Android co-founder Andy Rubin is back, this time with a new ‘Essential’ smartphone. Rubin, best known as the co-founder of Android, is creating a high-end smartphone to take on the likes of the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 Plus. The Essential, revealed by The Verge, is a modular phone designed to enhance the functionality, with add-on attachments in the form of a 360-degree camera and a charging dock.
The premium smartphone features a 5.7-inch QHD (2560×1312), bezel-less display warping around the phone. The edge-to-edge display reaches the top edge of the front face, with only a selfie shooter visible. The bezel isn’t there to house a home button, instead a fingerprint scanner cum a home button can be found on the back of the phone.
Essential is made out of a combination of titanium and ceramic materials, which makers claims to be more durable than competing devices from the rival brands. The phone comes with top-of-the-line specifications, featuring a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage.
On the camera front is a 13-megapixel dual-rear camera setup, with the secondary lens being a black and white sensor. The front camera is an 8-megapixel sensor that is equipped to record 4K video recording. However, the Essential lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, but The Verge says the company will ship a headphone dongle in the box.
Rubin bets big on the concept of modularity that essentially differentiates the Essential from the Galaxy S8, iPhone 7 Plus and LG G6. To begin with, the company has introduced two new accessories – a 360-degree camera and a wireless dock. Both accessories can be attached to the phone via a magnetic connector.
The Essential will run on Android when it launches, but is currently available on pre-order in the US. Andy Rubin’s first smartphone doesn’t come cheap though, with the device costing $699 (or approx Rs. 45,202). The company will sell the Essential with a 360-degree camera that will cost $749 (or approx Rs. 48,437).