Essential Phone - theUSBport
The Essential Phone. The handset we all have been expecting. Image: Essential Products.

On Tuesday, Essential Products unveiled the new Essential Phone, a premium Android handset designed strictly to meet the basic needs of users. The handset costs $699 and it is readily available for preorder, though there is no official release date yet.

Andy Rubin, the founder of Android, is also the head of this new company. The Essential Phone will be their first product, and the endgame seems to be to create devices that are truly consumer-centered and not blind followers of tech market trends.

While the Phone will run on Android at first and feature a magnetic connector for clip-on modifications, Essential Products is also working on a smart home hub called simply Home that will feature Ambient OS. This new platform could make its way into the Phone and begin a new mobile rivalry.

Essential Phone: Specs and features

Essential’s vision is tangible just by looking at the upcoming Phone. The device has a titanium body with a ceramic back panel, and it features absolutely no logos or branding. It is capable of withstanding drop tests without major bumps and scratches, unlike its aluminum-made rivals.

Moreover, it is not concerned with breaking records as the thinnest or the lightest device. Instead, it makes smart use of space with an edge-to-edge, QHD 2560 x 1312 Full Display that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

The company’s aim to meet just the most basic needs of consumers does not mean that they neglect design. The Essential Phone is beautifully crafted, and it comes in four colors: Black Moon, Pure White, Stellar Grey, and Ocean Depths.

Inside, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with a 710 MHz Adreno 540 GPU. Only one memory configuration is available: 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.

Feature-wise, the most prominent one is the magnetic connector on the back, which promises to keep the Essential Phone relevant even after it is “outdated” by the time next-gen devices hit the shelves.

Essential Products is hinting at the functionality of this system with a 360° Camera that snaps to the back of the device and is ready to shoot. Presumably, the company will keep the phone upgraded with myriad peripheral accessories launching in the future.

Other than that, the Phone has a front-facing 8 MP camera that can record 4K video while the setup on the back consists of a 13 MP dual-lens shooter that is optimized for low light settings and depth tracking in both pics and videos.

The Essential Phone comes with a non-removable 3040 mAh battery that supports fast charging via USB-C. Interestingly enough, the device features a single USB-C port, meaning there is no headphone jack like in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Essential Phone: Price, release date, and availability

Essential Products has the Phone available for preorder in two different bundles: standalone for $699 or paired with the 360° Camera for $749. It will launch in the U.S. first in the coming months, and it is expected to hit Europe and Australia next.

American mobile carriers have all announced they will support the Essential Phone, which comes unlocked by default. Andy Rubin will speak at Recode’s Code Conference on Tuesday, and people expect he will give an official release date.

Source: Essential Products