ELLIPAL has made quite the splash in the crypto hardware wallet industry, competing with the likes of Trezor and Ledger to become one of the leaders in air-gapped crypto storage solutions.
This isn’t our first experience with ELLIPAL products as we covered the original ELLIPAL Titan in another article. After a positive experience with ELLIPAL and adopting the Titan into my personal line-up of hardware wallets, the folks over at ELLIPAL were kind enough to send us the new and improved Titan Mini for review.
This ELLIPAL Titan Mini Review will provide you with our unbiased, no-BS opinion of the product to help you decide if this is the crypto wallet that is right for you!
Hardware Wallets: The Competition
I have been a fan of Trezor and Ledger for years and never really thought there was much point in deviating from the two major players in the industry that have been tried and tested. There is something to be said for entrusting something that has been battle-tested and withstood the test of time.
But, on the flip side, technology is changing and advancing. Just as we no longer use Nokia flip phones or Blackberries, many crypto users felt that we were long overdue for a company to innovate in the crypto hardware wallet space, and that is just what ELLIPAL has done.
Here is a chart comparing some of the key differences between Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey, and ELLIPAL:
If you want to learn more about why Trezor and Ledger have remained so dominant in the hardware wallet space, feel free to check out our dedicated Trezor review and Ledger Nano X review as well.
Guy also has a video where he breaks down and compares the top hardware wallets:
When I first received the original ELLIPAL Titan to conduct a review, my initial thought was that it looked nice and was interesting, but I doubted that I would actually be heavily relying on it as I was already satisfied with my Trezor and Ledger… Or so I thought.
After using it for a few weeks, many of the benefits became clear and now it is the one I use most frequently for the reasons that will be uncovered in this article.
In our Titan Review article, I talk about what I liked/disliked and all the ways it enriched my crypto journey. When I was sent the Titan Mini, I was once again impressed, not just because it is smaller and more convenient to carry, but because it seemed an improvement in other ways that will be discussed in later sections.
But first, let’s take a look at the team behind the Titan and the Titan Mini.
Who Are ELLIPAL?
ELLIPAL is a Hong Kong-based company founded in 2018 and has become respected and trusted for their high-quality hardware wallets and crypto accessories. ELLIPAL released their first wallet, simply named ELLIPAL, in 2018. They later released an improved and much-needed upgrade, the ELLIPAL Titan a year later.
Fast forward to 2022 and the team unveiled the Titan Mini, which features the same security, features, and convenience of the original Titan, but in a more travel-friendly compact size. The Mini also felt like a noticeably improved and more durable product.
When I say more durable, that isn’t to say the Titan is cheaply made. On the contrary, with Trezor and Ledger being made of plastic and feeling more fragile than an egg, both ELLIPAL wallets are made from metal and housed in a very sturdy and durable case.
In my Titan review, I mentioned how the product feels so robust that I could punt it out of my third-story window, and it would probably survive, so I was surprised to find the Titan Mini feels even more durable with a nice solid metal frame made from aluminum alloy. I could probably punt it out of a sixth-story window, and it might be okay. Not that I would recommend trying that.
I love my Trezor Model T, don’t get me wrong, but every time I use it, I am afraid to sneeze near it or look at it the wrong way as the flimsy plastic and thin screen feels so fragile. The Titan Mini certainly doesn’t have this issue. The Mini feels darn-near bullet proof which makes it perfect for tossing it in your bag and taking it on the go.
Other hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger need to be physically connected to a computer or mobile via cord or Bluetooth, ELLIPAL are one of the first companies to become leaders in completely air-gapped cold storage solutions for secure crypto storage.
ELLIPAL were the first movers in creating air-gapped cold wallets that use QR code communication technology to ensure that the wallet remains completely offline, even during transactions, unlike many other wallets that need to be connected via USB cables or Bluetooth. Here is a great article from ELLIPAL where they explain the benefits of using air-gapped wallets.
What is an Air-Gapped Cold Wallet?
Though the touchscreen on the mini is smaller than its big brother, it is still large enough to make it easy to navigate, hit the right buttons, and view your crypto assets.
