First announced in January this year, Android founder Andy Rubin’s upcoming Essential phone was speculated to be unveiled on May 30, and corroborating with earlier reports, it is here and is a stunner sporting support for 360-degree modular accessory.
The bezel-free design of the device was first confirmed in March 2017 and this unveiling comes with a pre-booking offer.
The device is being sold for $699 and for $749 alongwith the 360-degree camera accessory.
The device comes without any logo on the phone as the company believes “Just because we played a part in making it doesn’t mean you should be forced to advertise that fact to everyone in your life”.
The Android-based device will come with its customised UI built on the latest Android O operating system.
The device comes encases in a titanium body with a ceramic back and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 covering the display. The company claims that the Essential smartphone is sturdier to its competitor’s devices which are mostly aluminium-based.
Titanium is stronger than metal and doesn’t scratch, bend or dent as easily. According to the company, ‘titanium is the perfect material to create one of the essential things in our lives — one we all sometimes drop’.
Andy Rubin’s Essential smartphone is powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor which is based on the latest 10nm tech, clocks at 2.45GHz and is supported by Adreno 540 GPU.
The device sports a 5.7-inch QHD (2560 x 1312) display with 19:10 aspect ratio which takes up a major portion of the front panel of the device, leaving little bezel on the bottom.
Memory and Storage
The Essential smartphone features 4GB RAM and 128GB (UFS 2.1) of internal storage.
The Essential phone sports a 13MP dual-lens camera with image fusion tech that assists in a smooth functioning of the 360-degree camera accessory which is supplied as an option alongside the device and is the smallest 360-degree personal camera in the world.
The front camera of the Essential smartphone is a 8MP unit with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Both the front and rear camera records videos at 4k (30fps), 1080p (60fps) and 720p (120fps).
The device supports up to 10 finger multitouch and comes with the following sensors:
- Company-claimed, fastest fingerprint reader
- Proximity/Ambient Sensor
- Environmental pressure sensor (barometer)
The Essential Phone is backed by a 3040mAh battery which supports fast charging via the USB Type-C port.
The device is currently available in only two colours — Black Moon and Pure White — but Stellar Grey and Ocean Depths will go into production soon too.
The company also subjected their device to a drop test which survived the fall without even a scratch on its titanium surface.
The company also unveiled the Essential Phone Dock, which is a wireless charging station for the Essential Phone by Andy Rubin.
The Philosophy Behind Essential
Andy Rubin had already achieved a lot with its Android OS getting the due recognition after being acquired by Google and being made into what we see today.
After exiting Google two years ago, he started his own startup incubator called Playground Global and another VC firm called Redpoint Ventures.
But what made him come back into the tech world with a new company was due to the current state of technology, which according to him has “less and less choice, more and more unnecessary features cluttering our lives and an increasing sea of products that didn’t work with one another”.
What’s On The Inside?
While there has been no official comment on what all we’ll see on the Essential phone on the software front — except that the company will use a custom Android-based UI — we have rounded up some things based on Essential’s brand-philosophy.
The company is of the belief that ‘devices are personal property’ and ‘we won’t force you to have anything on them you don’t want to have’.
Knowing this, we can safely assume that there won’t be any bloatware on the device.
The company also says, ‘we will always play well with others. Closed ecosystems are divisive and outdated’.
This means that the Essential phone will be compatible with a wide-range of devices, especially smart home device, which Andy Rubin’s company is also focussing on.
Towards that end, the company has also announced its Home Base — Essential’s smart home assistant that provides the same functionality as Amazon’s Echo or Google Home — and at the same time connects to all the smart home devices in the market.