The Essential Phone

by June 6, 2017
The Essential Phone

Cover Image credits – xda-developers.com

Andy Rubin is a familiar name. The man who created Android, the world’s most popular mobile Operating Systems with over 2 billion users, has given more than a sneak peek into his new smartphone – Essential. The Essential phone has a few interesting USPs.

Maximum Screen: The edge-to-edge display and minimization of the bezel is a certain improvisation over the latest smart phone designs. The phone has an 8-Megapixel front camera which is placed neatly across the top. The design has intelligently considered that there are rarely any notification icons that appear right in the middle of the status bar of the screen in an Android phone. So, the space has been efficiently utilized to maximize the area of the mobile screen.

Minimalistic design approach: One of the principles Rubin and team has applied is akin to the minimalistic design approach that Steve Jobs believed in and executed so efficiently. The makers have refrained from using even their own logo on the phone. It is quite possible that even the software loaded on the phone would be minimalistic. This will ensure that the phone is fast and seamless. The body, is a combination of titanium and ceramic. This will help it to survive a fall unlike its counterparts offering smartphones in a similar price range. Considering the price of US$ 699, the guarantee of passing the “drop test” is an essential feature that would come as a relief for most prospective buyers.

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Image credits – bbc.com

Smart Home feature: “Essential Home” offers an ever-attentive assistant that can address your queries and obey your commands. A great feature is the design with a round display on the top of the device. The display, that runs on Essential’s very own Ambient OS, can track your calendar and give alerts, it can also display information about traffic just before you decide to travel or commute. The best part is that the “Essential Home” offers more privacy to the user by putting the focus on handling as much data as possible on the local device rather than pushing it to the servers or the cloud. This security of such smart speakers has been a topic of much deliberation and Essential phone does score in this area because it has given ample thought to this critical area.

Smart Accessories: The Essential phone comes with a magnetic connector and enables wireless data transfer. It has a 360-degree camera and a charging dock that can neatly fit into the top of the phone with small metal pogo pins. Instead of a typical 3.5mm headphone jack, it offers a headphone dongle. The phone has a dual-camera system which uses the second lens for a monochrome sensor thereby taking in much more light than a traditional colour camera. It can, thus, be combined with a 13-megapixel camera to capture better images, even at low light.

Ambient OS and modular architecture: The Ambient OS software is an open source smart home platform. The Ambient OS is believed to be created to overcome the fact that the Android is fragmented and it causes the consumers to miss out on vital upgrades and updates. It is an attempt at creating a modular accessory system wherein you could retain the essential elements of the phone and upgrade and customize its various components as you desire. This would mean that you wouldn’t need to pay for a new phone with the latest features once every two years. However, modular architecture has failed to create even a single instance of a highly accepted and successful mobile phone yet.

Our Recommendation:

While Essential has awesome features, and is designed to consciously improve the short-comings of some of its contemporaries, our advice would be to wait and watch. Should you buy this smartphone at a price point of US$ 699? We would recommend you check out a few reviews, read and hear experiences of genuine users, and wait for a bit longer before deciding to buy it.

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