Tech

Andy Rubin Unveils Essential Phone, Should Apple And Samsung Worry?

By Edge Ison , Jun 01, 2017 05:29 AM EDT
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The genius behind the Android operating system has finally introduced his own smartphone - the Essential Phone. The new smartphone, unveiled by Andy Rubin on Tuesday at the Code Conference held in California, is poised to rival the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the upcoming iPhone 8. From the looks of it, both tech giants have something to worry about.

It all starts with Andy Rubin. The man has an impressive track record, perhaps even one of the best in the industry. Rubin is intent on breaking through the so-called duopoly in the mobile phone industry. Apple and Samsung have been lording over the field for quite some time now. Essential is out to break that.

The Essential Phone "can unleash the full power of Android", according to Essential President and COO Niccolo de Masi. It will run a "clean" version of the Android Nougat 7.1.1 OS which means the Essential Phone will forego any bloatware commonly added by manufacturers and carriers in their phones. Forbes, however, pointed out that there seems to be little difference between the software of the Essential Phone and that of other Android devices.

The Essential Phone is a good-looking device. It sports a body made of titanium and ceramic. The Essential Phone, described by Rubin as a "phablet in a phone form factor", comes with very slim bezels at the sides and top of the screen allowing it to have a bigger display.

Inside, one will find the latest specs in the market. It is powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor and comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage. Some people may find issue with Rubin's decision to scrap the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack but it seems like the industry is headed that way. In its place, the Essential Phone will have a USB-Type C port.

Rubin intends for the Essential Phone to stay significant and grow over time. This will be possible though the many accessories it has planned with the 360-degree camera the first in line. These accessories are similar in concept with the Moto Mods of Motorola.

Rubin himself stressed that he is focused more on providing another option for the market outside of Apple and Samsung. He believes in "solving consumer problems" first before profit. He even said that profits will "follow consumer success".

Rubin has been giving out hints leading to Tuesday's unveiling. He first tweeted an image showing a close up of a man holding the Essential Phone with only its right upper portion shown. Essential Products later followed that up with a tweet telling everyone to expects something big.

Aside from Essential, Rubin's past successes include a number of startups responsible for some iconic devices. He was co-founder of Danger, Inc. which was responsible for the T-Mobile Sidekick, also called the Danger Hiptop. He left Danger in 2003 to create Android Inc. before moving on to Google in 2005. When he left Google in 2014, he started Playground Global. According to Wired, the venture capital firm was formed after his wife told him over dinner not to do one thing but to "do 10". After Playground, Rubin co-founded Essential Products.

Aside from the Essential Phone, Rubin also mentioned that the company is working on a device similar to Amazon Echo and Google Home. The Essential Phone will be worth $699 and will be available sometime in the next 30 days.

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