Thanks to the beautifully coloured touch screen, Titan Mini users can view their coins and assets, exchange and stake crypto, and send transactions, all while checking market rates and crypto news directly on the synchronized mobile app. Both the Titan and the Mini also make accessing DApps like Uniswap, Compound, and Pancake Swap incredibly easy as it can all be done through the mobile app.
The cold storage wallet devices made by ELLIPAL look and operate more like smartphones than what users may be used to with traditional hardware wallets. The corresponding app to use ELLIPAL is also kept on a smartphone, which is quite nice as the UX/UI feels more familiar and there is less of a learning curve than with many crypto wallets that can feel a bit alien as they are dissimilar to the devices and apps many of us frequently use.
Thanks to the internal battery that allows for charging, and because the device has a QR code scanner, it is designed perfectly for popping out and purchasing items or accessing crypto while you’re out and about. This is something I can’t do with my Trezor or Ledger as they don’t have QR code functionality and they never leave their hiding places until it comes time to hook them up to my computer to send crypto.
I wrote in my Titan review that the only downside was that the Titan was about the same size as my smartphone, a bit of a pain to carry around. It seems I wasn’t the only one with that opinion as they launched the Mini, which is far more convenient.
ELLIPAL’s approach to mobile-oriented hardware wallets supports our increasingly mobile lifestyles, providing a nice blend between the convenience and portability of a software wallet, with the robust security that only hardware wallets can provide.
The reason why an air-gapped device is considered an additional layer of security for cold wallet crypto storage is that it ensures that the user’s private keys are never connected to the internet, meaning it is protected against hacks, malware and viruses.
The ELLIPAL product suite is a fantastic one-stop device/app that is capable of multiple functions, a very powerful little crypto management combo to meet the needs of most crypto users. ELLIPAL can be used to transfer, exchange, stake, buy crypto, buy and store NFTs, and access hundreds of DApps, all while the Titan Mini and private keys remain completely offline.
What is “Air-Gapped?”
Much of ELLIPAL’s security lies in the fact that it does not come into contact with internet, Bluetooth, mobile networks, or any other network connections, being completely “air-gapped” from any potential wireless attack vectors that could be exploited by hackers.
While many wallets will rely on Bluetooth or USB connections to connect the wallet to a device with internet to allow the user to interact with their crypto, ELLIPAL relies only on QR code technology.
The ELLIPAL Titan Mini comes with a camera allowing users to scan QR codes, using the wallet to confirm and sign transactions initiated on the mobile app.
ELLIPAL wallets are designed to not support any connections, leaving the device impenetrable to network hackers, malware, and viruses.
ELLIPAL Titan Mini Features
The ELLIPAL Titan Mini rings in with a price tag of just $79, compared to the Titan’s $169.00. This price point makes the Mini, pound for pound, one of the most solid crypto wallets on the market.
Personally, I feel the Mini is the better choice over the Titan for most users, and couldn’t believe it comes in at such a lower price. It has all the same security and functionality as the Titan, an improved HD crystal clear screen, a more responsive touch interface, and feels like an improvement in design over the original Titan. It seems to be the superior product in nearly every way, so why it is about half the price is beyond me
The price of the Mini is even sweeter if you purchase using our ELLIPAL discount link, which gives you an additional 10% off any ELLIPAL product at checkout
It is important to note that the Mini doesn’t support quite as many blockchains as the Titan, but it has all the major layer ones covered:
The Titan supports a whopping 48 differing blockchains and over 10,000 tokens which is impressive, making it the best choice for die-hard altcoin enthusiasts, supporting far more than Trezor or Ledger. The Mini supports about 36 blockchains and over 10,000 tokens as well, still pretty impressive. You can find that info on the ELLIPAL Coins List page.
One of my favourite functions of hardware wallets is being able to self-custody while staking popular Proof-of-Stake cryptocurrencies. Both the Titan and Mini support staking for the following assets:
The Mini and the Titan are the first hardware wallets to come with a fully metal case, ensuring it is tough enough to survive drops and bumps, while also being tamper-proof. It isn’t possible to break into ELLIPAL devices without destroying the inner components, protecting the user’s crypto against physical attacks.
