If you've heard about the Turing phone, you're probably either extremely interested or extremely indifferent. (Is it possible to be indifferent to an extreme degree? Anyway.) The somewhat bombastic company has been showing off a device with a unique design and lofty claims of being "unhackable." It's more than vaporware, though - working prototypes have been shown at trade events, and now Turing is taking phone reservations via its website.
That's a very carefully chosen word, "reservations" - not pre-orders. This is because the Turing isn't actually asking for any money upfront. No, entering your contact information after selecting colors (black and purple, "Beowulf," red and blue, "Pharoh," or white and red, "Cardinal") and storage capacity (16GB for $610, 64GB for $740, or 128GB for $870) is more or less a statement of interest than any commitment to buy the phone on your part. Neither is it a promise to provide one on their part.
The Turing phone's allure, such as it is, is in the unique hardware design and ultra-secure software. The angular body is IPX8 water resistant and made from a fancy alloy the company calls "Liquidmorphium," a cocktail of metals that is supposedly stronger than titanium. There's no USB port or headphone jack - the phone is charged with a proprietary cable (no data connection) and a Bluetooth headset is included in the box. This is all to serve the greater purpose of security. The Turing phone is encrypted from end to end, with a public key for sending messages to a user and a private key for decrypting them, which is all handled on local hardware with no servers to create possible security holes.
The price is comparable to 2015 flagship devices, but the specs are only so-so (aside from the ample storage on the more expensive models). The 5.5-inch 1080p phone uses a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13MP rear and 8MP front-facing camera, a fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication, and a 3000mAh battery. The Turing is unlocked and works on GSM and LTE networks, and yes, it includes NFC (but not wireless charging). Software is a heavily modified and encrypted version of Android 5.1.
At the moment there's no mention of how long Turing reservations will be available, or when the phones themselves will be sold to customers.
- Turing phone