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Sunday, 7 April 2019

An Android Smartphone That Works Without A Mobile Carrier - Volk One

The era of having a mobile service provider for all phones is gradually coming to an end, as the competition in mobile phones industries rose up to another level. We have seen different companies with various updates and introduction of new features in their newly produced android smartphones. 

We have heard of mobile industries planning to introduce features that have not been used presently. There are plans to produce Android phones with 5G network and above, and to lunch phones that requires no mobile virtual service provider. This will be discussed below.

Volk One: The Android smartphone that does not need operator

Volk One is carrier free and represents the future of shared Internet networks. Have you ever imagined having a smartphone that allows you to access the Internet, make calls and send SMS without having to tie a carrier? This is the idea of ​​the maker of Volk One, a mobile phone that uses long-range wireless hardware to share Internet networks and create an independent connection network.

How is Volk One?
The Volk One is an Android smartphone with premium cell phone features developed by Volk Wireless. The device delivers everything a modern handset offers, but it has a very rare Internet connection technology, no data plan or contract with any operator to work.

The company was founded by Greg Hazel, formerly chief of architecture at Bittorrent, and Straya Markovic, formerly lead engineer of the Firechat mesh messaging platform. The two decided to use wireless long distance transmitters to share and build a cellular network.

The project seems quite bold and progressive, but does it have a chance of getting out of the role?

Volk One: how does it work?

The Volk One comes with a Volk Fi router that can also be used as a wireless charging cradle. It connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable and serves as an output node for devices on the Volk Fi network. According to its creators, the Volk Fi network is safe, uncensored and available to everyone.

At the outset, you do not create a "4G" network, but a mesh network, where nodes can have certain miles apart, and as long as the latter is connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can get free distributed network.

The traditional mobile Internet network, offered by mobile operators, the smartphone is connected to a cellular antenna. This allows you to access the Internet, make calls and send text messages. However, the Volk One does this by connecting with another Volk One smartphone, which uses Volk Wireless technology.

By doing so, it creates an independent Internet network, capable of offering the same functionality, that is, accessing the Internet, making calls and sending SMS. Okay, but how is this possible?

The answer is simpler than you can imagine. Using a Wi-Fi point, you will have internet access, so someone else with the compatible handset will use your signal and so on. Soon, the more people using the same, the more potent the connection will be. As the handset comes with a Wi-Fi router, which has the same long-range wireless transmission chip, the Volk One smartphones can also connect to this device, generating an Internet Mesh network.

The Mesh network is nothing more than an intelligent Wi-Fi distributed in an automated way. While a traditional network is made up of a router to which people must connect to navigate, the Mesh network consists of several devices similar to routers that together function as a single network. In this case, these devices will be the Volk One cell phones themselves or Volk Fi routers.
The Volk Fi network is already in testing in San Francisco, California
However, it will take several handsets to generate this shared network. In addition, the speed of the Internet will be limited to the speed of the Wi-Fi connection of the users, which can be excellent and, at the same time, very bad. Also, since the specifications of the devices are not yet public, we do not know if they will be out of the factory with support for Wi-Fi 6 or not. If only Wi-Fi 5 is available now, it is likely that anyone who chooses to have a Volk One would have to switch the mobile and router to more modern models in the very near future.

Another dilemma would be the extent of network coverage. While the company's founders say that Volk One devices may be far away because they have "new long-range radio hardware that works with a smaller network of devices for optimal coverage," the mesh will depend on a significant number of smartphones and Volk routers to deliver a good user experience. This is because many areas outside cities will not have a connection.

Volk One: smartphone without link with carrier has future?

Despite the super-progressive design, it is clear that the company (Volk Wireless)  will not only bet on the P2P connection of the Volk One. At the first moment, the devices have a slot for a SIM card, which can be used in conjunction with shared network technology of the company.