One quick side-mention here as we talk about metal. I am a huge fan of using fire and waterproof metal solutions for protecting recovery phrases, so I want to point your attention to the ELLIPAL Mnemonic Metal.
These products are a good idea regardless of what type of crypto wallet you use because, let’s be honest, a piece of paper is WAY too fragile to be trusting your recovery seed phrase with.
We endorse crypto seed protection so much here at CB headquarters, that we also offer a Coin Bureau branded metal seed wallet in our merch store to keep your seed phrases safe. Ours works slightly differently from the one sold by ELLIPAL. Trezor and Ledger also offer similar products, whichever one you choose, I cannot recommend metal seed phrase products enough.
We cover the best ways to keep your seed phrase protected in our article on How to Keep your Crypto Safe. If you are someone who stores your secret recovery phrase online or on paper, please do yourself a favour and go check out that article right away.
The Titan Mini is resistant to dust and water, is impervious to physical attacks, and has the following features and measurements:
4-inch LCD HD touchscreen
Aluminium alloy case
Battery: 600 mAh
While the main benefit of hardware wallets is their resistance to remote attacks, there is a common security vulnerability that sophisticated hackers can exploit if they get their hands on a physical device, making this next feature one of my favourite things about ELLIPAL products.
When the device detects a breach, the cold wallet will clear all internal data and leave the device unusable, leaving the original owner free to restore their funds in another wallet with no stress using their recovery phrase. Feel free to check out the brute force Titan test experiment that highlights the anti-tamper features built into both the Titan and Titan Mini devices.
The ELLIPAL Titan Mini package comes with a USB charging cable and charging block that connects via magnets, a guide, a warranty card, a protective case, cards for writing down the backup seed phrase, and a micro-SD card for updating the firmware on the device.
As with any hardware wallet, make sure you are purchasing through the actual ELLIPAL website itself or Amazon as they are a verified seller for ELLIPAL, and never buy second-hand hardware wallets as many users have been separated maliciously from their crypto after realizing the original owner still held the private keys to the wallet.
ELLIPAL has partnered with Moonpay and Simplex, enabling users to purchase crypto directly in the wallet app in 173 supported countries and a partnership with Changelly and Swift allows users to exchange crypto assets directly within the wallet, creating an incredibly convenient and highly secure way to manage crypto.
The ELLIPAL Titan Mini supports wallet connect, which is a platform that connects wallets with DApps, giving ELLIPAL users the ability to interact with popular third-party DeFi and crypto platforms.
While there are multiple DApps already available for use within the ELLIPAL app, users can use the QR codes and scanner to connect with over 100 DApps including popular DeFi lending platforms such as Aave and Compound Finance, while also giving users the ability to access popular Dexes such as SushiSwap and Uniswap.
The main advantage I found with using ELLIPAL over the Ledger, Trezor, or a number of other hardware wallets is that you can access DApps and DeFi incredibly easily on the go without needing the device to be plugged into a computer, and unlike the Ledger Nano S, there are no issues with storage space on the ELLIPAL.
Setting up the ELLIPAL Titan Mini
As ELLIPAL products have no online connectivity, the device needs to interact with a user’s mobile device. The corresponding ELLIPAL app is available for both Android and Apple.
Users will need to download the app from the app store, though I recommend simply scanning the QR code that comes in the instruction guide which will take you directly to the correct app in the app store.
A word of caution is that there have been numerous fake crypto apps posted in app stores by scammers, advertising fake apps for a myriad of different crypto platforms, so it is always best to navigate to any crypto apps directly from a company website or using QR codes.
Once the app has been downloaded, users will be prompted to scan the QR code generated on the wallet screen with their mobile to ensure the mobile and wallet are synced, then the user can go ahead and create an account for the wallet. The account is just a name so the user can identify the right portfolios, there is no official account sign-up process or KYC needed.
