Hands on with the crazy new phone that proves Saygus is still kicking

The first flagship phone from Saygus in five years isn't very subtle. Its specs read like every gadget geek's wish list: support for up to 256GB of storage, a 21-megapixel rear camera paired with a 13MP front shooter, stereo Harman Kardon front speakers and insanely fast 60Ghz WiFi before it hits other phones. But there's something to admire in the Saygus V2's (technically, "V squared") excess. It's a phone that's meant specifically for hardware geeks, not everyday buyers. And it's those geeks who probably remember the Vphone, the last device from Saygus that was one of the first hyped-up Android phones, but which ultimately ended up as vaporware. The company may be alive, but it still has a lot to prove with the V2.

What surprised me the most about the phone when I held it was how well-proportioned it felt. It turns out the one area where Saygus didn't go overboard is screen size. The V2 features a 5-inch screen with a 1080p resolution, but together with its very thin bezel, it ends up feeling diminutive compared to other high-end smartphones today. And while it's powered by a fairly standard 2.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core chip and 3GB of RAM, it packs in plenty of other unique features. Its Kevlar-coated rear case features a stylish gold design flourish that also serves as an extra antenna (boosting your signal by one bar in many cases). There's a fingerprint sensor on the side of the V2, which feels more comfortably positioned than Samsung's home button sensor. And it can even boot from multiple operating systems via its dual SD cards.

Unfortunately, there's still plenty we don't know about the V2. Saygus doesn't have a final price for it yet, though it says it should retail for about $100 less than other premium smartphones (so somewhere around $400 to $600). The company claims the phone has some special technology to improve its battery life by 50 percent, but it hasn't specified how that's happening. And Saygus CEO Chad Sayers tells me it also scored an exclusive hold on Sharp's 21-megapixel camera sensor, but the demo unit I tested only had a crummy low-res sensor. In a world where even experienced smartphone makers like HTC are struggling, it's tough to believe that a relative newcomer can make a dent in the high-end arena.