Since the end of 2016, it has been known that Android founder Andy Rubin is working on an AI-driven smartphone. His new company is called Essential and its first smartphone has landed in the high-end range. Now, you can get it for $200 off.
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Andy Rubin was the Senior Vice President of Google’s mobile sector up until 2014. His successor was Sundar Pichai, now the CEO of Google, who was then succeeded in turn by Hiroshi Lockheimer. Rubin was the Android inventor and under his leadership, the OS was installed on billions of devices. Later, he got into robotics at Google, but soon left this area as well to pursue his own interests.
After 2014, Andy Rubin began to work intensely with young startups and, under his tutelage, Playground Global found worldwide success. The focus of the company was on artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality. Now, it would like to integrate the innovations that it was able to achieve in a new smartphone, as recently reported by Bloomberg.
With the support of a team of 40 people, made up of former Apple and Google employees, the Android founder has now started a new company called Essential. It will reportedly produce not only smartphones but also smart home hardware, with the high-end smartphone at the center of the ecosystem.
The high-end Essential phone cost $699 to pre-order on Essential's website when it was released, and now it's a full $200 cheaper. It's selling on Essential's website now for $499. Those who have already bought an Essential Phone won't be left hanging, as they will receive a coupon worth $200 which can be used to buy a 360-degree camera or an additional Essential Phone.
The technical specs alone won't be a massive surprise to many. But if we take a closer look, the Essential phone does seem to pack in a few surprises. First of all, it's worth noting that the manufacturer attempted to get as much display on the front as possible. The body-to-display ration seems to be quite high. If we have a look at the upper segment of the display, we spot a very narrow frame, but within that frame, we can still see an integrated selfie cam (that explains that "incursion" at the top in the middle).
Andy Rubin graced us with another highlight - a magnetic connector, which Essential wants to make use off to build up its own accessory ecosystem. The first two accessories that Essential has lined up will be the aforementioned 360 camera and a magnetic charger. It's not been revealed yet if and what further functionality lies behind the connector.
Concerning the design and build, Essential has decided to be a bit more exclusive. Apparently the Essential phone will be made of ceramic and titanium - hence the claim to being quite durable and shock resistant. The lack of a visible lack on the device is actually a nice touch - it's lends to a reserved design choice. Speaking of lacking - it seems that the designers also left out a headphone jack.
|Technical Specs||Essential Phone|
|Dimensions||141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8 mm|
|Display size||5.71 inches|
|Display technology||CGS / LTPS|
|Resolution||1,312 x 2,560 Pixel (19:10)|
|Front camera||8 MP|
|Rear camera||Dual camera, 13 MP, f / 1.85|
|Android Version||Android, probably 7.0 Nougat|
|Internal storage||128 GB|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core with Adreno 540 GPU|
|Clock speed||2.45 GHz|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, USB Type-C, no headphone jack, Magnetic port, 60 GHz, 6 GBps Wireless Accessory Connector|
Yazhu Ling, Lead Image Quality Engineer at Essential, described the details of the main camera of the new Essential Phone in a post to the company blog. The two main things the firm wanted to accomplish with the camera were avoiding an unsightly camera bump and focusing on capturing quality low-light photos.
The dual rear camera of the PH-1 has one monochrome and one RGB lens. When images taken with each are combined, the result is a better exposed image with less noise. Though it's been the subject of much criticism, further updates to the camera's software have led to better results.
Let us know what you think about the Essential Phone in the comments!
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