Andy Rubin, the man who created the Android Operating System for Google, is now planning to enter the hardware race with a smartphone of his own. According to a report by Bloomberg, the Android creator’s company, Essential Products, is aiming to launch a new, high-end smartphone by mid-2017. Essential Products is a startup that was created by Rubin in 2015, and aims to produce consumer hardware products including smartphones, tablets, smart home devices and other mobile devices. The company also employs other ex Google, Apple software experts and managers. Here’s all you need to know about the ‘Essential’ premium smartphone from the father of Android.
As per reports, the ‘Essential’ smartphone will sport a large edge-to-edge screen, bigger than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. However, the phone is expected to be bezel-less, hence smaller than the overall size of the iPhone 7 Plus. In addition, the display on Rubin’s smartphone is expected to feature pressure-sensitive inputs, recognising varying degrees of pressure, just like the iPhone.
The upcoming smartphone from Rubin’s Essential Products is expected to use high-end materials, with metal edges and a ceramic back. The phone is also expected to have modular functionality. As Bloomberg reports, the smartphone will have “the ability to gain new hardware features over time.” For the same, engineers at Essential Products are said to be working on a proprietary connector, which will help charge the battery of the device, as well as connect other add-on hardware to increase the phone’s functionality. Essential will reportedly allow third-party developers to create add-on hardware accessories for the smartphone. Engineers at the company are also supposedly developing an add-on camera module that can shoot 360-degree pictures.
Even though Rubin fathered the Android operating system, it is not yet clear if the OS of the new smartphone will run a software based on Android. However, as per benchmarks of a phone named Essential FIH-PM1 leaked on Geekbench, it will run on Android 7.0 Nougat. However, the phone is expected to feature some AI capabilities. Rubin’s previous startup, Playground Global, is a known AI and robotics startup incubator. Learnings from the same are expected to trickle down to Essential and the upcoming premium device.
The leaked benchmarks on Geekbench also point out that the Essential FIH-PM1 will feature Qualcomm’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 835 clocked at 1.9GHz. Further, the phone is expected to feature 4GB of RAM.
Price and Availability
Andy Rubin’s smartphone is not expected to come cheap. The phone will compete with the likes of Apple’s iPhone 7 and Google’s Pixel, in the price category. Apple’s iPhone manufacturer, Foxconn is in talks with Rubin’s company to manufacture the said smartphone, which is tipped to hit the market in the middle of the year.