly different. At the same time, I was also instantly wary. I remember discussing the phone, as well as my misgivings, with my peers. After all, the phone made some pretty big promises, all from a very small company we knew very little about.
Fast-forwarding to today, it seems there was good reason to be a bit leery of the Saygus V2’s ambitions.
After an initial pre-order period in early February, the Saygus V2 should have hit customers’ hands shortly after this but due to “delays caused by manufacturing issues”, Saygus ended up postponing the official release until May 22nd. As we all know, it didn’t meet that date either, stating that “some quality assurance and network testing” was still required before the device could ship, with Saygus setting no new date.
Hands-on with the feature-filled Saygus V2
It seems there was good reason to be a bit leery of the Saygus V2’s ambitions.
Finally in June, it said that the phone was still coming, and the company opened up a new Indiegogo campaign, hoping to get additional funds and support in order to overcome some “further manufacturing issues”. Saygus still didn’t have a release date in mind though, but it did promise that it was planning to release the phone sometime in the fall. As a “reward” for those that stuck with Saygus and hadn’t asked for refunds, Saygus revealed it was at least upgrading the phone a bit, adding two SIM card slots, Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box (originally it had KitKat), and the addition of a USB type-C port.
As fall approached, Saygus promised the phone was almost here, but that never happened, in Saygus’ usual tradition of missing deadlines entirely. Those that are still hanging on to the promise of the V2 might wonder “what’s going on with Saygus?” In fact, one of our readers asked us this question back in the fall and hoped that we could get to the bottom of the situation. Here’s what we found out.
What’s going on with Saygus?
After reaching out to Saygus in October, we finally received a response, but unfortunately it was pretty much the typical canned response you’d expect. In the Saygus representative’s own words:
Nobody has attempted to construct a phone of this caliber; it is a challenging undertaking- but in the end, the phone will speak for itself.
Saygus does not have an official timeframe to announce at the moment, but I am told they are very close (possibly a matter of weeks) to being able to do so. One of the main challenges has been due to procuring and then integrating and tuning the high end cameras.
We appreciate your interest in the Saygus V-squared and will work to provide any solid updates and information when we have them.
So in a nutshell, they were still claiming to be “close”, with most of their communication on Twitter pointing to a launch in late-October. As we all know, the October promise never amounted to anything, bringing on yet another in a massive series of delays.
Delays are expected, but so is communication
@Nevans_88 So would I! I keep pushing for news on a date, but the last of the components just arrived and no one will say until they have it
— Team Saygus (@Saygus) October 19, 2015
Frankly speaking, when dealing with a smaller company that is aiming big, you expect delays. It’s happened many times before, with famous examples such as the Pebble or the YotaPhone, both of which not only eventually surfaced, but have continued to develop new products since. Most of the people who back this kind of project understand they are taking a risk, they do it anyway because they believe in the company’s end goal and hope they’ll be treated with respect and open communication along the way. Unfortunately, Saygus has been particularly bad here.
A quick look at their Twitter account shows that they have a history of making promises, or at least alluding to a possible timeframe, and then they not only miss the date – they don’t issue a tweet explaining the delay for days, weeks, or longer.
Saygus has done this all before…
The way that Saygus has handled its communication about the V2’s delays is nothing short of disastrous, but what is even worse is that they have played this game before. While most of us had forgotten or never heard of the Saygus V Phone, the handset was first shown off around 2009 and promised – for the time – high-end specs and support for Verizon’s network (it went so far as to get certification even).
Reportedly, after several changes to its promised spec sheet, the phone would have been powered by a 806MHz processor with 512MB RAM, 16GB storage with microSD, Android 1.5, and other specs that were reasonably decent for its era. The phone was seen in some tech-demos but ultimately never surfaced. Of course, Saygus has done well to avoid mentioning the V Phone and so many of their customers are probably completely unaware that Saygus has dreamt big and failed to deliver in the past.
