Andy Rubin, the founder of Android, has unveiled his first phone — and it’s set to make a real impact at the very top of the industry.
The stunning Essential Phone PH-1, first reported by The Verge, is made of a combination of titanium and ceramic for extra durability. Any Rubin says the Essential Phone is “better able to withstand a drop test.” It will include an amazing edge-to-edge display with an even smaller bezel than what you’d find on the Galaxy S8. While there’s still a bit of a lip at the bottom, the 5.71-inch, 2,560-by-1,312 display (19:10 aspect ratio) goes all the way up the front panel, with just a notch for the 8MP front-facing camera.
Underneath the hood you’ll find all the latest flagship Android features like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and the courageous lack of a headphone jack, which is obviously the best feature of all because Apple said so. Around back is a dual-sensor 13MP camera, the second sensor letting in more light for improved low-light shots. Both the front- and rear-facing can record 4K video. The phone radios are reported to support all major carriers, though so far (at least this morning) no carrier deal has been announced.
There are little to no details about the bundled software, but I’d expect a clean Android O build with no bloatware (either vendor or carrier). Along with the phone, Essential is planning a charging dock and a 360-degree camera you can click onto the top of the phone; call it a semi-modular design, at least for now.
Essential only has about 40 employees, and “uphill battle” doesn’t begin to describe what a tiny smartphone manufacturer is up against with industry juggernauts Samsung and Apple. Aside from a compelling design, Essential has one major thing going for it, and that’s the creator of Android putting forth what we assume is his vision of a high-end phone all along.
We’ll learn more tonight, as Andy Rubin is speaking at the Code Conference; watch it live here beginning at 9pm ET. The phone will cost $699; there’s no word yet on a release date.
(Note: This post has been updated to include more specs)
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