Andy Rubin, the father of Android, wishes to disrupt the smartphone market the way Steve Jobs did when Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007. So he made The Essential phone - it's durable, stunning and pricy, and it runs on Android. It is the next flagship killer?
At present, the label is attached with the OnePlus 5 that will be coming out soon. And judging from the images shared by Rubin so far, The Essential is the better phone in terms of design and build material. The 5.7-inch front display is all-screen, almost as there remains a chin at the bottom portion of the front panel and the camera cut that breaks the seamless panel on the upper portion of the screen.
Rubin said The Essential casing is made of titanium and ceramic, and the melding of the two materials made for a stunning result. But more importantly, the case material rendered The Essential extra durable. Drop the phone and it will be free of scratch in most cases, which is not possible for the iPhone and Galaxy handsets, no thanks to Apple and Samsung's choice of aluminum housing.
Also, Rubin made sure that The Essential is the paragon of minimalism. The Verge said the device is without a branding or logo as the emphasis appears to the functions and the beauty of the phone, and not how users are reminded they are using the Rubin-designed handset.
Inside, there is no denying The Essential is of flagship class. Baked in is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 SoC that is tapped to 4GB of RAM support, according to Engadget. The basic storage is 128GB but there was no mention if a higher capacity will be. The power juice source is a 3040mAh battery, not exactly massive but with expected tweaks the handset is expected to last longer than usual.
The main shooter is a dual camera set up with two 13-megapixel sensors. The 8MP front camera can record 4K clips, not to mention premium quality selfies. Near the rear camera, users will find two holes designed to accommodate accessories. There are quite a number to pick from but "the most exciting is a tiny 360-degree camera, which can shoot a spherical UHD (3840x1920) image at 30 frames per second," Engadget said.
The only port included with The Essential is the multi-purpose USB-C and that means like the iPhone 7 the device will not have a 3.5mm audio port. No worries though as Rubin made sure that the phone retail box will include a dongle, yes just like the iPhone 7.
As far as the operating system is concerned, The Verge said users can expect a stripped down Android OS, likely Nougat version 7.1.1 and there will be pre-installed Google apps. So essentially, The Essential is near Pure Android flagship that could rival Google Pixel phones.
No definite release date has been provided but the ETA is between late June and early July 2017. And the pricing is not exactly in the level of a flagship killer bet. The Essential will retail at $699 a pop, which is more expensive than the basic iPhone flagship model and certainly pricier than the starting price of OnePlus 5, rumored at $450.
So if the choice of getting a flagship killer is between The Essential and the OnePlus 5, for many Android fans the decision will be easy.