Android co-founder Andy Rubin is set to release a new device running the operating system he helped create – the first smartphone from his new company, Essential.
The device, also called Essential, runs Android and has a 5.7in QHD screen with a fingerprint sensor as well as a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. It has a 13MP rear camera and a 8MP front camera, weighs 185g and uses a 3040 mAh battery, too.
Rubin said in a blog post: “Devices are your personal property. We won’t force you to have anything on them you don’t want to have. Devices shouldn’t become outdated every year. They should evolve with you.”
Essential is trying to include only the ‘essential’ parts of the phone you need, and has a magnetic connector which “keeps your phone cord-free, future-proof, and always up-to-date”. The company does not want users to replace their battery or accessories every time they upgrade the phone, so hopes to make things a bit simpler by ensuring the first accessories you receive can supposedly be used time and time again if you decide to upgrade in the future.
The first of these the company is promoting is the 360° camera, which snaps onto the back of the phone via magnets. The camera is 12MP and takes a different approach to what other smartphone makers are doing, by being a modular component instead of something built into the device.
The phone is charged on a dock that connects to the phone magnetically. The device is made out of titanium as, according to the company, titanium doesn’t scratch or bend. It also doesn’t have a headphone socket – meaning that it may ship with a headphone dongle or adaptor.
The phone is set to come in four colours: Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths. It’s priced at $US699 or $US749 if you buy it with a 360° camera. It is currently available for preorder in the US, with no Australian release date yet set.