Here is a look at how the process looks on the Titan, it is identical on the Titan Mini:
When setting up a new wallet you will be able to create a new wallet, recover a previous wallet by entering a 12, 15, 18, 21 or 24-word mnemonic phrase, or import private keys individually. A cool feature is that the ELLIPAL wallets can even scan QR codes from paper wallets for seamless paper wallet imports.
It is a good idea to set a strong password on the device to prevent unauthorized access. This password will need to be entered any time the user wants to send funds, while access to the wallet itself can be secured by setting up a directional swipe pattern.
If creating a new wallet, the ELLIPAL wallets will generate a 12-word seed phrase. It is very important that this is written down and stored someplace offline and secure or in the metal mnemonic seed phrase protector.
If a user loses or breaks the wallet, this seed phrase will be the only way to recover the funds, making this the most important step. As with any hardware or software wallet, ensure the seed recovery phrase is kept offline and do not share it with anyone as anyone with these words can access your crypto.
During the set-up process, users will be prompted to select a general or SegWit address type. SeqWit will be the option that most users will want to use as it ensures lower fees and more efficient crypto transactions.
Once the setup has been completed, the user will once again need to open the app on mobile and connect each wallet for the separate cryptos they wish to hold or transact in by scanning the QR code for each separate crypto asset.
Setting both the Titan and Titan Mini up is really easy and takes around 5-10 minutes. Then, of course, it takes another 5 minutes to triple and quadruple-check that you wrote down the recovery phrase correctly, which is time well spent as this needs to be recorded correctly.
Using the ELLIPAL Titan Mini
One thing I like about the ELLIPAL products is that you can take a look at your crypto holdings and value directly on the mobile app at any time, without needing the wallet. The hardware wallet will need to be used only when sending crypto or making changes to the account.
Receiving transactions to the wallet can be made by scanning the QR code on the Titan Mini, or simply pasting the receiving address copied from the app into the sending platform, as is the same for any crypto wallet.
To send transactions from the ELLIPAL Titan Mini, transactions are initiated within the mobile app, and once the transaction details are entered, a QR code will be generated on the mobile device which will need to be scanned by the camera on the wallet to sign and confirm the transaction.
This sends all the information needed to the hardware wallet, which then generates a second QR code that is scanned by the mobile app, which then completes the transaction verification.
ELLIPAL Titan Mini Review: Pros
The ELLIPAL Titan Mini is easy to use, beginner-friendly and is largely appreciated by users for the large touchscreen. One noticeable improvement of the Mini over the Titan is a far more responsive touch screen and the interface looked clearer and of higher quality.
Air-gapped devices provide an additional layer of security, especially over software wallets, and being able to stake assets and access over 100 DApps directly from the app is massively convenient.
The Titan Mini feels very high quality which is obvious the moment you pick it up. I really appreciated this as I am used to other hardware wallets that are flimsy plastic, meaning the ELLIPAL products are the only ones I feel confident enough to toss in a bag and take on the go.
One of my favourite things about the Titan products is that thanks to the mobile app, the wallet can be used to access over a hundred DApps and the world of Web3 in a method that I find more user-friendly than on either Trezor or Ledger.
The Titan and Titan Mini are the only wallets I have used that can offer the mobility and convenience of a software wallet, in terms of everything DApp and Web3 related being able to be accessed from one mobile interface, while providing the security of a hardware wallet.
This is, in my opinion, a massive benefit over the Trezor or Ledger as they cannot provide nearly this level of convenient functionality as they need to be plugged in and on a PC to access DApps, often through cumbersome third-party applications. Or in the case of the Ledger Nano X which does have mobile connectivity via Bluetooth, like many others, I fear that Bluetooth is an unnecessary security vulnerability.
ELLIPAL wallets, like any good hardware wallet, offer trustless trust, a core ethos of crypto. ELLIPAL users are in complete control over their assets, with no need to entrust a custodial authority.
Users do not even need to trust the BIP 39 mnemonics generated recovery phrase that comes with the wallet as users are free to import a previously created or used recovery phrase. ELLIPAL’s QR code is in open data format, publicly verifiable as open source.
