The market for Android phones is more saturated right now than ever before. But there’s always room for an option, especially from the person who started it all.
Andy Rubin, the father of Android OS, has created his new smartphone – Essential Phone – which aims to make Smartphones exciting again.
Design and Display
The design of the Essential Phone is nothing if not interesting. The 5.7” QHD display on the front covers almost the entire front panel on the phone. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and comes with a 19:10 ratio.
However, it does leave room on the top for the secondary camera, a unique twist compared to modern designs which stands out as the sole obstruction in an otherwise seamless design. Its maker does contend that the area is usually free of content on the notification bar, and won’t stand out while watching movies.
The phone design construction is also unique. It is made of Titanium and ceramic, which can withstand even the most serious of drops. Perhaps the most crucial element design-wise is at the back, in the form of two 6 Gb/s magnetic connectors, which support accessories such as a 360-degree camera and a dock (more on those later).
Internals and Storage
The Essential Phone comes with a 10nm 64-bit Snapdragon 835 processor with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB of UFS 2.1 storage. There’s Adreno 540 for graphics needs, while the processor comes with eight Kryo 280 cores.
Connectivity options include USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, Wi-Fi ac with MIMO, GPS and NFC. On the software side, the Essential Phone runs Android, which is likely close to stock. There’s a finger-print scanner around the back, but no audio-jack, which is replaced with a bundled dongle.
It is a dual SIM phone by default.
The phone takes imaging seriously with a dual-camera 13 MP setup on the back, with a full-color and one monochrome sensor, which capture more than 200% more light than conventional cameras.
The cameras don’t have a bump and are accompanied by a true-tone LED Flash, hybrid phase detection & laser autofocus and 4K video capture.
The front camera is an 8 MP shooter with support for up to 4K video recording.
Battery capacity is set at 3040 mAh, with support for fast-charging. The magnetic mechanism will also be used to charge the phone via a dock.
Perhaps no phone in recent times has emphasized as much on the experience as the Essential Phone. It comes with two major accessories: a 360-degree camera and an external docking accessory.
The 360-degree camera is being touted as the simplest and smallest of its kind ever. It doesn’t even need an additional software to work with. It comes with dual 12 MP cameras with up to UHD video recording.
The second connector dock wirelessly charges your phone and transfers data, while the phone remains in your reach. The accessories and magnetic connections will be supported by Essential’s next project.
The phone retails for $699, with shipment set to start next month. The 360-degree camera costs $200, but in a bundle you can get them both for just $749.
Essential Phone Specifications
- CPU: 64-bit Kryo 280 with four 2.45GHz and four 1.9GHz cores
- GPU: Adreno 540
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- OS: Stock Android
- Supported Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
- Dimensions: 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8 mm
- Weight: 185 g
- Fingerprint Sensor
- Titanium frame
- Ceramic body
- 5.7” with QHD (2560 x 1312) resolution
- RAM: 4 GB
- Storage: 128 GB UFS 2.1
- Card slot: no
- Primary: 13 MP RGB + 13 MP monochrome, true-tone LED flash, f/1.85, 4K video at 30fps
- Secondary: 8 MP, f/2.2, 4K video
- Connectivity: USB-C, 6GB/s magnetic connectors, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, Wi-Fi ac, GPS, LTE
- Battery: 3040 mAh; supports fast charging
- Price: $699 ($750 with 360 degree camera)