Exclusive: this is a Essential Phone – The Verge

The Essential Phone, brought to us by a chairman who total Android, is finally prepared for a spotlight. It’s an impossibly brazen and desirous project, with an outlandish shade and a beginnings of a modular ecosystem.

First, a Android phone basics: a Essential Phone costs $699 with top-of-the-line specs and features. As we can see above, it prominently facilities an edge-to-edge arrangement that one-ups even a Samsung Galaxy S8 by bringing it all a approach to a a tip of a phone, jacket around a front-facing selfie camera.

It’s a singular take on a large shade that creates a phone mount out — and it’s smart, too. Often, a standing bar during a tip of an Android phone doesn’t fill that center space with icons, so it’s efficient. The shade does leave some bezel during a bottom of a phone, though though it’s as tighten to a whole front of a phone being arrangement as I’ve seen.


Photo: Essential

Essential is rising a phone in a US to start, and it’s filled a phone with radios that should make it work on all vital carriers, alongside common Android flagship internals like a Qualcomm 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. And since Essential seems to be unresolved a shawl on a thought of shipping phones though unconnected junk (the designers don’t even put a trademark on a exterior), chances seem good that there won’t be a ton of unconnected program laded on to delayed a phone down.


Photo: Essential

Essential is clearly formulation on releasing a really well-made phone: a shade looks promising, it has no irritating logos, and it is built with a multiple of titanium and ceramic so it can tarry a dump exam “without blemish, distinct a aluminum aspirant devices.” (Those would be Samsung and Apple, if you’re wondering.)

But good hardware isn’t all that tough to come by on Android phones, so a association is aiming to build an ecosystem of accessories. It starts with a captivating connector and wireless information transfer. Essential will boat a 360-degree camera that can click in to a tip of a phone, and a association will also offer a charging dock. Both bond to a phone with tiny steel pogo pins. They won’t wholly reinstate USB-C for many people, though Essential is clearly anticipating that they could someday.


Photo: Essential

Speaking of ports, there is no normal 3.5mm headphone jack — that is a bummer. We’re told that it will boat with a headphone dongle in a box. It’s probable that other audio accessories could be done that could shave on to a captivating appendage port.

The Essential Phone also has a good take on a dual-camera systems we’ve seen on other phones. Rather than use a second lens for telephoto or bokeh, it’s regulating it for a monochrome sensor, only like Huawei has been doing with a P9 and P10. That second sensor will be means to take in some-more light than a normal tone camera, definition it can be total with a unchanging 13-megapixel for improved low-light shots. The front-facing camera is in line with stream expectations, too: an 8-megapixel sensor that can also constraint 4K video.


Photo: Essential

All that sounds great, though it ignores some pivotal contribution in a smartphone space: Apple and Samsung have it flattering sealed adult right now. The pessimist competence contend that nonetheless this phone looks incredible, it is also expected to break on a shoals of a phone market, a same rocks that have burst each Android phone that doesn’t have a Samsung trademark emblazoned on it: conduit support, consumer interest, and miss of loyal differentiation.

But when it comes to enormous on a rocks, Andy Rubin claims that a Essential phone’s titanium and ceramic build is improved means to withstand a dump test. Presumably, Essential’s grander ambitions are equally durable — it’s unfit to demeanour during only this phone outward a context of Essential’s other announcements: a Essential Home orator and a Ambient OS.

Even if those ambitions don’t bear out, a Essential Phone itself is sparkling on a own. It’s a simple, candid Android device that respects a user: it’s powerful, clean, and not wholly gratified to a business whims of a hulk companies that now control a mobile and intelligent home markets.

If zero else, it deserves a courtesy since it’s entrance from Andy Rubin, who knows a thing or dual about doing a right thing in a smartphone world.

Andy Rubin will be onstage tonight during a Code Conference. You can watch it live starting during 6PM PT / 9PM ET.

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