Andy Rubin Unveils His First Flagship, the Essential Phone

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The Father of Android throws his hat into the ring

Andy Rubin, co-founder of Android Inc., has jumped into the smartphone manufacturing fray with his new company, Essential. Yesterday, the company unveiled their first smartphone, the flagship-specced PH-1, or the “Essential Phone” as mainstream media would have it.

The Essential Phone seems blockier and wider in design compared to the other flagships in the market today, thanks to its edge-to-edge display and non-standard aesthetics, much like Xiaomi’s Mi MIX. As for hardware, the PH-1 sports a 5.71-inch LTPS LCD with an unusual 19:10 aspect ratio and a near-QHD resolution. Dual rear cameras adorn the handset’s back, fortunately, both flushed and not protruding. The front snapper is uniquely positioned at the top-middle of the phone, which may or may not interfere with the user’s notification bar or whatnot.

The PH-1 has some modularity to it, as a promotional image features the phone wearing a 360-degree camera accessory attached to its back, via magnetic pin slots. Here’s the spec listing, lifted from the company’s page.

Essential PH-1

  • 2.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor
  • Qualcomm Adreno 540 graphics unit
  • 4GB RAM
  • 5.71-inch QHD LTPS display, 2560 x 1312 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • 128GB non-expandable storage, UFS 2.1
  • 13-megapixel primary rear camera, RGB sensor, f/1.85 + 13-megapixel secondary rear camera, monochrome sensor, with laser AF, PDAF
  • 8-megapixel front camera, f/2.2, fixed focus lens
  • Single SIM (Nano)
  • WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • Fingerprint sensor, quad microphones, stereo speakers, USB Type-C port
  • 3040mAh battery, fast charging
  • Android OS

The PH-1 won’t be sporting a 3.5mm audio jack. The company has not specified which version of Android the handset will be running on, but it will most likely be a customized version of the latest Nougat build.

The Essential PH-1 is currently priced at $699 (~Php 35K) in the US, with no carrier restrictions. Pre-orders are open as of this post, but only for NA residents. Units will be shipping soon, according to the company.

Source: GSMArena, Essential



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