Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone

Andy Rubin finally unveiled his Essential Phone yesterday, with The Verge getting the scoop a little early. You’re looking at what I think is the phone’s standout feature, a screen that seems to wrap around the front camera and sensor assembly. It’s visually striking and also smart—with notifications on the left and indicators on the right the centre of your typical Android status bar is usually empty anyway, so why not put the selfie cam there?

The phone also features a titanium and ceramic housing, and proprietary connectors for first-party accessories that at present include a 360-degree camera and a docking station. Specs are as follows:

Display
5.71 inch Quad-HD
2560 x 1312 pixels @ 504 ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

RAM / Storage
4 GB / 128 GB

Rear-Facing Camera
13-megapixel, f/1.85
Dual RBG + Mono

Front-Facing Camera
8-megapixel, f/2.2
16:9 aspect ratio

Battery
3,040 mAh
Fast charging via USB

Colours
Black Moon
Ocean Depths
Pure White
Stellar Grey

Now the bad news: There’s no headphone jack and no mention of dust or water resistance. The phone will only ship within the U.S. and is priced at $699 USD. Also, for a phone from the father of Android there’s been surprisingly few details about the software running it, only a promise from Rubin that there will be nothing on this device that the user doesn’t want.

Do you think this premium smartphone has a chance in an already-saturated Android market, or is it essentially a cash grab?

Sources: Essential, The Verge

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