Andy Rubin is back with his much-anticipated Essential Phone. Rubin, the man behind Android, has come up with a smartphone, which apart from featuring all Android phone basics, hints at the beginning of a modular ecosystem. A former Google employee, Rubin has been teasing the tech world with the Essential smartphone for quite some time.

The Essential Phone: specs and features

The Essential Phone comes with an edge-to-edge display similar to Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. However, Rubin takes the feature a notch higher by making the front display glass cover all the way to the top of the phone, even covering the front-facing selfie camera.

Although there are no bezels at the top of the phone, the bottom portion comes with a thin strip of bezel. However, it is the first smartphone till date to have almost the entire front covered with the Gorilla Glass.

The much-anticipated smartphone will be initially launched in the United States and will eventually make its way to other countries. The Essential Phone comes with radios that will make the handset function properly on all major network carriers in the U.S.

The handset is powered by Qualcomm 835 processor and comes with 4GB of RAM and 12 GB of internal storage memory. The smartphone comes devoid a logo and sports a chassis made out of a combination of titanium and ceramic. Rubin went for this unusual combination to ensure that the smartphone passes the drop test with flying colors.

Unlike rivals who put an aluminium chassis on their phones, the Essential Phone – even after being dropped – will remain unblemished.

What sets the handset apart?

Rubin and his company are well aware that the hardware specifics are achievable by any manufacturer. Thus, to get an edge in the smartphone market, Essential is aiming to develop an ecosystem of accessories especially designed to cater to the Essential Phone owner.

The list of accessories starts with a magnetic connector and a wireless data transfer. Apart from that the company will distribute a 360-degree camera that can be installed on the top of the Essential smartphone, along with a charging dock so that one never runs out of power.

The Essential Phone does not come with the traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack, which may disappoint some tech enthusiasts.

However, tech publication Verge claims that the company will ship the handset with a headphone dongle in the box. In terms of camera, the smartphone will be equipped with a 13-megapixel dual lens setup in as the rear camera system. However, instead of making the second lens function as telephoto or a bokeh lens, the company used it as a monochrome sensor.

The second camera lens will be able to capture distinct photos and videos in more light than the normal one. The smartphone also sports an 8MP front selfie snapper that can also capture 4K videos. The smartphone is currently up for pre-order on Essentials online store and is priced at $699.