For sticklers of open-source code, it is important to highlight that although ELLIPAL’s source code is open-sourced and verifiable on Github, the firmware is not open-source.
This is cause for concern among some in the crypto community but is not unheard of. The leading hardware wallet brand Ledger also has not open-sourced their firmware, so for me, this is not a deal breaker. For users who are concerned about this, I recommend Trezor as the most reputable hardware wallet with 100% open-source code.
The ability to offline sweep paper wallets and import variable-length mnemonic phrases is a nice win for ELLIPAL wallets, making these devices multi-functional. The import private key feature also allows for the recovery of assets sent to the wrong address such as if you mistakenly send VET to your ETH address.
For security, there isn’t much to say aside from that it is pretty solid from both a technical perspective and from the user side. The device can be protected with a password and gesture pin, while alternate hidden accounts can be generated using a passphrase, similar to the feature offered by Trezor.
ELLIPAL Titan Mini Review: What Could be Improved?
It would be nice to see ELLIPAL get up to date with Bitcoin address formats as they support BIP 44 addresses that begin with the number 3, and not the newer BIP 84 Bitcoin addresses that begin with “bc.”
This should be a fairly straightforward and high-priority update, ELLIPAL continuously drops the ball here as most wallets supported this format within weeks of development. Not supporting this address format can lead to more expensive Bitcoin transactions for users.
Another could be deal-breaker for advanced users is that the ELLIPAL wallet does not give users access to their own Xpub keys. This leaves the wallet lacking in compatibility with some apps and does not give users the option to import “view only” wallets.
Some crypto payment gateways use Xpubs to generate new payment addresses for various checkouts, so this limitation of the wallet should be considered. ELLIPAL wallets also do not generate a fresh address for UTXO coins and does not have multi-sig support.
Advanced users may also be disappointed that the wallet has no support for testnet coins for any blockchain networks. The lack of ability to add a custom RPC isn’t suitable for users who are interested in running test nets or testing coins.
Privacy coin enthusiasts will also likely want to opt for Trezor as the Titan wallets do not offer Monero support at the time of writing.
As Ledger’s Donjon security team found, there is a lack of a true secure element to store the keys and manage signing, leaving a potential attack vulnerability if someone with sophisticated hacking software were to gain physical access to the device.
This doesn’t concern me too much as the chances of someone with sophisticated hacking software gaining access to your device is low, and this can be protected against with a password and by using a passphrase. Not to mention it would be incredibly difficult to crack this wallet open without the inner components being destroyed by the tamper-proof features.
Some crypto users prefer the more secure 24-word phrase and consider the fact that ELLIPAL wallets can only generate a 12-word recovery phrase not secure enough. If this is a concern, 24-word recovery phrases can be imported, providing an adequate workaround.
The ELLIPAL does have a limitation in that it uses a non-standard way of re-using Bitcoin addresses, unlike the Trezor or Ledger. This could cause some problems for users who may want to import a seed phrase from other wallets.
ELLIPAL wallets do not allow for full node support via any third-party software, which may also be a bummer for advanced crypto users.
So, Is The ELLIPAL Titan Mini a Good Wallet?
Absolutely, I really like it!
While Trezor will still remain my #1 wallet for long-term Bitcoin and Ethereum storage, I have had a great time using the Titan and Titan Mini with nearly all of my other ERC20 and BEP20 tokens, and for all the layer 1 tokens not supported by Trezor.
I am confident in ELLIPAL’s security, and the fact that I can access all the DApps that I normally use a software wallet for just as easily with ELLIPAL is a huge win for me.
I have always used software wallets for the majority of my DeFi and DApp access, with the known security vulnerabilities of software wallets always being on the back of my mind. I can rest much easier now using the Titan Mini for most of my DeFi use, it really is the perfect blend of hardware wallet security and software wallet convenience.
I also like that ELLIPAL is a good general-purpose, multi-use wallet that can be used on the go. As the world becomes more crypto-friendly, I feel that crypto will become part of our daily lives in increasing capacities and the ELLIPAL lineup will be well-positioned to transition us into that near future.
