Welcome to the Blockduo review of the SafePal S1 cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
In this review, I’ll be taking a detailed look at the wallet and answering a few many questions such as:
- How do you set up the SafePal S1?
- Is it secure?
- Which coins does it support?
- Is it any good?
Now for this review, I actually purchased one of the wallets to check it out for myself. I spent a few days testing it out and this review will combine all of my thoughts on the wallet, as a first-time user.
Before we kick off with the review, here are a few basic facts about this hardware wallet:
What is the SafePal S1?
The SafePal S1 is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet which received backing from Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. The wallet gives the user the ability to store cryptocurrencies securely in a completely offline environment.
The SafePal wallet was launched in 2019 and began shipping wallets over the world.
I did some digging to see if I could find anything about the company behind the SafePal S1 and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anything apart from a LinkedIn page and mention of the name ‘Shenzhen Safepal Technology Co., Ltd.‘.
This doesn’t really bother me though since SafePal is backed by tons of big names int he industry like Binance for example.
According to their website, these are some of SafePal’s features:
- EAL 5+ financial grade chip
- 100% offline
- Key-erasing mechanism
- 1.3′ screen
- Connects with mobile app
- 15 different chains
Unboxing: What’s inside?
I received the package within a few days of the order, and when it came I was surprised at just how small it was. Anyway, I began to open the box and unpacked it and this was the contents:
- 1 x SafePal S1 Hardware Wallet
- 3 x Mnemonic Cards
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Cleaning Cloth
- 2 x SafePal Stickers
- 1 x Micro USB Lead
Side note: I really like the fact that the box has 2 tamper-proof seals so you know that it hasn’t been opened before arriving at your address.
How to use the SafePal S1
After opening the box, I then went on to use the device. I went into the test with an open mind. Before I show you how to use it, I feel like you need to understand how the device works first.
The SafePal works as a device which stores your private keys offline that it used to sign transactions, you can’t actually use the device without a mobile app or power source.
The Setup Process
To set up your SafePal S1, follow the steps listed below.
- Download the SafePal App
- Create a password and pattern lock on the app
- Plugin the SafePal wallet with the USB into your computer/laptop
- Select your language
- Click ‘next’
- Open the SafePal app on your device
- Click ‘add wallet’ or the scan button in the top right-hand corner (if this doesn’t work, use your phone camera normally and complete authentication in the browser – I had to do this)
- Go through the setup wizard
- Get our your Mnemonic card from the box and a pen
- Now, you have to select how many words you want the phrase to be (higher number = more secure) so I went with 24 words
- Write down the words (use the down key to get the next set of words)
- Confirm that you’ve written it down by selecting each word as prompted on the device
- Once you’ve verified the Mnemonic phrase, it’s now time to set up a pin for your device (minimum 6 digits, maximum 12 digits)
- Confirm the pin
- Name your wallet
- Scan the QR code on your device from the mobile app
A review of the setup process wouldn’t be complete without my opinion on it, right? Well, I’m now about to shed some light on my experience setting up the SafePal S1.
So, I used the SafePal user manual online to get started with the wallet and everything was going okay until I tried to connect the wallet with the app. I tried multiple times with no luck, so I got in touch with support who (to be fair to them) got back within a few hours.
Anyway, they told me to try using my phone camera to scan the QR code (which opens the browser verification). This worked, but unfortunately wasn’t the end of my problems.
I found the setup process extremely difficult and not user-friendly at all to be honest, which is a shame for a device with such great backing from leading companies in the crypto industry.
So all round, with regards to setup, I have to give the SafePal a big thumbs down.
Once I finally managed to get into the device, it was time to load some crypto onto it. To do this, just open up the SafePal app, select the asset you want to use and go to the receive screen. You’ll then get an address, just copy this address and send crypto to it. This part of the test was quite good, I found the address quickly.
Now, this is where I ran into some more issues as a result of the poor design of the wallet. In theory, to send coins on the SafePal S1, you have to go to the send tab in the app, fill in the transaction details, sign the transaction by scanning the QR code presented and finally confirming it with the buttons on the SafePal crypto hardware wallet.
I tried to do this and realised just how difficult it was. The who interface is clunky and badly designed – for example, the process is all mixed up and inconsistent, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Honestly I was really let down to find out just how difficult it was, but I finally managed to send the Ethereum I had just sent to the wallet out of it, so it worked, there’s that.
The SafePal supports 15 different chains as well as on-chain tokens which are as follows:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Binance Coin
- Ethereum Classic
- ERC20 tokens
- BEP2 tokens
- TRC10 & TRC20 tokens
- NEP5 tokens
When you’re on the SafePal app, to add more of these currencies (default is only the main ones), press on the pencil icon.
Security: How safe is it?
The main thing we need to look at for any crypto wallet is security – after all, it is used to store digital assets therefore you need to know that the device is secure from hackers.
The SafePal S1 is a very secure hardware wallet which is 100% offline and uses several different security features in order to protect it from being breached.
Here are some of the security features I noticed about the wallet:
- Pin code numbers change location
- Box has tamper-proof seals
- The mobile app has two locking options; pattern and password
- Up to 24-word mnemonic phrase
- True random number generator (TRNG)
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this review, the mobile app is needed to use the wallet, all the device is for is signing transactions and storing your private key.
The SafePal app is modern and easy-to-use from my experience.
It’s available for both Android & IOS.
On the app, you can make transactions, trade and view your wallet history.
Binance DEX Integration
Since SafePal is partnered & backed by Binance, it came as no surprise when I was that you could trade directly on Binance DEX from the SafePal hardware wallet app. This means that you can trade on a decentralised exchange all from the comfort of a hardware wallet, which in my opinion is pretty revolutionary.
Even though I didn’t actually make any trades, I found the interface easy to use and imagine that you could trade securely and efficiently on it.
As you might have read above in this SafePal S1 review, I had to contact the support team as I had issues setting up the device.
They were pretty quick getting back to me and provided some useful information, so I would give their support a good rating overall.
You can find the answers to most questions on the SafePal docs page, but if you can’t, here’s their support email address:
The contact email address for SafePal is firstname.lastname@example.org.
SafePal vs Ledger
SafePal is pretty late to the party when it comes to crypto hardware wallets, they’ve been around for a while now, so for this reason, it has to bring something good to the table if it is going to get a decent share of the market. You might be wondering how it compares to one of the top products available, the Ledger Nano.
In my opinion, the Ledger is a better cryptocurrency hardware wallet simply because the device is far easier to set up and use than the SafePal. The Ledger is also just as secure, they are far more transparent and have a great reputation worldwide.
Even though the SafePal is considerably cheaper than the Ledger, it’s a fraction of the quality. There’s a reason behind the difference in price…
If you’re thinking about buying a SafePal, I personally would hesitate. It’s one of the worst hardware wallets I’ve used – it just has that ‘rushed’ feel if you get me.
If you’re looking for a good crypto hardware wallet, grab a Ledger Nano X – you can’t really go wrong.
Pros & Cons
Before I wrap up this review, I would like to consolidate the points I’ve made throughout into easy-to-digest pros and cons.
- Good security
- Quick delivery
- Not very user-friendly
- Lack of company information
The Wrap Up: Is the SafePal S1 any good?
In short, no, the SafePal crypto hardware wallet isn’t very good. With poor design and a lack of thought on the user experience, I can’t find any reasons why you should use this wallet when there are considerably better options on the market like the Ellipal Titan or Ledger Nano X.
I’m sorry to disappoint, but honestly, it saves you greater disappointment than if you spent money on it as I did.
Have you used the SafePal S1? Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear if your experience was the same as mine.