Andy Rubin, the co-founder of Android, has unveiled his company’s first flagship smartphone: the Essential Phone. Featuring a tall, bezel-less display not unlike the ones found on the Samsung Galaxy S8 devices or the LG G6, the Essential Phone also comes with a slew of other interesting features.
Let’s start with one of the most unique aspects of the Essential Phone: its 5.7-inch 19:10 bezel-less display. To put things into context, this aspect ratio is somewhat similar to the LG G6 and Galaxy S8’s displays, which have 18:9 and 18.5:9 displays respectively. Naturally, the Essential Phone’s display is a high resolution 2560 x 1312 QHD panel too.
There’s also a rather interesting design choice with the Essential Phone: instead of putting its 8MP front-facing camera on the bottom of the phone – like the Xiaomi Mi Mix – Essential opted to place it on top of the device right in the center with the display wrapping around it. While this placement does make sense to an extent – Android’s notification bar is usually empty in the middle – it’ll be interesting to see if the selfie camera will get in the way of other apps; especially in mobile games.
And then there’s the modular aspect of the device. Right beside the dual-camera system are a pair of pogo pins, which provide power to a range of accessories – they attach magnetically to the device. For now, only two accessories take advantage of this: a 360-degree camera and a phone dock. Essential plans to build an ecosystem of accessories for the device in the foreseeable future.
Other specifications of the Essential Phone are what you’d expect from a flagship smartphone. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of fast UFS 2.1 storage, a 13MP dual-camera system (a combination of an RGB and monochrome sensor like Huawei’s setup), a titanium body with ceramic back, and a 3,040mAh battery. Oh, this device will come with Essential’s own smart assistant too. Did we also mention the Essential Phone doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack?
The Essential Phone is now available for pre-order in the US for $699 – that comes up to about RM2,990. This is by no means an affordable flagship smartphone, but its unique features – and the fact that it’s coming from Andy Rubin – may win over consumers.