Nevertheless, the idea is extremely promising if we think on a large scale. Perhaps the Volk One does not have to be a success for the technology developed by the company to gain more space. An example of this is the Android operating system itself, which has become the most widely used mobile software in the world without Google having to build its own handsets. Thus, the technology of Volk Wireless could be used, for example, by other telephone operators or even large manufacturers of smartphones.

Of course, there are many other issues surrounding Volk One, especially with regard to the use of Wi-Fi data or even the safety of the members of the network. However, this should be answered as the project evolves.

Volk One: release date, price and availability

Volk One smartphones and Volk Fi routers are already being used and tested in San Francisco, California, and Hawaii, but at this time, you can only sign up to receive an invitation to purchase the device, which will only be shipped on December 2019 to buyers.

Volk Wireless opted for the invitation system to generate buzz among interested parties and, of course, increase the interest and popularization of the device and technology.

So, if you want to be one of the first to have this technology, you need to access the VolkFi.com website and perform some tasks, such as sharing the invitation request on your social networks.

Internet access is available in North America, South America, Australia and Pacific Islands. Other features such as Voice and SMS for other networks are available only in the US, Canada and Mexico. However, the company ensures that more countries will be added to the list in the future.

There are two variants of the device and are sold at different prices:

Volk One with 64GB of internal storage comes out for $394 plus $5 worth of backup. Approximately  N143,640 (without taxes or fees); Volk One with 256GB of internal storage comes out for $494 plus $5 worth of backup. Converting to our currency would be N179,640 (no fees or taxes).

Volk One: curiosities

  • Name: The word "Volk" means "Person" or "People" in German, and "One", "One" in English. Therefore, it is possible to say that this is the smartphone that unites people, like "One People". 
  • SIM card: Your device does not need a SIM card to work, and to make calls and send text messages you will probably have an e-SIM card just like we have in the Google Fi service. This will make it possible to have a phone number and dial in to traditional phones. At the moment, it is only possible to make the portability of the telephone number in the United States (UK , Australia, New Zealand and Canada on request). 
  • Data consumption: Volk Fi counts the use of shared data and bytes via Wi-Fi. Each user receives the value that shares, unlimited. If a Volk user consumes more data than it shares in a month, there is a data limit of 5GB in use. After that, the user can pay $1 per GB for additional data.

Volk One: Technical sheet (Specs) 

  • Screen: AMOLED of 6.2 inches, with resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels, 402ppi and format 19: 9;
  • Sensors: Fingerprint, Hall, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, RGB ambient light, electronic compass, central sensor (Sensor Hub); 
  • Ports: USB-C, support for USB audio, nano-SIM slot;
  • Battery: 3700 mAh (non-removable);
  • Audio: mono speaker on the bottom of the set, three microphones with noise canceling capability, AANC support, Dirac HD Sound and Dirac Power Sound; 
  • Connectivity: Volk Fi, 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth; 
  • Dimensions: 155.2 x 76.1 x 7.7mm; 
  • Weight: 179g; 
  • Operating system: Android; 
  • Processor: Snapdragon 845 (Octa-core, up to 2.5GHz); 
  • GPU: Adreno 630; 
  • Memory RAM: 4GB LPDDR4X;
  • Internal Storage: 64GB or 256GB UFS 2.1;
  • Rear camera: Dual 16 x 16 MP, Auto-HDR, video resolution from 4K to 30fps and video resolution from 1080p to 60fps, LED flash, aperture f / 1.7.

Would you prefer Volk One to smartphones with mobile operators? 

Joseph Etim

Joseph Etim (B. Tech) is a blogger, mobile web developer and a tutor with a zeal for positive effects.

Website: Pepetimsblog

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Disclaimer: The opinions conveyed in the comments section on this blog are those of the comment writers alone and it does not attest or portray the views of Joseph Etim.

Item Reviewed: An Android Smartphone That Works Without A Mobile Carrier - Volk One Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Joseph Etim