Essential – a company founded by Android co-founder Andy Rubin – has revealed the namesake Essential Phone, which supports ‘modular’ accessories.
Has Android hardware become stale? That’s probably the question at the center of Andy Rubin’s mind as today the Android co-founder’s new firm, Essential, unveiled its first smartphone offering in the form of the aptly named Essential Phone.
The handset looks as daring as some recent Android superstars, such as the Xiaomi Mi Max, Galaxy S8, and LG G6 have proven to be; the device sports a full-screen display with little in the way of bezels. Read: New survey reveals that Android devices have lower failure rates than iPhones
The device will launch first in the United States, and will carry a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage.
Unlike other Android flagships, the Essential Phone will ship without bloatware, and has been constructed on three key principles, as outlined by Rubin himself;
“Devices are your personal property. We won’t force you to have anything on them you don’t want to have.
We will always play well with others. Closed ecosystems are divisive and outdated.
Devices shouldn’t become outdated every year. They should evolve with you.”
In direct relation to the last point, it’s perhaps telling that the Essential Phone is destined to outlive the average life expectancy for a smartphone; the device is comprised of a titanium shell with a ceramic rear to avoid scratches and dents.
In terms of general specs, the Essential Phone accommodates USB Type-C support, a 3,040mAh battery, a QHD display with the aspect ratio of 2560 x 1312, and will run on Android 7.0 Nougat at launch. Unfortunately, the device does not accommodate a headphone jack.
The handset includes a dual-camera array, which supports 13-megapixel Dual RGB shooters, while the handset’s 8-megapixel front-facing camera will be able to capture 4K video.
The Essential Phone’s special play in the market is the presence of a special connector strip (perhaps not too dissimilar from Apple’s Smart Connector port on the iPad Pro) that can support accessories and new modules.
The first accessory to arrive for the device is a dedicated 360-degree camera, which can clip onto the rear of the phone and serve to create panoramas and spherical images on-the-go.
The Essential Phone can be reserved in the United States as of today, and there’s little information on which territories the handset will be available in as yet. The handset will retail for $700 USD, while a $750 USD bundle will net consumers the device and the accessory 360-degree camera. Read: Project Treble: Google’s new plan to roll out Android updates
What are your thoughts? Would you be interested in purchasing the Essential Phone? Can the device stand up against the likes of the iPhone or Galaxy S8? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
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