Update 12/08/17: The Essential Phone will begin shipping (in the US) within the next seven days if you happened to order the Moon Black model. Other colourways and the Essential camera will take a little longer. We're still waiting on the UK release date. Original story continues below…
Andy Rubin, founder of Android, has revealed his long-awaited smartphone. It's called the Essential Phone, and before we dig into it in more depth, can we all agree it's a stupid name?
The phone is visually striking with an outlandish screen that makes the bezels on the Samsung Galaxy S8 look obese with the QHD display wrapping around the front facing camera.
Here's why the new handset could be among the top contenders to be your next phone.
1. It's from the creator of Android
The device comes from Android creator Andy Rubin who is no stranger to mobile startups, having been CEO at Danger Inc. before creating Android which was then subsequently bought by Google.
With the Essential Phone, Rubin is attempting to create a device that challenges the most popular flagships in every department.
2. It's got all the latest specs
The Essential Phone is a 2017 flagship through and through. It has enough power to challenge the current smartphone kings. The device features a 5.71-inch screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1312 and packs the latest Snapdragon 835 chip from Qualcomm. The phone also features 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage
3. It looks the part
First off - take a look at that screen! It takes up almost all of the front of the device, and has a higher screen to body ratio than the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Additionally, the futuristic body is made of titanium and ceramic, which Essential claims can pass any drop test with ease and come out looking pristine while aluminium competitors come out scuffed and chipped.
Strangely, the images released of the Essential Phone show no signs of branding from either Essential or any particular phone carriers. Let’s hope this is a sign for a lack of bloatware on the phones software too.
The phone has gone the way of the iPhone with regard to the headphone jack — there isn't one to be found. However, The Verge reports that Essential will ship a headphone dongle with the phone when it’s released.
4. The rear camera sounds ace
The camera is where the Essential Phone has got things right…at least on paper. The front facing camera boasts a fairly standard 8-megapixel sensor capable of capturing video in 4K.
The rear shooter is a dual camera that doesn't use the second sensor for an extra zoom or for an additional bokeh effect, instead the second camera is used as a monochrome sensor that will take in more light than the regular 13-megapixel sensor.
This, in theory, means better low light performance, but as we've seen from the Huawei P9 and P10, the benefits aren't as exaggerated in real world testing.
5. It's modular like the LG G5
The most interesting feature about the phone is that it’s revisiting a feature that was prophesied on smartphones for years — modularity. Essential has developed a range of accessories that can be used with the Essential Phone starting with a 360-degree camera that can be attached to the top of the phone through small metal pins on the device. This is rather like the LG G5 , which we reckon was 2016's most interesting phone (if not the best).
6. It's well-priced
The Essential Phone price is $699 (approximately £543). It’s been a while since a new competitor climbed into the smartphone ring to battle it out with all the biggest players for consumer attention. The messiah of Android has created this phone, so it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about what he’s doing. It seems as though if anyone can shift the current smartphone paradigm, it’s Andy Rubin and his Essential Phone.
The Essential Phone will only be available in the US for now but with all the buzz currently surrounding this new device it surely won’t be long until more countries are added to Essential’s list.
Rubin will be on stage at the Code Conference which is taking place later on today where presumably more light will be shed on today’s announcement.