The ELLIPAL Titan Mini is a great wallet if you are looking for something mobile and secure that can be used easily with Web3 DApps without needing to be tethered to a PC.
At the price point, you can’t go wrong with the Mini as it is good value for money with the price being competitive with many of the alternatives out there. The Titan Mini was likely ELLIPAL’s competitive response to the Ledger Nano S and Trezor One, which come in at a far lower price point than the original Titan.
Honestly, if you already own a Titan, there isn’t much benefit in also purchasing a Mini as they are nearly identical in functionality. But if you are new to the world of ELLIPAL and hardware wallets, the Mini is a very impressive product and would be my personal choice over the Titan unless you prefer the larger screen.
The ELLIPAL team did a great job producing a product line that supports far more assets than most other wallets while creating a user experience that is very beginner-friendly and easy for navigating DApps and utilizing crypto.
ELLIPAL Titan Mini FAQs
Is ELLIPAL Safe?
Yes, the hardware wallets created by ELLIPAL are completely air-gapped and private keys are always kept offline, outside the reach of hackers, viruses, and malware.
The Titan and the Titan Mini also feature anti-tamper and anti-disassembly measures to ensure that if a breach is detected, it will clear all internal data and render the device unusable. In this event, the original wallet user can simply use their recovery phrase on another wallet and safely recover their funds.
To highlight the safety of ELLIPAL further, Ledger’s Donjon team, who are industry leaders and experts in identifying security flaws, raised some security vulnerabilities regarding ELLIPAL’s original wallet. ELLIPAL were quick to respond, react, and address the security vulnerabilities and patched them with the release of the Titan and Titan Mini and with further firmware updates. You can read more about this on Ledger’s Donjon Vulnerability study of the ELLIPAL Titan
Is ELLIPAL Better than Ledger?
From a security standpoint, this is debatable. Ledger has been battle-tested and has withstood nearly a decade of hack attempts and has never been compromised. Ledger also holds an EAL5+ security certification, a benchmark in crypto wallet security certifications that ELLIPAL does not meet.
To my knowledge, the ELLIPAL has also not been successfully hacked remotely, but it does not have the lengthy track record or adoption of Ledger, meaning it has not been tested as thoroughly or put through the wringer.
Many users consider that the fact that ELLIPAL is air-gapped makes it more secure than the Ledger Nano X, and I would agree as the Ledger Nano X has Bluetooth functionality, which is an attack vector and potential security vulnerability. That is the biggest reason I don’t use a Nano X, but the Ledger Nano S has no Bluetooth, so security between the Titan and Ledger S may be more comparable.
I find the reputation of Ledger encouraging and more trustworthy, strictly due to their high level of respect and contribution to the crypto space, but find the ELLIPAL far more convenient and easier to use.
Thanks to the mobile app and access to the world of hundreds of DApps directly from the app without needing a computer makes me prefer the ELLIPAL Titan from a user perspective. The ELLIPAL also has better asset support as users do not need to worry about running out of storage like on the Ledger.
Is ELLIPAL Better than Trezor?
Trezor has the same sterling reputation as Ledger and holds a CE and RoHS security certification, which ELLIPAL does not. Trezor has a nearly decade-long proven security track record, something the ELLIPAL cannot claim as it is a far younger product, so it has not been battle-tested.
For the long storage of my most beloved assets, I prefer sleeping soundly at night trusting Trezor. But from a user-friendly and useability point of view, I am ecstatic by the fact that the ELLIPAL Titan has reduced my reliance on software wallets.
The Titan wallets are my main go-to for any altcoins and assets that I want to expose to the world of DApps and Web3, it is far superior to the Trezor in that regard and has far better asset support.
The post ELLIPAL Titan Mini Review 2022: The Same Highly Secure Crypto Wallet We Love, But Mini! appeared first on Coin Bureau.
Review, Air Gap, crypto storage, ellipal titan, ellipal titan mini, ellipal titan review, Hardware Wallet, hardware wallet review
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