Essential Products, the company founded by Android creator Andy Rubin, has announced two debut products today; a modular, Android-powered smartphone, and an Amazon Echo competitor. Neither device is ready to ship just yet, both have some interesting ideas that should have people sit up and take note.
Kicking things off with that smartphone, the modular and logo-less design includes a 5.71-inch edge-to-edge QHD display that runs from the very top of the phone to almost the very bottom. In fact, the phone’s front-facing camera is incorporated into the display, with a little cutout making room for its lens to poke through.
The phone is also made of titanium and ceramic, making it much more capable of living up to the wear and tear of daily live “without blemish, unlike the aluminum competitor devices,” according to the company.
There is also a modular element to this phone that should not be ignored. Via two magnetic pins on the rear of the device, additional features and functionality can be added that should “keep your phone cord-free, future-proof, and always up-to-date.” Currently the “Click” connector is being used to hook up the company’s 360-degree camera and phone dock, although more accessories are in the works.
Featuring a USB-C connector but no headphone jack, the Essential Phone features a Qualcomm 835 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a full 128GB of storage. Camera-wise, its 13-megapixel rear-mounted dual lens camera should have enough to take the kinds of photos we have become accustomed to from smartphones in 2017. For selfie fans, there’s an 8MP camera to keep you more than satisfied.
Set to become available later this summer in Black Moon, Stellar Gray, Pure White, and Ocean Depths colors, the Essential Phone will cost $699. The Phone will come running some form of Android OS, but there no details on offer right now.
Moving on to the Essential Home, the device is a typical Amazon Echo competitor, but with a slightly different form factor. A round device with a sloping top made up of a touch screen, the device allows users to control music, ask questions and control home automation devices around the house. Essential also says that interaction can be via voice, the touch screen or even a glance which suggests some form of facial recognition is in use.
Essential Home is powered by an in-house software called Ambient OS, which means that it can include support for SmartThings, HomeKit, Nest and other standards in use by home automation equipment. Pricing for the new device has not been confirmed, but a release is expected later this summer.
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