To be honest, it’s really hard to find solid details about that phone or what happened to it. From what we gather, they didn’t get into the advanced funding stage like they did with the V2, but its vaporware status, and the company’s failure to deliver on its goals for the V2, certainly don’t paint a pretty picture.
Saygus drama continues into 2016
We originally posted this article in October of 2015, in response to the many complaints about Saygus’ delays. It’s now 2016, and while Saygus promised a fall debut, winter is slowly marching towards a conclusion yet no V2 in sight. So what’s the current word from Saygus?
Through a series of tweets and replies on Twitter, Saygus laments on furthered manufacturing issues that led them to drop their current ODM partner due to a “vast difference in biz policy”. But don’t worry, says Saygus, as they had started hiring their own team of engineers seven months ago as a contingency plan, in the event their latest ODM didn’t work out. Let us note that this is the third ODM they’ve utilized in just a half year period.
So, a tiny smartphone company planned for the failure of their ODM, and began working on their own quietly. Sounds more than a little fishy, yes?
As for how long Saygus is now projecting all of this will take? The latest figure is Q1 2016, with March the likely month. That said, one of their tweets indicates that they aren’t necessarily all that firm on this timeframe:
@Hutch755 Right. We have most of control now. Q1 is what we think.
— Team Saygus (@Saygus) January 19, 2016
Is this all a scam? Certainly is sounding more and more like it. That said, if it was a total scam, you’d think that they would promise even bigger things as “rewards” for a delay, like a Snapdragon 810 upgrade or something. Instead, they seem to stand behind the Snapdragon 801. Of course, if you’re a smooth scammer, you’d want to make your scam seem as believable as possible…. so……
Will it be worth the wait in the end?
Providing that Saygus really does come to the market eventually, is the self-dubbed “superphone” still all that super? While it has some cool features, honestly, we’d say no.
In early 2015, or even up to this summer, the Saygus V2 still held its own pretty well. But in an age where there are now flagship-like devices at around or below $400 (Moto X Style / Pure, Nexus 5x, Nexus 6p, OnePlus 2), the Saygus V2’s pricing and features aren’t nearly as compelling.
|Saygus V2||Nexus 6P||Nexus 5X||Galaxy S6 Edge+||Moto X Style||Xperia Z5 Premium|
|Display||5-inch 1920x1080 dipslay (445ppi) with Corning Gorilla Glass 4||5.7-inch AMOLED|
|SoC||2.5GHz Snapdragon 801||Snapdragon 810||Snapdragon 808||Exynos 7420||Snapdragon 808||Snapdragon 810|
|MicroSD||Yes, dual slots for up to 256GB expandable storage||No||No||No||Yes, up to 128GB||Yes, up to 200GB|
|Cameras||21MP rear facing cam with OIS, 13MP front cam with OIS||12.3MP rear|
|Battery||3100 mAh removable battery, wireless Qi-charging built-in||3,450mAh||2,700mAh||3,000mAh||3,000mAh||3,430mAh|
|Waterproof||Yes, IPX7 Rating||No||No||No||No||Yes, IP68|
|Type C USB||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Price||$650||$500||$379||$700 or less||$400||Around $700|
Sure, the Saygus still has some cool extras like dual SIM, dual microSD, a super strong build, and some high-quality speakers. But there are already a lot of phones out there that offer many of the V2’s other ‘special features’ like waterproofing, fingerprint scanners, type-C, and high-end camera, all while either being cheaper or only marginally more expensive, while packing a much more modern processor and displays with resolutions as high as 4K. Most of these products are also easily available right now.
Let us also remember that once (or maybe better to say if) the Saygus V2 ships, it has to first get out to its original pre-order customers, then it has the Indiegogo folks too. That means those that came later in line probably are probably in for an even longer date, and could easily still be waiting into late 2016. At Android Authority, we applaud when a little guy comes out of the woodwork to challenge the status quo, but we honestly would say that you are probably better off looking elsewhere for your next phone.
Are you someone who planned on getting the V2? Are you still waiting, or did you cancel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.