Shipping for US customers will begin in a month while there is no word on when it will be shipped to international markets.

Android co-creator launches smartphone Essential and it is impressive
Atom Tech Shorts Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 20:29

Andy Rubin was a co-creator of the Android OS and has since embarked on his own and the impending launch of a smartphone, independently, has been doing the rounds. Andy Rubin finally unwrapped the new device and he has also informed those choosing to pre-order the Essential that the shipment may happen in about 30 days’ time. But this is also only for the US customers; there is no word yet on the phone’s introduction in international markets.

It is also learnt that the Essential will be immediately available only in two colors, black and white, but two more, stellar gray and ocean depths, could be added later. The pre-orders are also being taken in the company’s web-store and the price quoted is $699. If you are a little surprised at the price level, just read on, since the phone is meant to be a high-end device based on the specifications and features unveiled.

It’s a 5.71-inch display phone and sports the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The QHD display offering a resolution of 2560x1312 should sound impressive by any standards. The 4GB RAM and all of 128 GB internal storage should convince any doubters that this phone is out there to compete with the very best in the business, including the Samsung Galaxy S8.

In terms of the dimensions of the phone, when compared to the S8, the difference is minimal except that Essential is about 3mm wider and weighs a whole 30grams more.

But in terms of the external appearance and design, this new entrant is no comparison to the devices of the well-healed operators like Samsung and LG. The curved screens and other embellishments are not to be seen.

In fact, one analyst put it as being “blocky”. But what it lacks in appearance, might be made good in terms of the phone’s sturdiness since the outer casing appears to be protected by a titanium rail with straight edges and the phone was dropped on a concrete surface to demonstrate its hard outer casing.

The back panel itself could be made of damage-resistant ceramic titanium giving a glossy surface.

On the imaging front, there is the dual 13MP camera setup in the rear, one RGB and the other monochrome with image fusion technology. The battery is 3040 mAh with fast charging.

Now on to some of the new features being tried on the Essential. One is a detachable 360° camera that gets attached to the phone and can be controlled from the screen. The camera when purchased separately costs $200, but the company is offering it at $50 if included in the pre-orders.

The data and images can be wirelessly transferred out of the phone. The phone also does not have a headphone jack. There is however an adapter included in the box which is a USB Type C that can be connected to a 3.5mm jack. There is also the provision for adding external modules later and that appears to be interesting to many observers.

But this one-off phone from a virtual startup, though the brain behind the company is quite a known figure, will not find it easy to make a serious headway into the market. Only the coming few months will reveal how far Andy Rubin’s attempts with the Essential succeed.  

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