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Andy Rubin's Essential phone revealed: launching for $699 with modular functionality

The Android creator's new smartphone has launched.

Published onMay 30, 2017

The Essential phone, the new handset from Android creator Andy Rubin, is finally here. The smartphone was unveiled on the official site (via The Verge) earlier today, which outlined all of the key details about the upcoming device.

The handset features a near bezel-less display that hugs the central front-facing camera at the top of the device face (similar to the front camera setup shown in a recent LG patent.) That screen doesn’t cover quite the whole body, though, and the Essential features a noticeable chin at the bottom of the handset.

On the back, you’ll find a fingerprint scanner and a unique sensor setup — as well as a complete lack of branding. The device itself is made from a combination of titanium and ceramic which should make it pretty durable.

In terms of the Essential phone’s specs, inside you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540 GPU, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of internal storage space. Meanwhile, the display comes in at 5.71-inches, with a 19:10 aspect ratio and 2560 x 1312 pixel resolution (almost QHD) with Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

There’s an 8 MP front-facing camera with 4K recording and on the back is a dual 13 MP camera setup with f/1.85, similar to the HUAWEI P9. The battery comes in at 3,040 mAh and the handset will feature USB Type-C, but it won’t house a 3.5 mm headphone jack (though it will come with an adapter in the box). In addition, the device will launch with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box and include NFC capabilities.

The Essential will also make use of modular functionality, with a couple of accessories available at launch: a 360-degree camera — capable of shooting UHD (3840 x 1920) video at 30fps — and a charging dock. These connect to the device via metal pins, and further accessories are said to follow after the device launch.

The first Essential phones will be released sometime in June, with the starting price confirmed at $699 and pre-orders now open. The unit comes in four colors: Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths (the awesome one you can see at the top of the page), but only the black and white options are up for pre-order currently. The handset will be released in the US initially, but we’re still waiting on wider price and availability details.

That’s all we’ve got on Rubin’s phone for now but you can expect more in the coming days. Head over to if you want to pre-order your Essential phone and give us your initial thoughts on the device in the comments.