Andy Rubin is one of the key people behind Android's creation, which Google bought in 2005. In early 2017, he announced the creation of a new company that would produce innovative smartphones with features out of the ordinary. See what the 5.7-inch Essential Phone PH-1 is, what its cutting-edge features are, how much it costs, and why many consider it to be one of the best phones of the year.
Table of Contents
- A quick word on Android's inventor
- Essential Phone
- Is the Essential Phone innovative and exciting?
A quick word on Android's inventor
Many know Andy Rubin as the father of the Android OS, which eventually became the most popular mobile platform in the world.
The 54-year-old former engineer for Zeiss and Apple founded "Android Inc." in October of 2003 at Palo Alto, California. His fellow co-founders were Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White.
On July of 2005, Google bought the rights to the open source operating system for a reported 50 million dollars. Many consider the actual figure to be a lot larger.
One of the acquisition's conditions was that Andy Rubin would continue to contribute to the software's development. He did so as the Senior Vice President of Google's Mobile and Digital Content division. Things went that way until 2013, when Sundar Pichai took over.
The phone with the codename Essential PH-1 first made its debut by Rubin and the new company he founded on the 27th of March, 2017. The innovative company's workforce consists of a team of 100 engineers.
One of the PH-1's advantages is that it aims at eliminating any annoying bloatware. It also embodies the philosophy of the modular phone, equipped with features that will not become outdated anytime soon.
Additionally, the Essential Phone possesses many of the features necessary for the creation of a "super" smartphone; especially when you take its beautiful, bezel-less design and its durable titanium frame into account.
Let's take a look at how the Essential Phone is different from the other high-end phones in the market, as well as in what ways it's innovative.
One of the first things that make the outside of the device different is that there's no "branding"; meaning it lacks a logo.
Of course, there is a philosophy behind this. Its designers wanted the users to feel that the device is their personal property, and not just another industrial product.
As Andy Rubin has characteristically said in the past, their phones are a public expression of who they are and what they represent. Just because the company played a part in the device's production, doesn't mean the consumers should be forced to advertise the fact.
Limited amount of apps
Contrary to most high-end phones, the Essential Phone comes with only twenty Google apps pre-installed; that means it has no other third-party apps and services.
The designers' philosophy, as with the logo, is that they don't want to force their users to have unnecessary apps on their phones, whether they want to or not.
The Essential Phone's front is entirely made out of Gorilla Glass 5. What makes it even more durable is the titanium commonly used in rocket manufacturing.
Titanium is much more durable than the aluminum used in the manufacturing of most phones. The PH-1's "shell" is resistant to scratching, flailing, and falls. That's, of course, thanks to the durable materials of its construction.
The Essential Phone's designers have put it through many drop tests on solid concrete.
The following photo from the company's official website is a testament to just that. As one could quickly notice, the extensive tests reveal that the titanium frame is free of any damage, unlike the devices made out of aluminum.
QHD screen with an unusual aspect ratio of 19:10
The front of the PH-1 is what makes it so vastly different than any other phone out there.
Big screen, small phone
The device has a 5.71-inch LCD screen, with a resolution of 2560 x 1312 px and an unusual aspect ratio of 19:10. The screen takes up almost the entirety of the front part of the device with no noticeable margins.
The result is that, despite the massive 5.71" screen, it feels like a relatively small phone.
The screen's corners are rounded, just like the Galaxy S8 and LG G6. The Essential Phone, however, has a notch for the camera and headphones, which you can find on the front, right onto the upper part of the screen.
The front camera has an 8MP sensor with 4K video capabilities.
When it comes to this field, the PH-1 has a distinct advantage to the rest of the "All Screen" phones such as the Galaxy S8, which don't make full use of the unusual ratio of the screen. The PH-1, however, will display photos on full-screen.
Arguably one of the essential features that make Essential Phone stand out is the magnetic connector at the back of the device; it allows the user to connect various accessories to the phone.
The magnetic port has an excellent communication speed, sitting at 6GB per second. The entire section is made out of ceramic.
Aside from the absence of any branding, the features on the back of the phone are all symmetrically arranged. That includes the camera, the fingerprint sensor, and the ports for the innovative 360° camera module.
The 360° cameras in the opposition's arsenal are usually bulky and complicated. Contrary to that, the 360° camera module is by far the thinnest and smallest double-camera system in the world. Additionally, it's designed exclusively for the PH-1.
The camera uses color sensors as well as monochromatic ones. They can capture as much as 200% more light than traditional phone cameras.
Users can take accurate grayscale photos with the monochromatic sensor, which provides them with a professional photography level result.
All you'd have to do would be to click on the camera app to take and share photos that can now offer the full 360° experience.
A 360° camera is fundamentally different to a conventional one. That's because a photo like that would contain the entirety of the environment around the user. Such images become even more impressive if viewed through a VR headset.
In a recent interview, Rubin mentioned that the company plans on releasing a new module every few months. That would allow the users to feel that for the first time, they can upgrade not only their software but their hardware as well.
One of the Essential Phone's main advantages is that it has an unlocked bootloader.
The open bootloader feature offers a whole new way of management. It provides users with the opportunity to have much more customizable ROMs, among others.
Hardware and other features
The Essential Phone comes equipped with a Snapdragon 835 processor and an Adreno 540 GPU. Additionally, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage memory only add to the above.
The device currently comes with Android 7.1.1. Now that Android 8 Oreo has come to an increasing amount of devices, we're going to wait and see how soon the essential phone is going to receive the new OS update.
Due to the unlocked bootloader, many users' comments seem to mention that they have already installed a custom version of Oreo.
We're now going to cite the most important benchmarks of Phone Arena for the Essential Phone, comparing it to other high-end phones in the market.
It's worth noting that the Essential Phone stands out for its premium manufacturing and its compact design, rather than its high performance. That said, it isn't half bad at that, either.
We've listed the benchmarks of other powerful devices on the market, so we can have a general idea of what the PH-1 can do.
The ascending numbering in purple refers to the benchmarks' order.
Summary table of features
Below is a table containing the device's features so that you can have the overall picture right.
For now, the Essential Phone is only available for US and Canadian residents. That said, a UK and Europe release are underway. Its cost currently sits at $499,99 by itself, with the 360° camera module costing an additional $199.
What the users have said
Things are looking good for the Essential Phone, as there are countless positive reviews for it throughout the internet. Below is an image of a couple of them we found on Amazon.
Is the Essential Phone innovative and exciting?
If you want to share your opinion on the PH-1 and tell us whether it is an innovative smartphone or not, you can let us know in the comments down below.
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