SafePal S1 Hardware Wallet Review: Is It Safe for $50 Bucks?

The SafePal S1 is a small, air-gapped hardware wallet backed by Binance Labs. It only costs $50, which is one of the most affordable on the market.

Updated: Jan 10, 2024

SafePal S1 Hardware Wallet Review

Highlights

  • SafePal S1 is a compact, air-gapped hardware wallet that supports 30,000+ crypto assets across 54 blockchains. It has user-friendly features and a secure element chip for key protection.
  • It offers additional security measures like intrusion-detection sensors and a self-destroy mechanism, as well as a mobile app for convenient asset management.
  • However, its lack of open-source software could limit transparency and prevent independent security audits.

What Is It

The SafePal S1 is a portable hardware wallet with air-gapped security, about the size of a credit card. It provides secure offline storage for 30,000+ cryptocurrencies and uses a secure element chip to protect private keys.

Key features include easy-to-use apps for managing assets, backup via a 24-word mnemonic phrase, and offline connectivity through QR codes. However, SafePal isn’t open-source.

Pros and Cons

  • Fully air-gapped (completely offline)
  • Affordable price of $49.99
  • Supports 54 blockchains and 30,000 assets
  • Companion app with DeFi access
  • Positive reviews from the crypto community
  • Not open-sourced
  • Relatively short battery life according to online reviews
  • Bugs on certain dapps according to online reviews

Things To Know

  • It has a tamper-proof seal, that can identify any efforts to open or modify the wallet
  • It supports over 30,000 assets according to its website
  • Built-in camera allows you to scan QR codes to verify transactions
  • There is a SafePal companion app which has 1M downloads on Google Play alone
  • You can use the app or browser extension to access 1000s of DeFi apps
  • SafePal launched in 2018 and is backed by Binance Labs

Key Features & Benefits

SafePal S1 Hardware Wallet Website
  • Low-Cost: At $49.99, the SafePal S1 is one of the most affordable hardware wallets on the market. It's similarly priced to the Tangem Wallet and Blockstream Jade.
  • 100% Air-gapped: SafePal doesn't have any connections such as Bluetooth, WiFi, or NFC. This approach aids in safeguarding against online threats like phishing and malware injections. Scan QR codes to sign off on transactions.
  • Supports 100+ Blockchains: SafePal supports 30,000 assets on the most popular blockchains, which is more than most hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor. More info on how it works here.
  • Extension and Mobile App: SafePal features both a mobile app and browser extension, enabling users to manage their assets on the go. Additionally, you can trade directly with Binance spot trading platform or Binance DEX instead of sending your assets to a centralized exchange.
  • Simple To Use: With it's D-pad and full-colour screen, the SafePal S1 is simple to use and navigate. Setting up and installing the accompanying app and mobile extension only takes minutes.

Other SafePal S1 Features

  • Secure Element: To ensure the security of your private keys, SafePal incorporates an EAL 5+ secure element chip along with a true random number generator.
  • Backup and Recovery: SafePal provides the option for users to create a mnemonic seed phrase (12-24 words). This can be utilized to retrieve assets if the wallet gets misplaced or the PIN is forgotten.
  • Binance Affiliation: SafePal is backed by Binance Labs, which enhances its standing in the crypto community.

Security

Based on their website and documentation, the SafePal S1 offers a fully air-gapped device. It facilitates secure transactions via its built-in camera, where you can scan your QR code and input your pin. No USB, WiFi, or Bluetooth is required to transact your crypto assets, allowing you to carry out 100% offline transactions for extra protection.

Another top security feature of the SafePal S1 is its dual-chip architecture, where one chip handles the general business logic and the other—an independent EAL5+ element chip—takes care of your cryptographic key storage. Its Secure Element chip is the same one used on credit cards to protect your private keys from harm.

Finally, its self-destruct mechanism automatically triggers if it detects malware or a virus. Remember that you will need a secondary SafePal S1 wallet to retrieve your keys and data if your primary crypto wallet self-destructs.

The only downside for the S1 is its lack of open-source firmware. However, they have plans to make the S1 open-source and the latest bluetooth SafePal X1 is open source

What's In The Box?

SafePal S1 Hardware Wallet Box

Online Reviews According to Reddit

The main concerns on Reddit, Trust Pilot and other online reviews are with the user experience. Specifically, transactions don't always work on certain dApps, which obviously causes frustration, or tokens don't show the correct balance. On the SafePal reddit, a lot of the posts look like this:

  • A lot of complaints are with certain dApps not working or having bugs, like this Redditors experience, "I'm trying to sign a transaction to swap coins with 1inch, but when I scan the QR code it says "System error: error code 143". Up to now I did little to no transaction with my wallet, but today I'm having really a bad experience with swap." 
  • Another Redditor prefers other wallets, "I have a SafePal, Ledger & Keystone Pro. To be honest, Ledger and Keystone Pro feels more user friendly."
  • Some Reddit users do love SafePal, "This wallet is by far the best one I have used. For the price and security, I couldn’t be more happy."

While there are concerns about usability, most of the online reviews are positive. The Google Play app has a 4.6-star rating with 30,000 reviews. The App Store has 5,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating. I also didn't see a lot of concerns about the security which is the most important part.

Who Is This Wallet For?

The SafePal S1 is for anyone who wants an affordable hardware wallet with access to DeFi and lots of features.

It supports 100+ blockchains, 30,000+ tokens, and you can access thousands of DeFi applications through the companion app. It also doesn't compromise on security. While there are 'safer' hardware wallets that are open source and have more security measures, the S1 is still fully air-gapped and a good bang for your buck.

Overall: Final Review

The SafePal S1 is an affordable, air-gapped hardware wallet with access to the most tokens. Here is our summary:

  • Affordable: The wallet is competitively priced at just $49.99.
  • Access to DeFi: With the SafePal app or browser extension, you can trade on thousands of dApps with the security of cold storage. It also supports most tokens and blockchains.
  • Lots of Security Features: It's fully air-gapped, has a self-destroy mechanism, and more.
  • Not Open-Sourced: While there aren't many concerns about the security, the wallet is not open-source yet.
  • Usability: Lots of online reviews run into bugs when using certain Dapps.

SafePal S1 Alternatives

Our comparison tool and hardware wallet reviews are growing. While SafePal offers access to DeFi, support for 30,000 assets, and a fully air-gapped design, online reviews have concerns with its usability. Check out other hardware wallet reviews to find the best fit for you:

NDAX.io

Keystone Pro is a $169 wallet with a touchscreen and packed with features.

  • Open source and air-gapped
  • Lots of features
  • Great user-interface
  • Higher price point
  • Battery can die quickly
Ledger

Ledger is the #1 brand for hardware wallets, but they made questionable choices in 2023.

  • Store 6,500 coins
  • Great mobile app and UX
  • Most popular wallets
  • Controversial moves in 2023
  • Not open source


MEXC Global

Blockstream Jade is a Bitcoin-focused wallet at an affordable price.

  • Open source and air-gapped
  • Bitcoin-only
  • Affordable price: $64.99
  • No support for altcoins
  • App can be buggy

Author

At RankFi.com, our goal is to be your trusted source for crypto reviews, guides and research. We seek out researchers with extensive crypto knowledge and firsthand experience using dozens of CeFi and DeFi platforms.

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