The Essential Phone: What you need to knowBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 30 May 2017 | Categories: news
A few weeks ago, Android co-founder Andy Rubin teased a device that his new company has been working on. Since then, bits and pieces of information about the Essential Phone have come in, and now we get to see the device in all its glory. Does the Essential PH-1 (model name) have what it takes to take on Android flagships?
Well the specifications look promising, with up front a 5.71" (2560x1312) edge to edge display. The thing makes this one slightly more interesting is that screen dimensions stretch to the top of the phone too, wrapping around the centre-placed selfie camera. The result is a 19:10 aspect ratio, but it's unclear how, or even if, this portion of the display will integrated into the user interface or the Ambient OS. The latter has not been fully revealed by Rubin and his team, but a deeper look is anticipated tonight.
Little is known about the latter, but Rubin is expected to paint a better picture for attendees of Recode's Code Conference in California this evening. Alongside the Essential Phone, a separate Essential Home Speaker is also anticipated.
Shifting focus back to the phone, its design team notes that the body features a combination ceramic and titanium, taking care of the back cover and frame respectively. There's also Gorilla Glass 5 up front. The mix is said to make the Essential Phone supremely hard wearing, but no drop-rating has been mentioned yet.
As far as cameras go. The primary shooter is dual lens in nature like Huawei's latest Leica-certified versions. To that end, there's a 13 MP RGB and 13 MP monochrome onboard, with a 8 MP option pulling duty up front.
Moving on, its got a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 doing the heavy lifting, as well as 4 GB RAM and a 3040 mAh battery. Added to this is a USB Type-C port which takes care of charging, but it's clear that Essential is aiming to go fully wireless in future with a magnetic connector for data transfer on the rear.
This brings us to the Essential Phone's modular capabilities, which for now extends to a 360-degree camera add-in that attaches to the top of the device. Essential also plans to ship the Phone with the 360-degree camera in the States, which the initial country of launch at the moment.
Speaking of which, Essential plans to sell the Phone for around $699 for the 128 GB storage model (no SD slot) in the United States. As for when the rest of the world can get their hands on an Essential Phone, hopefully Rubin mentions so this evening.
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