Andy Rubin’s highly ambitious smartphone project is now official. The name of the brand is Essential and the name of its first smartphone is Essential Phone (PH-1). Of course it uses the latest version of Android, and the phone looks very premium and unique. It has a bezel-less design, even more screen to body ration than the Mi Mix and the Samsung Galaxy S8. The phone is launching only in the US for the moment. The Essential Phone also has a surprise up its sleeve: a modular accessory system.
Essential gave a sneak peek of the Essential Phone PH-1 on Twitter, and the official announcement of the smartphone took place today. This premium smartphone is crafted using a titanium chassis and a ceramic back. Yes, you read that correctly, and the company says that it will not only survive drops on concrete floors, but also do that without any blemishes, unlike most high-end smartphones out there. The front panel is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch resistance. The phone is 7.8mm thin, but quite heavy at 185 grammes.
Essential Phone: Features
The Essential Phone sports an edge-to-edge 5.71-inch LTPS display with 2560×1312 resolution and an unusual 19:10 aspect ratio. The screen can go up to a brightness level of 500 nits and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. This phone houses a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with Adreno 540 GPU. This chipset is paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage. Thanks to the UFS 2.1 standard, we expect it to be blazing fast, and ample storage means there won’t be any actual need for a microSD card.
Apart from its stunning design, the dual-camera system is the highlight of the phone. The dual-camera system includes a 13-megapixel RGB sensor and a monochrome sensor with image fusion technology. Both cameras use a f/1.85 aperture and hybrid autofocus technology (Phase Detect + IR Laser). The cameras can record 4K videos but only at 30fps. You can also record 1080p videos at 60fps and 720p videos at 120fps.
The makers of the Essential Phone have added four microphones with noise cancellation and beam forming technology for richer audio recording. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel camera with f/2.2 lens and 16:9 aspect ratio. Since the US market is the company’s focus for now, the Essential Phone supports all 4G LTE bands required for the market. However, it also supports India’s FDD-LTE Band 3 and TDD-LTE Band 40, as well as the CDMA EV-DO Rev. A standard.
Essential Phone: Specifications
- Display: 5.71-inch LTPS screen with radiused corners, 2560×1312 QHD resolution, 19:10 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
- Software: Ambient OS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat
- Chipset: 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with Adreno 540 GPU
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Storage: 128GB UFS 2.1 ROM
- Rear Camera: 13-megapixel RGB +13-megapixel monochrome sensors, Image Fusion Technology, f/1.85 aperture, Hybrid Autofocus (Phase Detect + IR Laser)
- Front Camera: 8-megapixel camera, f/2.2 aperture, 16:9 aspect ratio
- Network: 4G LTE, CDMA EV-DO Rev. A
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 with LE, NFC, GPS and GLONASS, USB Type-C port
- Battery: 3,040mAh with Quick Charge and wireless charging
- Dimensions: 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8mm
- Weight: 185 grams
- Colours: Black Moon / Pure White / Stellar Grey / Ocean Depths
The Essential Phone will be running the new Ambient OS, which has been design to work harmoniously with the smart home gadgets. The phone has a USB Type-C port at the bottom and it ditches the 3.5mm headphone jack. Thankfully, a headphone adapter is offered as part of the package.
Essential Phone: Pricing & Availability
The Essential Phone, with its top-tier specifications, premium build, and unique looks, will retail for $699. It will go on sale only in the US market for now. The modular magnetic accessory system will first bring the Essential’s 360-edge camera that costs $199. It can be snapped on the back using pogo pins. If you buy it with the phone as a bundle, then it would cost you just $50. There will also be a phone dock which uses pogo pins for wireless charging.