TREZOR Model T Review and Comparison
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 11/12/19
I love reviewing hardware wallets—it’s kind of a hobby of mine. Today I had the privilege of reviewing the latest addition, the TREZOR T model. This new device became available for preorder a few months ago, and its first batch recently shipped out.
TREZOR Model T Review Summary
TREZOR T is a hardware wallet equipped with a touchscreen that allows you to store cryptocurrencies offline. Unlike most Bitcoin wallets that are connected to the Internet, TREZOR keeps your private key far from the hands of hackers. Overall the touchscreen is a great addition but I’m not sure it’s worth the higher price tag.
That’s the TREZOR Model T in a nutshell. If you want a detailed review keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:
- What’s In the Box?
- The TREZOR T Device
- TREZOR T SupportedCoins
- How Do I Setup My TREZOR Model T
- Using the Touchscreen
- The Corazon – A Premium Model T Version
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion -Is It Worth the Price?
The box includes: The TREZOR T hardware wallet, a USB cable, a card on which to write your recovery seed (we’ll go over that later), and some TREZOR fanboy stickers.
One neat gadget that’s been added is a magnetic dock. You can place the dock on a wall or something similar and rest the TREZOR T in it .
Initially I thought this was a bit useless since a hardware wallet is used for the safe storage of coins, so why would you want to hang it in plain sight? However one of our readers later suggested that you can use it to stick your Trezor underneath your desk or at the top side of a drawer so it’s actually harder to find.
The TREZOR T also comes with a seal on its USB port so you know whether the device has been compromised. If the sticker on the port doesn’t seem to be completely intact, it could mean that someone has tampered with your device.
The wallet is relatively light and fits easily in your pocket. You can get a feel of the overall size from the picture above.
The TREZOR T also has a slot for a MicroSD card and it will allow you to have onboard encrypted storage in the future. Note that the card won’t store your recovery seed or any private keys derived from it.
The device can be connected to to any laptop/desktop through the use of a USB-C connection.
At the moment the TREZOR T supports a wide variety of coins, including Ripple (XRP) and Stellar Lumens (XLM) that were missing in previous versions. The main coins supported are:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
There are over 1000 crypto assets supported in total and the full list can be seen here.
- Download and install the TREZOR bridge (a piece of software to help you manage the TREZOR).
- Install the latest firmware on your TREZOR.
- That’s it!
Some of you may be thinking that I’m missing a step, mainly the part where you receive your 12-word seed phrase. However, TREZOR decided to skip that part and allow you to instantly start using your TREZOR without the need to write down the seed phrase.
A seed phrase is basically the “password” to your Bitcoins, sometimes referred to as your private key. A seed phrase is comprised out of 12-24 words in a certain order. Whoever knows these words has complete access to your Bitcoin wallet.
(For a detailed explanation about seed phrases and private key watch our video episode about Bitcoin wallets)
Of course, you’ll be prompted by a warning to backup your seed phrase, but in the end it’s up to you. In my opinion, this is a great move by TREZOR that allows you to skip the long, cumbersome (although important) act of writing down your seed as part of the initial wallet setup.
Whenever you’re ready, you can go through the process of writing down your seed (this is a one-time process only).
Interacting with the Model T is pretty similar to the TREZOR One. The main difference is that you now have a touchscreen instead of two buttons. While the touchscreen is much prettier than the buttons, I had a bit of a hard time interacting with it because it’s just too small.
The main benefit is that you now don’t need to interact with your computer during certain processes, such as setting your PIN code or recovering your wallet.
TREZOR mixes the keypad from time to time so that hackers or someone who is following your keystrokes won’t be able to guess which numbers you’re pressing.
See how the keypad numbers change positions between screens?
For those of you who want to invest in a more sturdier, breathtaking version of the Model T, there is the Corazon hardware wallet.
Simply put, this is a TREZOR model T housed in an aerospace grade titanium case assembled by Gray, a company specializing in high end, futuristic craftsmanship.
While there’s no inherent difference between the TREZOR Model T and the Corazon, here are some things to consider:
Anti Tamper Design
Is the Corazon Worth the Price?
The Corazon is a stunning piece of hardware and it also feels a lot sturdier than the original Model T. However, the Corazon is also much heavier and less comfortable to carry around then the Model T.
The basic Corazon Titanium version costs $959 – that’s almost 6 times what an original Model T costs. Then you have the Stealth and Gold additions which have a very limited supply.
Personally, I don’t think the mentioned features above are worth the price increase, but I guess some people would see the appeal.
The TREZOR Model T costs €149 for one device or €399 for 3 devices. The price does not include VAT or shipping.
Today I use a Ledger Nano S and a TREZOR One to manage my funds so I think I can give a good perspective.
TREZOR’s main competition is Ledger. On the price tag level the Nano S costs $59 while the TREZOR T costs $170.
The main advantage the Model T has over the Nano S is the touchscreen. When it comes to coin support both devices support more or less the same amount of crypto assets.
From a usability perspective they are pretty similar although the Ledger Nano S is a bit smaller (an advantage in my opinion) and has a more intuitive interface. Also, Ledger recently launched their Ledger Live software which does an excellent job at managing the different coins stored on your device.
To sum it up – I feel that there’s no real justification to migrate from the Nano S to the Model T. If you’re on the fence on which model to buy I think the Nano S wins by a nose.
I was and still am pretty happy with my TREZOR One, and I don’t think it requires any upgrading. The basic features and amount of coins supported are almost the same on both models.
If I had to choose between the two models today, I’d probably still choose the TREZOR one since it feels more battle tested.
In my opinion the additional price tag (€149 for TREZOR T vs €69 for the TREZOR One) just doesn’t justify the added functionality. The device is also a bit larger than the TREZOR One, which is actually a downside for me.
The TREZOR Model T is a great piece of hardware, with its main feature being of course the touchscreen. If you’re recovering your wallet from a seed this means you won’t be typing in your seed on your computer but on your device – and this is an extra security measure to help keep your seed safe.
If you aren’t price sensitive and don’t carry your TREZOR around, I guess it’s much cooler to own the Model T. Bottom line: it’s a great product—but I think its cheaper brother (or competitor) is still better.
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