Following a tweet that said something big would be announced on 30 May, Essential, the company set up by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, has unveiled the Essential Phone.
With a pre-order price of $699, the Essential Phone is going after the major flagships, but aims to one-up them in all areas. Following the recent trend for edge-to-edge displays, first touted on the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8, the Essential has a 5.71-inch, 2560 x 1312 screen that actually reaches to the very top of the phone.
It surrounds the front-facing camera and extends virtually all the way to the bottom, leaving a small bezel. The bezel isn't there to house a home button/fingerprint sensor though, as that can be found on the rear when your fingers will naturally lie.
Essential has made the phone out of a combination of titanium and ceramic materials, as they're stronger and more durable than aluminium. The company is keen to point this out, and takes a subtle dig at the likes of Apple and Samsung, both of which use aluminium in their phones. You won't even find an official case on Essential's website, as the company doesn't think you'll need one.
The phone runs on the very latest Snapdragon 835 processor, with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, with no room for expansion. It's quite a simple looking phone, with a minimalist design - and not a logo in sight - and can have accessories attached to it via a magnetic connector.
The first two accessories are a 360-degree camera and a wireless charging dock. You can attach either via the magnetic pins at the top of the rear panel, although you can still use the USB-C port on the bottom to wire your phone to mains power. The USB-C port is also where you'll have to connect some headphones, as there's no 3.5mm headphone jack in sight.
Particular attention has been paid to the camera as well. It's a 13-megapixel dual-lens setup, with the secondary lens being a black and white sensor, which can take in more light than a regular colour lens. Rather than be used for extra zoom, the second lens should provide better low-light shots. The front-facing camera is 8-megapixels and can record 4K video.
The Essential Phone will run on Android when it launches, but is only available to pre-order in the US for now, costing $699 for just the phone or $749 with a 360-degree camera included. It will be available in four colour finishes: Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths.
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