Sirin Labs unveils luxury smartphone for security-conscious traveling executives

The Solarin uses 256-bit AES encryption to secure voice and data communications

Sirin Labs unveils luxury smartphone for security-conscious traveling executives
Credit: Sirin Labs

Today, Sirin Labs announced an ultra-secure luxury smartphone called the Solarin for the international business person who wants both style and security. It will compete with the category of phones produced by Silent Circle, GranitePhone, BlackBerry and Samsung phones with KNOX mobile security software.

This is a well-timed introduction, matching the shift to mobile from PCs.

Even with price of the Solarin starting at £9,500 (~$13,750), there is a market for smartphones that prove to be impenetrable. That’s because the cost of providing managed services to secure executives’ devices can be quite high. Also, the price of the phone is far less than the cost of a breach should a phone fall into the wrong hands.

The Solarin phone was developed in Sweden and Tel Aviv, two regions that are among the world’s leaders in telecommunications and military-grade security. It was designed by Karim Rashid, whom Time magazine called the "most famous industrial designer in all the Americas,” to be a stylish executive communications device that provides fast, seamless connectivity on almost any of the mobile carrier networks around the world. 

+ More on Network World: How to create seamless mobile security for employees +

The Solarin uses Zimperium’s intrusion prevention system, employing an array of advanced device and network applications, including machine learning, to thwart mobile cyberattacks.

Zimperium’s masthead includes founder and former security researcher for the Israeli Defence Forces, Itzhak Avraham, and famed hacker-turned-security-researcher Kevin Mitnick. Zimperium’s deep Android roots would suggest that the Solarin runs a fork of the Android Open Source Project.

The partnership with KoolSpan to integrate chip-to-chip 256-bit AES encryption in the Solarin is an example of Sirin’s curated design. The encryption in the phone is the the same technology used by the militaries and national security agencies around the world to protect their communications. When the Security Switch on the back of the handset is turned on, the phone enters a shielded mode, fully encrypting calls and messages.

The Solarin’s specs

The phone’s ability to be a secure and trusted Wi-Fi hotspot for traveling teams working on confidential projects is much more interesting than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor that powers the phone. The 810 processor is configured to include X10 LTE, 450 Mbps downlink speeds, and up to 150 Mbps uplink speeds. It delivers high-speed WAN connectivity to meet the needs of multiple people using the Solarin as a trusted hotspot. Its support for 24 bands LTE compatibility will match most carriers’ infrastructure around the world, offering reliable connectivity.

The Solarin supports 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output) technology, offering up to three times the speed and capacity of conventional 1x1 configuration. Having WiGig (802.11ad) multi-gigabit Wi-Fi technology with speeds of up to 4.6 Gbps future-proofs the phone.

Qualcomm Quick Charge for fast charging and power optimization integrated with the 810 processor chip extends battery life for the traveling executive. Power management is an additional benefit of the choice of Qualcomm’s system on a chip (SoC). By selecting the Snapdragon 810 SoC, the Solarin gets not only X10 LTE and 24 radio frequency bands, but also extended battery life. After all, a secure phone with a dead battery is of little value.

The Solarin phone has a 23.8-megapixel camera, with laser autofocus and industry-leading four-tone flash, plus a front-facing flash and 5.5” IPS LED 2k resolution screen with a 120 percent sRGB color gamut. It also has beam-forming audio and a state-of-the-art sound system. It uses three bass-boosted speakers all linked through a smart amplifier to maximize volume while controlling distortion to produce flawless sound. These nice consumer features will be appreciated, but not as much as its ability to ensure secure voice and data communications with 256-bit AES encryption.

The Solarin will be sold at the company’s first store in Mayfair, London, beginning June 1 and sold by Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, beginning June 30.

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