News - Saga 2: Will Solana's new Web3 phone make its users rich?

By Mike Hesp

Saga 2: Will Solana's new Web3 phone make its users rich?

100,000 pre-orders in 30 days: the Saga 2 is a hit. The first hints for customers of the second Solana smartphone appear. Which argues for the purchase - and against.

More than 100,000 pre-orders in one month. The Saga 2 is well on its way to becoming a blockbuster. It is the successor to the world's first Web3 cell phone, the Saga from Solana, which was launched in May 2022 and is now sold out. The reason for the hype: the hope of many pre-orderers that this cell phone would make them rich. The first Saga became a small windfall for its owners. They received an airdrop of the memecoin Bonk (at an all-time high: $730) and later an exclusive Saga Monke NFT (all-time high: 14 Solana, about $1,465). And all at an original price of $600.

There is now a Saga DAO, a number of (mostly worthless) airdrops and Saga NFTs have followed, and some Solana projects are teasing collaborations. The Saga sold out overnight in late 2023 and was offered unpackaged on eBay for more than $3,000 USD. Hopes seem high that the game will be repeated with Saga 2. Or even surpass it. What speaks for - and what speaks against.

So far, not much is known about Saga 2. No photo, no specifications, just a promise: the second chapter of the success story begins with the new cell phone, according to the website of Solana Mobile. Pre-orders are being accepted in three installments. The Founders Window just ended and offered the Saga 2 for $450 dollars. Now follows the Early Adopter Window with a $50 surcharge and then the Supporter Window. After that, the price is likely to rise again. Sales quantity is limited: one smartphone per person, five per household.

Coming out in 2025, Saga 2 will be launched with the support of Solana giants such as Backpack, Mad Lads, Tensor, Phantom, Solflare, Magic Eden and DRiP. These collaborations at least point to an ecosystem of rewards and incentives for users. According to the company, it secured 100,000 pre-orders worth nearly $42 million in the first month. Refunds are excluded unless the smartphone is not produced.

There is a leaderboard for users who recommend the cell phone to others, with a points system. Snapshots are taken regularly and the toppers receive exclusive NFTs. Each pre-order customer also received a pre-order token trickled into their wallet. Its use: still unknown. But all this points to an airdrop campaign.

The unexpected success story of the Saga

Rejected at launch, then highly coveted: Saga was launched in April 2022 with the goal of revolutionizing the Web3 experience. A dedicated hardware wallet, a dApp store and fingerprint transactions. Web3 more convenient than ever. That was the promise. The reality came close. But there was a lack of really compelling use cases, aside from commerce. The cell phone also struggled with failures. The Saga - more of an experimental and exciting technology demo. And a flop on the market. Barely 3,000 copies were sold and the original price of $1,000 had to be cut by almost half. No one was interested in it. Until the hype around airdrops and memecoins on Solana began at the end of the year. And Saga was in the middle of it.

The highlight: each Saga comes with a soul-specific NFT called the Genesis token. This is forever linked to the Solana wallet that activates it. And it is actually this NFT that determines the current value of Saga - not the cell phone. This is because the Genesis token guarantees the right to exclusive rewards, such as airdrops. Initially, there wasn't much in return.

The hype around Saga really took off when users realized in November 2023 that each Genesis token entitled them to an airdrop of 30 million Bonk. Memecoin had risen by thousands of percent in a matter of weeks. Converted, the airdrop was worth as much as the purchase price of the Saga, the rejected cell phone sold out almost overnight. It was soon traded unpackaged on eBay and the like for more than US$3,000. In addition to the Bonk airdrop, the Saga Monke NFT proved particularly lucrative in January 2024. After plunging to $100, it climbed to a record high of $1,400.

Saga's journey is uncertain

It is not yet clear where the current saga is headed. The hype surrounding airdrops is mainly one thing: a marketing tool. And it is likely to level off in the long run and as the number of users grows. Bonk and the Saga Monke NFT have already lost more than half of their all-time highs. There were other airdrops, but they were often worth only a few dollars. Or completely worthless. Some, unfortunately, were also scams.

So the key question is: Will it be possible to firmly integrate Saga into the Solana ecosystem as a valuable brand and NFT community in the long run? There are already signs of that: Saga hodlers in the US could use the Helium network, a kind of decentralized Vodafone, for free for a certain period of time. In the future, you could receive special items for popular games or a whitelist slot for long-awaited NFT purchases. A Saga DAO with its own Discord has been working for a few weeks to provide more value and quality here.

Another question arises: the ticket to Saga benefits is the Genesis NFT. Will the successor even come with its own Genesis token? Or are they considering a new system? And what would that mean for longtime Sage users? The answer on the website is somewhat vague: "The Saga Genesis token is only available for Saga devices. But there is incredible interest in reaching users through this mechanism. We look forward to building on this experience in Chapter 2." The pre-order token could be an indication of a similar reward system to the Genesis token.

Two scenarios for the new Saga

If Saga 2 really doesn't come until 2025, it could miss the next bull market. Most analysts expect it to last until 2025 - no longer. Who knows how much the memecoins, NFTs and airdrops will be worth then. Or Solana. The last bull markets were often followed by corrections of up to 90 percent for altcoins, and many altcoins simply died.

At best, Saga 2 is launching in the middle of a bull market. And thanks to the continued success of its debut, it has long been integrated into the Solana ecosystem as an established brand and community, with many exciting collaborations and lucrative airdrops. If you believe in Solana's long-term vision, you can hardly go wrong by placing a pre-order. Even if it doesn't make you rich, for US$500 you will be part of the long experiment of a mobile Web3 and hopefully have a solid crypto cell phone in your hands.

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