The SafePal S1 is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet with some of the most impressive features on the market. This device stores your private keys, which are generated with an offline computer to ensure their safety. The wallet also supports more than 500 coins and tokens – making it one of the most versatile wallets available today. Keep reading to learn why this device is one of the best hardware wallets to consider!
The SafePal S1 comes with the hardware wallet, three recovery phrase sheets, a micro USB cable, and a card with QR codes for downloading the app and reading the user manual.
There’s a tiny square-shaped LED screen in the right corner of the device, and below it are buttons representing arrows. On the side of the device is a small power button. Press and hold to turn it on. The device turns off after 30 seconds of inactivity. You can change the setting on the device to be longer.
I appreciate the tiny hardware wallet’s small size, which is smaller than a credit card, but I found the navigation buttons too small. I had to use the tip of my thumbnail to pick things. You may inadvertently hit multiple buttons while making your selections.
Activate and Setup Review
Two setup pathways take place: hardware and software. You must download the SafePal program on a smartphone by scanning the QR code displayed on the included index card (or going to https://www.safepal.io). When you launch the program, you can use a software wallet or a hardware wallet. I choose the hardware wallet option. I’m prompted to select a password, and then I’m asked to make a pattern out of a layout of dots. It takes me back to the hardware wallet selection screen. The screen displays a set of instructions on how to use the hardware device for initial setup. Then my phone’s camera comes on. I pick “English” as the language on the hardware device and then keep clicking the OK button for the next screen. The LED screen displays a QR code, which I scan using my phone. SafePal’s website opens in the web browser, where I must input the number shown on the SafePal gadget. After successfully verifying the code, I scan the second QR code that appears on the screen with my SafePal wallet. The SafePal screen displays a congratulatory message.
I’m prompted to generate a new wallet or restore an existing one on the device. I opted to make a new wallet. I’m given the option of selecting the length of my seed phrase (24, 12, or 18 words). A list of 12 words appears on the screen, and I must use the arrows on the keypad to move through it. In the second stage, I must choose the exact words from a list of other possibilities. After that, I’m instructed to set a PIN. Finally, a new QR code appears on the LED, telling me to download the SafePal software. I hit OK, and then I’m brought to the main menu.
The SafePal device’s main dashboard has four options: Scan, Asset Management, Signing History, and Settings. I choose the Scan option since a QR code is still visible in the software to scan with my phone. I scan the QR code displayed on the phone. The device LED starts switching between different QR codes. I click the “Next” button in the program, and my smartphone camera activates, which I employ to scan the QR codes on the device. When the scan finishes, my phone asks if I’d like to pair it, and I confirm. My phone displays my main dashboard and the default available assets to manage after activation finishes.
I found myself perplexed between when to utilize SafePal and when to use my phone. If I’d watched the tutorial video first, I might have been less confused. Overall, it takes 5-10 minutes to complete the setup.
Apart from the basic send and receive capabilities, the SafePal mobile app includes a variety of third-party dapp connections. You can access defi dapps like Uniswap, PancakeSwap, and PancakeFarm in the mobile app. Compound, and other loan dapps, are also available. With the touch of a button, NFT marketplaces also become accessible. You may also use blockchain explorers for Ethereum, Binance, TRON, Polygon, and Solana. Additionally, the mobile app includes a native coin and token swap function, which I believe is powered by Binance DEX (may not be functional for U.S. customers).
To receive crypto to the wallet, I select the first icon at the bottom-left and then press “Receive.” A QR code and public address string appear on the screen (scan one or copy/paste the other).
To send funds to a different wallet, I click on the first icon at the bottom-left and then “Send.” I enter transaction details (public address, amount to send, and desired transaction speed) and then confirm. With my SafePal S1 device, I must scan a QR code that appears on the screen; after selecting “Scan,” I press the OK button and scan the QR code that appears in the mobile app pop-up. Then, in the mobile app, I click the blue “Next” button and scan the QR codes on the SafePal LED screen. After the scans are done, I confirm that I want to go ahead with the transaction. I click OK, and the funds transfer broadcasts to the blockchain.
Aside from basic send and receive, there are many transaction options. You can engage in defi and manage NFT collections, for example. You can use the mobile app to send or receive, and it guides you along the way. My only complaint is that it’s confusing, at first, when you must scan the QR code with the hardware device or your mobile phone. I’m familiar with this feature because Ellipal provides a similar option for signing a transaction. As the manufacturer promises, the SafePal S1 is truly “air-gapped.”
The SafePal S1 comes with a secure EAL 5+ chip that generates unique random keys. When you want to generate a public address on the device, you must input your PIN. The device does not include any send functions; instead, all fund transfers must originate within the phone app. Accessing the mobile app requires you to complete the dot patterns on the screen correctly. Another option is to require a fingerprint, but it depends on the smartphone’s capability.
Linking the device to your phone doesn’t require a Bluetooth, WIFI, or NFC data connection on your smartphone. Instead, you scan a series of QR codes with your phone to connect and sign transactions.
SafePal’s support of the WalletConnect protocol is a hidden feature and not mentioned anywhere in the mobile app. When you’re on the main dashboard in the mobile app, there’s a scan icon on the top-right corner. Tapping the icon activates the smartphone’s camera, and you can scan a WalletConnect QR code. This action triggers the associated dapp from within the mobile app. Any action you take on the other interface will require a confirmation from the mobile app and SafePal device. This mechanism eliminates the need to input your private key into a different interface to start and finish a transaction.
At the bottom of the main dashboard, below the listing of all your assets, is a button labeled “Security Quiz.” It’s a four-question quiz that tests your knowledge of owning a hardware wallet (I tried the quiz and chose all the correct choices).
The S1 manages 23 different cryptocurrencies. It also supports Solana, an up-and-coming cryptocurrency that few hardware wallets currently support. If the mobile app doesn’t recognize a particular token, you can enter its contract address. The coins supported by the mobile app include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance BEP-2 and BEP-20, Solana, Bitcoin Cash, DASH, DigiByte, Dogecoin, Polkadot, EOS, Ethereum Classic, NEO/GAS, Kusama, Litecoin, MATIC (Polygon network), ONE, Qtum, Theta/TFUEL, TRON, VeChain/VTHO, Stellar, XRP, and Zcash. Other popular coins are missing from this list (ex: Avalanche, Cardano, Algorand, Cosmos, etc.), which I hope SafePal supports in a future update.
SafePal offers its cryptocurrency, SAFEPAL (SFP), on Binance’s Smart Chain. Bagholders are eligible for discounts, participation in yield farms, and governance voting. You can learn more here.
The SafePal S1 is a tamper-proof gadget that does not require Bluetooth, WIFI, or other physical connections to communicate with its smartphone app. I enjoy the usage of QR codes for data communication. Plus, there’s support for the most popular cryptocurrencies, although some crypto gaps currently exist. I hope the business concentrates on supporting as many different cryptocurrencies as possible. The majority of the crypto sector is available through its mobile app, providing significant convenience and learning opportunities for newcomers to the space. In conclusion, this hardware wallet is on my list of preferred devices.