A few months back, Andy Rubin, the co-founder of Android gave a sneak peek on how his upcoming Essential Phone will look. And he has finally announced the phone for the US market, and it has high-end specifications, futuristic design, and an affordable price tag.
But more than that it comes with an uncanny front camera placement. The camera is a circular cut out in the screen space. It feels unconventional that the screen is cut and there is something circular in between. I am sure it will be difficult to ignore the camera if you actually buy and use the essential phone, at least for some days.
The display does have very thin bezels, almost non-existent. Through Andy Rubin says Android don’t have any functions at the top centre of the screen so that space can be utilised and the camera will also not intrude in the videos or movies.
The Essential smartphones also support modular accessories via the magnetic pin at the back. The smartphone is made up of Titanium and Ceramic, making it the durable smartphones out there in the market currently.
The device is 7.8mm thick and weighs 185 grammes. Up front, the device has a 5.7-inch Quad HD display with an unusual resolution of 2560×1312 pixels and 19:10 aspect ratio. The display is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Under-the-hood, there’s a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, which is the latest flagship chip from Qualcomm. The phone also comes with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage with support for no microSD card slot.
There are two rear cameras on the phone of 13 MP with one sensor capturing RGB shots, and the other 13 MP sensor captures monochrome shots, same as the Huawei P9. The phone also has an 8 MP front-facing camera(whose position is unconventional)with f/2.2 aperture and 16:9 aspect ratio.
As said earlier, the phone comes with support for modular accessories. Essential has released a $199 360-degree camera module which can be attached to the back of the phone with the help of the magnetic pin. The 360-degree camera can record 4K videos and comes with two 12MP sensors.
Connectivity options in the phone include- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, and GLONASS. The smartphone runs Android Nougat OS out-of-the-box. Essentail also announced a smart home speaker which comes with a new OS called as “Ambient OS”.
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: Android Nougat 7.0
- Chipset: 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with Adreno 540 GPU
- Memory: 4 GB of RAM
- Storage: 128 GB UFS2.1 internal space
- Rear Camera: 13-megapixel Dual RGB+Mono camera with image fusion technology + 13-megapixel Monochrome camera, f/1.85 aperture, Hybrid Auto Focus, Phase Detect and IR Laser Assist Focus
- Front Camera: 8-megapixel camera with 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 LE, NFC, GPS and GLONASS
- Battery: 3040 mAh with quick charge and wireless charging support
- Dimensions: 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8mm
- Weight: 185 grams
- Colours: Black Moon / Pure White / Stellar Grey / Ocean Depths
This Essential phone comes with a 3040 mAh battery with QuickCharge support and wireless charge support as well.
Andy Rubin has decided to remove the famous 3.5 mm headphone jack on the phone and users have to depend on the USB Type-C port for audio. The phone comes in four colour options- Black Moon, Pure White, Stellar Grey and Ocean Depths.
The phone is priced at just $699 (Rs 46,900) in the US, and if a customer preorders the phone, he will get the 360-camera module for just $50. The company did not reveal the plans for bringing the smartphone to India though.