Android co-founder Andy Rubin, as expected, has launched its first smartphone dubbed the ‘Essential’ on Tuesday. He was working on this project since 2015 and registered the company ‘Essentials Products Inc.’ in November 2016.
Andy Rubin is best known as the Co-Founder of Android. Google acquired Android in 2005 and Andy moved in the company as Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content, until 2013. But later in the year, in December 2013, Rubin started managing the robotic division in Google. He left Google in 2014 as Android Head, the position was later replaced by Sundar Pichai.
The high-end Essential is ready to take on the likes of the Galaxy S8, LG G6, Google Pixel and iPhone 7 Plus. Now with the launch of a new smartphone company and a smartphone, Essential, Rubin explains as to why he decided to start “a new kind of company using 21st century methods to build products for the way people want to live in the 21st century.”
It all started during a night out when Rubin and his old friend started talking about current state of technology. As Rubin explains, the real reason behind ‘Essential’ was because he felt there were “less and less choice(s)” even though the product numbers kept increasing, but these had more unnecessary features and didn’t work with one another.
Rubin says that instead of dropping another criticism, he decided to create something new, as he felt “partly responsible for all of this.”
“For all the good Android has done to help bring technology to nearly everyone it has also helped create this weird new world where people are forced to fight with the very technology that was supposed to simplify their lives. Was this what we had intended? Was this the best we could do?” Rubin added.
According to Rubin’s blogpost, the idea with Essential is to ensure that the device is the user’s personal property, and they won’t add force the user to “to have anything on them you don’t want to have.” Essential will always be on open platform, said the Android co-founder and that they will use premium craftsmanship and materials, but the phones will be for everyone.
Another point raised by Rubin is that, “Devices shouldn’t become outdated every year. They should evolve with you.” So we’ll have to see how Essentials will deal with something like this. It is now a tradition for most companies to launch a new upgrade to each and every model of smartphone present in their lineup. Based on Rubin’s blogpost, it looks like Essential will try and break away from this.
What is “Essential” smartphone?
The Essential is a modular designed phone that comes with modular attachments like a 360-degree camera and a charging dock. It features a 5.7-inch QHD 19:10 bezel-less display with only a selfie shooter visible at the front panel. The body of Essential smartphone uses combination of titanium and ceramic materials, which company claims is way more durable than competing devices. 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. Both cameras can record 4K video. Essential has also built “world’s thinnest 360 degree personal camera”.
The Essential smartphone is currently available on pre-order in the US. It is priced at $699 (approx Rs. 45,200). The company will also sell it bundled with a 360-degree camera for $749 (or approx Rs. 48,500).