Digital World Native

Android founder launches “Essential” smartphone

This large format, flagship, Snapdragon 835-powered smartphone was just announced by the father of the Android OS, Andy Rubin. His company announced the Essential phone, saying that the smartphone market needed someone to bring “real passion and craftsmanship back into this category.”

The Essential PH-1 enters a crowded market that Andy Rubin birthed, with over 2 billion active Android users. It will be available later in June & there are some important differences in design, compared to other major smartphones, like a front facing camera embedded on the top of the screen (with an optional 360 degree snap-on attachment), a ceramic & titanium finish & a modular magnetic connector on the back.

The specs high end & are definitely competitive with other last gen phones, including:

  • Android 7.1.1
  • Snapdragon 835 SoC processor running @ 2.45 GHz & 4GB RAM/128GB UFS 2.1 storage
  • 5.71 inch display withcorning Gorilla Glass 5 & 2560×1312 (504 PPI) QHD CGS/LTPS & 19:10 aspect ratio
  • 4GB RAM & 128GB UFS 2.1 storage
  • 8MP, 16:9 aspect ratio front camera with f/2.20 fixed hyperfocal lens & 4K/30fps-1080p/60fps video
  • Dual 13MP sensor setup & laser autofocus on back
  • 3040 mAh fast charging battery with a USB C port
  • Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 LE/WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, GPS & GLONASS
  • Rear fingerprint reader
  • No SD card slot or headphone jack

Another thing that stands out is the phone’s almost non existent bezels, similar to the Xiaomi Mi Mix & a modular attachment system for add-on accessories located on the back. The lone accessory that you’ll be able to get right from the start is the 360-degree camera with dual 13MP sensors, a fish-eye lens & 3840×1920 video, as well as a high speed USB charging port & 4 microphones.

The Essential’s body, with its titanium frame, is said to be able to withstand drops into concrete without blemishing, compared to the aluminum bodies on the Apple iPhone & Samsung Galaxy S7 which produced visible damage on their corners on the same type of drop tests.

The Essential Website doesn’t specify a release date as of yet but you can sign up to reserve an unlocked version for US $699, or for US $749, if you want to add the 360 degree camera. The company is based in Palo Alto, California, USA.

Image Credit: Essential