Essential Phone hands-on: What you need to know
Is there room for something different in the smartphone industry? That’s what Andy Rubin believes, and the Essential Phone is his answer. Intended to launch a consumer-positive brand in electronics, it’s a sleek Android handset that makes thoughtful design and modular expansion its guiding principles.
Form follows function. The carefully-crafted titanium, ceramic, and Gorilla Glass body uses materials picked for their resilience, but they’ve been combined to accommodate a stunning edge-to-edge display. It left Essential’s engineers little space to fit the front-facing camera, earpiece, and all the sensors on a modern smartphone.
The effort was worth it. The 5.71-inch Quad HD display is bigger than that of an iPhone 7 Plus, but the Essential Phone itself is much smaller. That makes for a device that’s easier to use single-handed. There’s no Android bloat, either, with a clean version of Google’s OS installed and the promise of monthly security updates for at least the next three years. It makes a nice change from the usual clutter most carriers push onto new devices.