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A phone with free calls, texts and data? This is what the Volk One offers, apparently

Can this new 'free phone' concept work? (Source: Volk Fi)
Can this new 'free phone' concept work? (Source: Volk Fi)
Could a phone establish data connections and load webpages independent of either WiFi or a SIM card? Volk Fi apparently thinks so. This company is currently advertising its first smartphone, the Volk One, which can apparently form part of its own 'mesh network' with every other unit of the same around it.

Could a smartphone really get online for free? Volk Fi appears to believe it can. It claims that its new  smartphone, the Volk One, can establish what this company calls a "distributed network". This network can allegedly support data, calls and texts independent of a carriers' SIM card. 

Volk Fi claims that their new kind of network is secure, "censorship-free" connections, available to all and costs nothing. It is apparently established when a user activates the network hub that is to be shipped with every new Volk One unit. Thereafter, each individual phone will act as a kind of hot-spot (which, as with WiFi routers, emit 2.4 and 5GHz signals) which propagate the network a few miles on to the next Volk One it finds, and so on.

This may sound engaging; however, there are a number of caveats and pitfalls that may be linked to Volk Fi's grand plans. It turns out that its network is only available in the Americas, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Each user can also only consume as much data as they use, and any excess will be charged at US$1 per gigabyte (GB). In addition, Volk Fi seems to make its claims with only built-up, well-populated areas in mind.

Furthermore, the Volk One is not immediately available, and the company says that it will not ship before December 2019. The device itself is powered by the last-gen Snapdragon 845 SoC, 4GB of RAM and will have either 64 or 256GB of storage. It will have a 6.2-inch, FHD+ AMOLED screen; unfortunately, based on its renders, it may not appeal to those who are not a fan of the notch.

It is not clear at present how much the Volk One will cost, as the company has set up an invite system (which worked only so well for OnePlus when it did the same) to merely reserve a unit. Therefore, the group may only be gauging interest in its novel "free" phone idea, and may end up never getting as far as a product release in the end.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > A phone with free calls, texts and data? This is what the Volk One offers, apparently
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-03-21 (Update: 2019-03-22)