If you’re planning to buy a new phone in the near future, take a look at the Essential Phone. Don’t worry if it sounds unfamiliar; it should be since it’s a newcomer to the Android world. But this isn’t just another new kid on the block — it’s launched by Andy Rubin, who’s best known for being one of the creators of the Android software.
That’s right: one of the minds behind the hugely successful Android OS has created his own Android-based smartphone. Rubin left Google in 2014 and went on to make Playground, a technology investment company that’s behind the Essential company, whose first product is the Essential Phone. The fact that Rubin is one of the people behind the new Android smartphone has made many tech experts sit up and pay attention.
Design and Specs
At first glance, the Essential Phone looks a lot like its competitors: it’s sleek, stylish, and attractive, with that understated elegance that only expensive, high-end devices have. But, if you look closer, you’ll notice that it has a few idiosyncrasies.
For one thing, its screen goes all the way to the top, leaving a bezel that’s only a few millimeters thin. This is made possible by the fact that the screen curves around the front camera, which is placed right in the center of the top bezel. Interestingly, despite its thin size, the top bezel has enough space to accommodate the earpiece.
The unique design of this Android phone means that there’s a dead spot in the upper part of the screen, right where the front camera is located. The Essential Phone makes up for this by giving more real estate to the status bar, which makes the bar look bigger than normal.
The new smartphone has a titanium and ceramic build which, as Andy Rubin points out, means that the device has better performance on the drop test than phones made of aluminum. This isn’t really surprising since titanium is a lot stronger than aluminum, but ceramic can shatter with enough force. We’ll have to see how the Essential Phone’s ceramic back will hold up in real-life use.
Another thing that makes the Essential Phone stand out is its lack of logos. That’s right: you won’t find any company logo on the front, back, or sides of the device. This makes it harder for ordinary smartphone users to recognize the device and will surely make branding difficult for the company. But, for those who want a neat, clean device without any annoying logos, the Essential Phone is a great choice.
Music fans will be shocked to know that the smartphone doesn’t come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. However, it’s expected to ship with a headphone dongle, and tech experts assume that future audio accessories will be designed to fit with the phone’s magnetic accessory port. Currently, the port supports a 360-degree camera, which you can get for an extra $50.
Getting the Essential
If you’re interested in getting the Essential Phone, you’ll need to make a reservation for it. It will start shipping in June and will cost you $699.
If you don’t have the budget for this new Android smartphone, or you’re simply not ready to let go of your current phone, check out our post on how to make the most of your Android device.