Andy Rubin is the god of Android. He’s the man who helped make the mobile phone world what it is right now. After leaving Google, he’s been busy working on a new company known as Essential and yesterday marked the first product(s) from this company.
The Essential Phone has been in the rumor mills for a while now, popping up in benchmarks last month, but it’s finally out. The Android co-founder made the Essential PH-1 smartphone public yesterday – a phone that aims to revolutionize the world, just like Android OS did. For now, we cannot guarantee that this phone will be a huge success. If anything, only time will tell, but from our end, we can tell you the top 7 things you should know about this Essential Phone before you think of making a move.
While a phone like Samsung Galaxy S8 has the most beautiful design, the new Essential Phone has a design that is meant to last. Andy Rubin went for a titanium body that is way stronger than glass or aluminum that we see on many flagship phones. With this, the Essential PH-1 will not easily get scratches or even bend. The rear panel is ceramic and the front, glass panel is protected by the best in the market – Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
It looks like Xiaomi Mi MIX
Xiaomi did the unthinkable when the company debuted a near bezel-less Mi MIX back in 2016. Like the Mi MIX, Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone has no bezels on the top and sides. The only place with a bezel is the bottom end, but there’s no button or even the selfie camera like with the case of the Mi MIX. Instead, the Essential PH-1 has this selfie camera mounted up top, right at the center of the screen. This area should also remain as the notification shade.
With bezels omitted, you are left with a massive display screen of 5.71 inches, yet on a frame that is way smaller (142x71x7.8mm) than the Google Pixel XL (154.7×75.7×8.6mm) or iPhone 7 Plus (158.2×77.9×7.3mm), yet the duo has a slightly smaller 5.5-inch display screen. The Essential Phone has a QHD resolution of 1312×2560 pixels, an aspect ratio of 19:10 and a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
Even though still a start-up, Andy Rubin not playing any games. The Essential Phone has massive power under the hood, just like what Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11 and other flagship bring to the table. There’s a Snapdragon 835 SoC running the show alongside a 4GB RAM, specs that should deliver smooth performance. To handle your storage needs is a decent package of 128GB, but there’s no microSD card slot.
There’s a decent 3040mAh battery unit to keep the phone alive and you also find Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, without any modifications. Other goodies include Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 4G LTE connectivity, USB-C, and unfortunately, no 3.5mm audio jack. The phone will come as an unlocked model with support for all GSM and CDMA carriers.
The Essential Phone is not the first to come with dual-lens cameras on the back. We’ve seen the same on the iPhone 7 Plus, Huawei P10, LG G6 and even Xiaomi Mi 6, just to name but a few. We know what dual-lens cameras, if well implemented, can do. Like the P10 series, the dual-lens 13MP+13MP setup on the Essential PH-1 will capture color and monochrome shots and thanks to the hybrid AF, the lenses can lock the focus on the target in no time. The front has an 8MP lens which can capture 4K videos, just like the main camera.
The LG G5 tried to introduce the world to modular functionality, but we all know it was an awful decision. Motorola did try taking this to the next level with the Moto Z and like the Lenovo-owned company; Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone has a magnetic connector on the back that is meant for modular functionality.
So far, there’s only a 360-degree camera that is said to be the world’s smallest but packs some of the best specs out there. There’s a dual 12MP setup that will enable you to capture 360-degree shots, including 4K videos, as well as four microphones to ensure that you don’t miss any sound. There’s a phone dock on the way and with time, more modular accessories will follow.
Price and availability
As noted earlier, the Essential Phone is hitting the U.S. market as an unlocked phone. This means you’ll have to part with a one-time fee of $699 to grab one. As an early offer, you can join up the phone’s waiting list and get a chance to grab the 360-degree camera for just $50, which makes the total package $749.
As for the availability, Rubin has assured fans that the Essential PH-1 will start shipping within the next 30 days. In short, it’ll be available this June.