Andy Rubin is best known as the co-creator of Android, but more recently he has been heading up his own company that is aiming to release a smartphone of their own. After several hints, rumors and teasers - full details finally were announced recently with the phone being known as the Essential Phone.
Based on the images that have been released thus far, the Essential Phone will have a near bezel-less display, in line with the current aesthetic for smartphones. Its 5.71 inch display is almost edge-to-edge on all sides save for the bottom, and on the top end it even wraps around the front-facing camera.
The display itself is pegged at a resolution of 2560x1312 and a 19:10 aspect ratio, and beneath it there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB internal storage and a 3,040 mAh battery. The previously mentioned front-facing camera clocks in at 8 MP and is capable of recording 4K video, while the rear camera is a dual setup with a 13 MP main sensor and a secondary monochrome sensor.
All these specs will be housed in a handset made from titanium and ceramic, and will run a version of Android Nougat that is 'close to stock'. All in all it has the makings of a solid phone for the announced price of $699 - but what makes it stand out is its design for modular accessories.
At the back of the Essential Phone are two magnetic connectors that will be used to link it to modular accessories. For now only one (aside from the charger) has been announced - a 360 degree camera that is optional in pre-orders for an additional $50.
Up to this point 360-degree cameras for smartphones have been few and far between. A number of accessories (and proposed accessories) have emerged recently for 'clip on' 360-degree cameras, but the Essential Phone's modular approach seems to hold more promise.
Just like any other modular accessories, the 360-degree camera on the Essential Phone will dock on the magnetic connectors and take advantage of wireless data transfer to communicate with the phone. That is part of the Essential Phone's overall vision, as Andy Rubin has expressed the desire to do away with connectors (though it should be noted that there will still be a USB-C connector on the phone).
For anyone interested in having the capabilities of a 360-degree video recorder on their smartphone, that makes the Essential Phone an attractive prospect. Add to that the possibility of other useful modular accessories being released in the future, and its functionality could extend even further.
As of now the first Essential Phones are expected to be shipped out to consumers sometime in late June. When they do the first 360-degree cameras will be packaged with them. Assuming all goes well and the Essential Phone lives up to expectations, odds are more modular accessories will be on the horizon and that could tap into the full potential of the phone.