Essential Confirms New Smartphone is in the Works, Could Feature Snapdragon 730 and Android 10
The Essential PH-1. Image for Representation (Image: Essential)
Android creator Andy Rubin's firm, Essential, is back in the news for all the right reasons. According to the latest confirmation from a company spokesperson, the company is working on a new device which is in the early testing phase with further details to be shared at a later stage.
The statement followed XDA Developers' investigation of a commit entry from an Essential software engineer. According to XDA, the device being referred to by the Essential engineer was running Android Q and was using an open-source alternative to Google's Play Services framework. Furthermore, the device was being powered by Snapdragon 730. Turns out Essential engineers mistakenly leaked details about the new hardware while trying to patch a bug which revealed that the device's codename is 'gem'.
Last year Bloomberg had reported that Essential was working on an 'AI-phone' that could automatically respond to messages and perform tasks, but the rumour is open to interpretation. In an interview with Bloomberg last year, Rubin said, “If I can get to the point where your phone is a virtual version of you, you can be off enjoying your life, having that dinner, without touching your phone, and you can trust your phone to do things on your behalf,” he said. “I think I can solve part of the addictive behaviour.”
The Essential PH-1 was a novel device that used unconventional materials with durability and aesthetic appeal. However, it was criticized for having a weak camera and a high price point of $699. The phone had later received a price drop of $200, which didn't help in sales either.