Devices

Check out Android creator Andy Rubin’s ‘Essential Phone’

Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, recently unveiled the first smartphone by his new company, Essential, after months of speculation. The handset certainly lives up to the hype, featuring premium specs and a sleek industrial design.

The Essential Phone seems to have taken inspiration from the Samsung Galaxy S8 featuring a 5.7-inch, edge-to-edge display that rises to the top of the phone and breaking only for the front-facing camera in the middle. The device’s titanium and ceramic build make for a strong and durable phone compared to other devices on the market made from aluminum. One of its greatest appeals is that it doesn’t have any obvious logos or branding.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor is featured inside the Essential Phone, along with 4GB of RAM, a 3040mAh battery and 128GB of internal storage. There are two holes on the back of the device that can be used to attach Essential-made accessories. The most interesting of which is a small 360-degree camera capable of shooting a spherical UHD (3840x1920) image at 30 frames per second. The device also comes with a charging dock for those who prefer a cradle to the typical dangling cable.

Similar to the Huawei P9 and P10, Rubin opted for a dual-camera setup for the Essential Phone, with a sensor dedicated to monochrome imaging. It can be used standalone for generic black and white images or combined with the color sensor to get enhanced detail and low-light performance. The front-facing camera can take 8-megapixel images and can also shoot 4K video.

Not a lot has been said about the Essential Phone’s software other than it will run Android Nougat 7.1.1. The device is said to be designed for working with Home, a smart home device that runs on a platform called Ambient OS. It has everything you would expect from an Echo-like assistant, such as the ability to play music, look up information online, and set timers.

The one aspect of the Essential Phone that has disappointed some people is its apparent lack of a headphone jack. Like Apple, the Essential Phone is banking on USB-C and Bluetooth connectivity to replace the need for typical headphones. However, it does come with a headphone adapter. The device will be available in four different colors including Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths. It will sell for $699 or $749.