Trezor One vs Model T
October 9, 2018
A couple of weeks ago we reviewed the new Model T from Trezor and now that SatoshiLabs have lowered the price of their older Model, Trezor One, so that it is the cheapest hardware wallet on the market at EUR 69 (+ VAT) we got one to make a comparison.
Shipping was again really quick with DHL and the package arrived in Sweden only two days after placing the order. The packaging is somewhat smaller and simpler than for Model T but still clean and professional. The hologram sticker on this one is placed on the package itself instead of on the device. Having read a tweet from Peter Todd about the shortcomings of the sticker on the Model T I decided to try to peel it off very carefully and I have to agree with Peter here that with some practice it is likely possible to reattach it without obvious signs of tampering. The best way to protect yourself against malicious actors is to order your Trezor only directly from SatoshiLabs and while it is still theoretically possible that someone would intervene during shipping this is probably good enough security for most.
Trezor One is delivered with a USB cable, some stickers and sheets to write down your backup words. The USB cable is very short and you might want a longer one if your computer is more than a foot away from you but this is not really a problem as it is a standard micro USB cable and you most likely have a few at home already. If not, a longer cable is available in the Trezor store.
Getting started is just as simple as with the Model T. Simply plug in the device and follow the on screen instructions. The firmware is installed, you get to write down your backup words and give your Trezor a display name. During this process I actually prefer the physical buttons on the Trezor One over the touch screen on the Model T. The words and instructions are clearly displayed and the button is responsive and big enough that you won't misclick.
One major difference between the Model T and Trezor One is how the PIN is entered. As Trezor One does not have a touch screen the PIN has to be entered on the computer. There are obviously some security implications of having to enter the PIN of the computer (keyloggers etc.) so SatoshiLabs has come up with a secure way of doing it. A grid of the numbers 1 through 9 in random order is displayed on your Trezor and the PIN is entered by selecting the corresponding boxes on your computer. This way the computer never actually knows the PIN so there is no way for an attacker to get hold of it. It is quite simple to use and arguably even easier than using the small touch screen on the Model T.
Sending and receiving is also very similar to the Model T and the same web interface is used. Addresses and amounts are confirmed on the Trezor with a simple press of a button. The extra features that we wrote about in the article about Model T, such as two factor authentication and the password manager, are also available on Trezor One. Adding Trezor One as a second factor for e.g. Google login is done with one click on the computer and one click on the Trezor and should be easy enough even for grandpa once the right settings page on Google is found. The password manager is also just a click away.
One feature that I did not mention in my previous review but that is also available for both models is the option to use your Trezor with your Android phone, in conjunction with the Mycelium wallet. The Trezor Manager supports changing the PIN, recovering the device etc. and with the Mycelium wallet you get a great combination of cold storage and ease of use. If you want to connect your Trezor to your Android phone, make sure to include the correct cable when you place your order.
The other major difference of Trezor One from the more expensive Model T is that there is no SD card slot. This possibility of also storing the actual data (encrypted passwords etc.) locally will of course be a great selling point for the Model T once that function is available but until then Trezor One is a great choice for most, especially now that it is cheaper than ever. Feel free to checkout the comparison table below before making your choice but in my opinion, from a pure usability perspective, the Trezor One is just as good as the new Model T.
You can order Trezor One on trezor.io.