Essential, A Startup Headed By Android’s Co-Creator Andy Rubin Debuts Its First Smartphone – Essential Phone PH – 1 And It Stands To Be Competitive With Top End Phones Like iPhone 7 And Samsung Galaxy S8.
Its undoubtedly an audacious move on the part of Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Android, to roll out a smartphone as the debut device for his new technology startup, Essential.
A sector that is known to have reached its saturation, what kinda impelled Rubin to still take the plunge and head a startup like Essential is the fact that he’s unhappy with all the smartphones that are currently there in the market, loaded with features that kind of complicate the whole thing instead of simplifying. All, including the Android phones!
And he sought of defended the above stance in more than an accomplished way at the Code Conference recently where he demoed Essential’s soon to ship phone, the Essential phone PH – 1.
Image Courtesy: Recode
Essential is a tech startup that hatched out of another company dubbed Playground, which is a typical venture capital firm where Rubin is a partner, that makes big-dollar investments in technology companies that bring about the next big thing in the technology ecosystem.
So what’s the next that’s seen coming according to him and the tech industry post the internet and mobile? It’s the machine learning AI combination.
And if you just have a look at the Essential phone specs, you might just get the direction, upcoming technological evolution the industry is headed for.
That’s what Rubin seeks to achieve in future by funding ideas via Playground and getting technology that doesn’t exist through tech startups and Essential, which he says is a pro consumer brand that’s just not about phones.
Apart from the Essential phone, there is Essential’s smart home speaker and its new operating system, Ambient OS which are due for release.
Is Essential phone PH – 1 a serious contender to all the high end phones in the market right now or just another premium priced smartphone. Here’s what we know.
1) A Bezel Less Design
Image Courtesy: Business Insider
Well, that’s the direction all the tablet and phone makers are going into – losing the forehead and minimizing the chin to achieve an edge to edge display. You really don’t have to think whether you should go for a phablet or a phone form factor.
But what’s unique to Essential is the screen that holds the 8 megapixel front facing camera. The camera is placed behind the LCD, the optics and the camera model being specifically designed for this phone, making it a part of the screen.
2) Body Nailed Out Of Titanium And Ceramic
Image Courtesy: Essential
This is the first phone to have been crafted out of a block of Titanium instead of Aluminium that is used by other competitor phone manufacturers.
How does that help? The edge to edge display achieved by minimizing the borders tends to bend if you happen to sit over the phone, if the body is made of Aluminium. Titanium is strong so that’s something it helps you to get rid of. Dent proof, scratch proof.
The back is made of ceramic that lends to it the mirror like finish. The phone also comes in a matte like finish.
3) It Comes With A Magnetic Accessory Bus
Image Courtesy: Recode
We saw Motorola leveraging these magnetic pins in its Moto Z phones, that let the accessories or the Moto Mods to clip to the back of the phone.
Moto mods include accessories like JBL audio speaker, a Moto insta projector and a battery pack, each of these accessories having built – in batteries and have a USB – C charging port and hence can be charged using the same cable used to charge the phone.
Essential phone’s magnetic pins too would allow you to attach the mods to your phone for added functionality, but are not device specific like the Moto Mods.
The idea is that if you’re investing in an accessory, say a camera or an audio speaker, you should be able to use it across all the devices Essential plans to roll out in future, the home speaker for now, and not just the phone.
4) Smallest 360 Degrees High Quality Camera
Image Courtesy: Recode
That’s the first accessory that Rubin has come out with for the Essential Phone a 4K 360 degree high quality camera. Unlike the various Moto Mods, this camera does not require to be charged separately as your phone provides it with the power. Your phone is an uplink, so the camera does not even require a WiFi.
What else? No need to download any app to make this 360 degrees camera work. Just attach it to your phone via those magnetic pins and the phone’s screen displays the subject in front.
Keep swiping to get a 360 degree view of the scene that you’re a part of with this camera with dual 12 megapixel fish like lens at an extra $50.
5) Phone Specs
Image Courtesy: Forbes
Priced at $699, the Essential phone runs on Android. It comes packed with a 4GB RAM 128GB of storage and a Snapdragon 835 processor.
It’s got a 5.71-inch display, with 2,560 x 1,312-pixel resolution, runs edge to edge and even gets into the place where the front facing camera is fitted.
Both the front facing and the rear cameras can shoot in 4K, with an 8 megapixel camera at the front and 13 megapixel dual camera at the rear.
There’s no headphones jack and the phone comes with bluetooth 5.0. It is soon to ship phone will be made available in four colors – Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths.
Phew! Andy isn’t really going to settle with what he got us in the form of Android. He might just spur up the hardware world as radically and dynamically as he did for the software.