Andy Rubin’s Modular Essential Phone Features Stylish Titanium And Ceramic Chassis

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Android co-founder Andy Rubin has returned to the spotlight with his new company, Essential, and he’s making waves with the official unveil of his Essential Phone. This is a true flagship smartphone that is powered by the Android operating system (near-stock, of course) and packs in all the latest hardware and a clean, industrial design.

The chiseled frame is constructed of titanium and ceramic materials, which should enable it to be more durable than its aluminum-clad competition. Essential proudly displays how an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy aluminum unibody frames will show visible damage (pitting) from drop tests, while the Essential Phone survives the same tests unscathed.

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On the front, you’ll find a massive edge-to-edge display that amazingly wraps around the centrally-mounted 8MP selfie camera. It’s an interesting design touch that is rumored to be similarly applied on the upcoming iPhone 8. The display itself has a 19:10 aspect ratio and measures 5.71 inches diagonally. Its odd sizing and display ratio means that the resolution is an atypical 2560x1312.

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Essential Phone Charging Dock (notice the pogo pins)

Out back, you’ll find a round fingerprint sensor and horizontally-arranged dual 13MP cameras and a flash. You’ll also see two peculiar holes on the back of Essential Phone: this is where accessories plug into the device. The first of which is a 360-degree camera module that connects magnetically using pogo pins. The camera is capable of shooting spherical UHD (3840x1920) footage at 30 frames per second. A charging dock that also uses the pogo pins to connect will also be available at a later date.

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Powering the smartphone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 along with 4GB of RAM. A generous 128GB of onboard storage (UFS 2.1) is included. Other features include a USB-C port with fast charging support, a 3040 mAh battery, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and the new Bluetooth 5.0 wireless standard. You won’t find a 3.5mm headphone jack, but there will be a dongle included in the box.

The Essential Phone is available for pre-order right now for $699. If you decide to bundle in the 360-degree camera accessory, you’ll pay $749. It is available in Pure White, Black Moon, Stellar Grey and Oceans Depths (which is a cool shade of green).