Andy Rubin the co-founder of Android has announced his first Android powered device. He wanted to make a flagship device that would not compromise any features that current generation smartphones have. Let’s take a look at the Essential Phone and see what is has to offer.

Just before we start, the official name is Essential PH-1, though we believe that most people and the media will call it simply just the “Essential Phone”.

SPECIFICATIONS & HARDWARE

After waiting months to see what the much awaited phone is going to be from the Co-Founder of Android, today it was finally unveiled.

The Essential phone is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 chipset and paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of on-board storage. There is no SD card expandable slot to be found. Oh yes, the 3.5mm headphone jack is also gone. We can’t complain about the missing SD card slot since the storage is large enough to store everything, but the headphone jack is a surprise.

Headphones can still be plugged into the device via a USB-C 1.0 port though.

The battery is 3040 mAh and will of course support Quick Charge 3.0 to quickly get some juice.

The most unique feature about the device is on its back. It has 2 magnetic connectors that will allow you to snap any compatible accessory on the device and use it instantly. An example of such a device is a 360 degree camera that has 12MP dual cameras, fisheye lenses capable of taking (210 degrees/each) pictures and videos.

This magnetic connector works and snaps accessories on very similarly to what Motorola used for it’s Z/Z Play lineup last year.

This is a great way to modularise the current technology and add some great new or better features to the device. It was also announced that new accessories are also coming in the future, no prices were given however.

DESIGN

The design is similar to Xiaomi Mi Mix’s in terms of the tiny bezels and the very rounded corners. One thing we can’t get over is the placement of the selfie shooter. It’s placed in the top middle and cuts into the screen. It does give a little bit of style to the phone, but it unfortunately covers the notification area.

There will be 4 colour options available including: Black Moon, Pure White, Ocean Depths, Stellar Gray

There will be 4 built-in microphones in the device. It will also feature a set of stereo speakers. (One on the bottom and one in the earpiece)

The phone might look rather wide on the images, but the dimensions on the specification sheet only say 71.1mm that should be comfortable for most.

The phone’s frame is not something we’re used to seeing. The frame is made out of titanium while the back is ceramic. This should prevent any bents, scratches and other so called “injuries” happen to the phone.

DISPLAY

As shown above, the display is an edge-to-edge display with rounded corners. The display is a 5.7″ near QHD LTPS IPS LCD display with the resolution of 1,312×2,560px (~504ppi). It has an odd 19:10 aspect ratio that is wider than most phones, but not as wide as the Galaxy S8 or the LG G6 for example.

The front glass is protected by Gorilla Glass 5.

It is said to feature a very bright display that will work completely fine under direct sunlight.

SOFTWARE

Not much is known yet about the Customisation of the Android OS, but it’s confirmed that it has been slightly altered here and there. Otherwise, it should still look very similar to Stock Android and it will run Android 7.1 out of the box. Future software updates are promised and security patches are said to be considered very importantly.

CAMERA

The cameras on the back are 13MP dual shooters that are quiet bright with f/1.85 lens. One of them is just plain RGB while the other one is monochrome. Much like what we have seen on Huawei’s devices so far. It will offer great bokeh, telephoto and monochrome (black and white) effects. Laser and phase auto focus will also be featured on the back right next to the camera.

CONCLUSION

We really like what we are seeing so far and it clearly shows hard work in designing and creating this device. It features an odd but stylish design that may seem ugly at first glance, but pretty at the second – at least with us.

There are 2 cons against the phone that we can’t not unseen. The selfie camera is oddly placed and the battery size could have been larger at the price of the thickness. Other than that, it’s everything we can live with.

We are looking forward having the device in our hands in the future, which may seem unlikely for now as it is only available in the US – at least for now.

The Essential phone will cost $700 US Dollars (That’s about £550 or EUR 626) or $750 with the 360 degree camera. It’s notable to mention that it will not be available on contracts, only via the website.

What are your thoughts about the Essential phone? Would you, or will you buy it? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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