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Essential Phone With Modular Accessories Launched by ‘Father of Android’ Andy Rubin


Andy Rubin, popularly known as the ‘Father of Android’, and his company Essential Products has launched a new phone, an intelligent home smart speaker, and a 360-degree camera. The Essential Phone offers top of the line specifications, looks beautiful with respect to design, and comes in four colour options. The device is up for pre-order in the US, however there is no word on when it will go on sale as of now.

The Essential Phone is made available in Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White, and Ocean Depths colour options. The price of the smartphone starts at $699 (roughly Rs. 45,200), but you can buy it with a 360-degree camera for $749 (roughly Rs. 48,400).

Design-wise, the Essential Phone boasts of a futuristic aesthetic with an almost edge to edge display, a dual camera setup, and a fingerprint scanner situated at the back, and no signs of a visible logo. The display is worth noting as it is edge-to-edge, with only a thin bottom bezel. The flushed camera design keeps the phone free of any unsightly bumps, and there are two magnetic pins at the back for modular attachments as well. The metal edges house the volume keys and power button on the right side of the smartphone. The Essential Phone is made of titanium and ceramic which the company claims gives it the highest durability score compared to any other smartphone out there.


As mentioned, there’s also a pair of magnetic back pins for a modular accessory system that will “keep your phone cord-free, future-proof, and always up-to-date.” The pins will act as a click cordless connector that will hook up to Essential’s two modular accessories launched alongside – the 360-degree camera and its Essential Phone Dock. This modular system reminds us of Moto Mods – Lenovo’s efforts at creating modular accessory category in the market. There’s no 3.5mm audio jack on the Essential Phone (though it ships with a USB Type-C adapter), so we can expect Rubin and company to launch more such modular accessories to specifically amp up the audio game.

Coming to the specifications, the Android 7.1.1 Nougat based Essential Phone sports a 5.7-inch edge-to-edge QHD (1312×2560 pixels) display with 19:10 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is powered by the 64-bit Snapdragon 835 octa-core (2.45GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad) processor with Adreno 540 GPU and 4GB RAM. Internal storage option is at 128GB.

There’s a 13-megapixel dual camera setup at the back with RGB and monochrome capabilities in each lens, with hybrid autofocus, phase detect, IR Laser Assist Focus, and 4K video support. At the front there is an 8-megapixel selfie sensor with f/2.2 aperture, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 4K video support here as well. The battery is at 3040mAh with fast charging support. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, GPS, USB Type-C port, Nano-SIM support, and GLONASS. The dimensions of the Essential Phone are at 141.5×72.2×7.8mm, and the smartphone weighs less than 185 grams.

As mentioned, the company also launched a miniature 360-degree camera alongside. It sticks to the Essential Phone with the help of the magnetic pins at the back, and lets you record 360-degree content from your smartphone. The tiny accessory can be bundled with the smartphone purchase for $749 (roughly Rs. 48,400). Alongside, Rubin has also launched the Essential Home – a smart speaker with a big round display that runs on the brand new Ambient OS.

Essential Phone


Alternate names Essential PH-1
Release date May 2017
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 141.50 x 71.10 x 7.80
Weight (g) 185.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 3040
Removable battery No
Colours Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White, Ocean Depths
SAR value NA


Screen size (inches) 5.71
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1312×2560 pixels


Processor 1.9GHz octa-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Internal storage 128GB
Expandable storage No


Rear camera 13-megapixel
Flash Yes
Front camera 8-megapixel


Operating System Android


Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Yes
Infrared No
Number of SIMs 1
SIM Type Nano-SIM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes


Compass/ Magnetometer Yes
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes
Gyroscope Yes
Barometer Yes
Temperature sensor No