Essential's Project Gem Presents A Wild Vision For The Future Of Smartphones

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Things over at Essential have been relatively quiet since the company's original smartphone launched two years ago with a Snapdragon 835 SoC and one of the very first appearances of a notched display. While the original Essential Phone PH-1 has long since been discontinued, CEO Andy Rubin made it clear that a successor was in development and we're seeing the first fruits of those labors with what is called Project Gem.

Rubin tweeted a number of images of the elongated smartphone, which is not quite like anything that we've seen before. The display has an especially tall and narrow display, which Rubin admits is a "radically different form-factor". Looking at the various images and video of the smartphone, we can see there is a rather large camera bump on the back along with a fingerprint sensor. Interestingly, the device looks more like a fancy remote control for your TV than a smartphone given its "dainty" appearance.

With that being said, we have to add that this isn't just some fancy design concept; this is actually Essential's follow-up to the PH-1. “We’ve been working on a new device that’s now in early testing with our team outside the lab. We look forward to sharing more in the near future," said an Essential spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.

It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to Project Gem, or whatever it will be called when it reaches production. The form-factor is intriguing, and the color shifting finishes on the back of the smartphone are definitely cool (and would lend itself well to the Gem name).

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According to previous reports, Project Gem will reportedly place a heavy emphasis on artificial intelligence, with the ability to automatically respond to messages for the user and even make phone calls on its own. Further digging by XDA-Developers has revealed that the smartphone could be running a Snapdragon 730 SoC.

With devices like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Project Gem, it's nice to see that "boring" iterations of smartphones year-over-year may be coming to an end.