Following multiple teasers over the past month, Andy Rubin’s contender to the throne of smartphones is finally here. Say hi to the Essential – a premium handset that looks quite stunning.
Like anticipated, the phone features an edge-to-edge display with minimal side and top bezels. But unlike the Galaxy S8, the Essential’s screen goes all the way to the top embracing the front facing camera in the process. There’s a bit of bezel left at the bottom, but that doesn’t diminish the overall aesthetic appeal of the phone.
Contrasting with most high-end smartphones out there, the Essential is not made of aluminum but from a combination of titanium and ceramic (on the back), so it should be able to come out unharmed of most accidents.
Moving on to the raw specs, the phone features a 5.71-inch display with 19:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1312 resolution, as well as Gorilla Glass 5 protection. On the inside lives a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor that works in combination with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also runs Android (most likely 7.0 or above).
On the photographic front, the Essential follows this year’s flagships trend, as it comes equipped with a dual camera system that combines a regular 13-megapixel sensor with a second monochrome 13-megapixel one to help shoot better low-light shots. As for the self-portrait snapper, the Essential boasts an 8-megapixel unit with 16:9 aspect ratio.
The phone relies on a 3,040 mAh battery and includes a USB Type-C port, as well as a fingerprint scanner located on the back panel. However, there’s no 3.5 mm headphone jack, but the good news is that the phone could ship with a headphone dongle included in the package box.
The Essential not only aims to bring an attractive design and worthy specs to the table; it also plans to differentiate itself through another aspect – modularity. The phone will be available to purchase in combination with a few accessories including the 360-degree camera accessory that got teased the other day. It clips to the back of the phone and adds dual 12-megapixel fisheye sensors that can capture 4K 360 videos at 30fps.
The second module to be offered at launch is a charging dock. Like the camera, it will connect to the phone via metal pins. More accessories are expected to be made available in the near future.
The phone, which doesn’t feature any kind of branding on front or back, will be available for purchase in Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths. For the time being only the Black Moon and Pure White models are available for pre-order for $699 a pop. We don’t know when the handset will start shipping out to customers, but as soon as we know more we’ll update you.
For now, the Essential will be available in the US, but we might live to see the phone launch in other markets, as well.