Android founder reveals $699 'Essential' smartphone

  • Android founder reveals $699 'Essential' smartphone

Android founder reveals $699 'Essential' smartphone

They say that home is where the heart is, but if you ask Google and now Andy Rubin's Essential, it's also a smart speaker that can help you control connected devices. Notice the edge-to-edge display that's why we said it is nearly bezel-less. The Essential PH-1 takes forward the bezel-less trend with a display that touches the edges on three sides, wrapping around the front camera sensor.

So Rubin set out to make the Essential Phone stand out instead of being relegated to the Android "wannabe" bin. It also doesn't include any branding.

Rubin insists, among other declarations, that the Essential phone will play well with others, sport premium materials, and because the phone is your personal property, will not carry any logos.

Also notable is the smartphone's back-facing camera. The add-on comes for an additional $50, with dual 12 megapixel fisheye lens.

The rear camera has two 13-megapixel f/1.85 sensors. "We believe titanium is the flawless material to create one of the most essential things in our lives - one we all sometimes drop", Essential Products, the company behind the phone, says on its web site. Along with the smartphone was announced and the 360-degree camera.

The phone is no slouch when it comes to performance.

The Essential Phone is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The magnetic connector could prove to be a simple, future-proof method of attaching extras without worrying about wireless pairing, while the inclusion of a standard USB-C port opens up the phone to a range of accessories.

No word on carrier support, but it's equipped with the radios to be compatible with all USA networks.

The Essential Phone team is proud of the product's craftmanship. The company apparently puts a focus on handling as much data as possible on the local device rather than pushing it to servers. The dual system - according to Rubin's company (also called Essential) - can take in more light and hence aid in better low light photos.

It's a similar story with the Essential Home, a small, round device sporting a screen that can display a range of information, like search results or upcoming events. One thing that the Essential Phone does not feature is the 3.5mm jack.

The Essential phone will launch with a suggested price of $699 with a release date sometime later this year.