Andy Rubin, the founder of Android Inc, has posted a message on Twitter informing fans that his startup’s new Essential Phone, the PH-1, is going through testing and US certification, and the phone should be made available in the next few weeks. Earlier, Rubin promised to launch the Essential Phone early in June but missed the deadline.
After missing the initial deadline, Rubin has announced that the device will be seen in a few weeks and hasn’t committed on any date yet. The latest information is that a firm release date will be announced next week.
Rubin also announced that the team is working round the clock to get the first smartphone out into users’ hand, and is excited about the launch. He also said that the company is ramping up production and heading towards preparing for the grand launch event. Essential Phone is expected to have a bezel-less design and is said to be equipped with flagship-level hardware.
Essential President Niccolo De Masi confirmed that the Android device will be priced at $699 and the smartphone will come with an edge-to-edge display. The smartphone will be available through major US retailers like BestBuy and Amazon.
Essential Phone, a stock Android device, will be sold unlocked through the Essential website. In the US, it is partnered with Sprint and, in Canada, with Telus. The company is working on similar agreements with international carriers, which will be announced at a later date.
Some of the known specifications so far:
The Android smartphone will come with high-end specifications and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. It will sport 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, and will come with modular capability, the first “mod” of which is a 360-degree camera.
On the device, the front camera is 8 megapixels and the rear-facing camera packs 13MP. The device is said to be running on Android 7.0 Nougat, likely to upgrade to a higher version of Android, Android O, given the launch delay.
On the camera front, Essential claims to be working on something called subjective tuning to capture great images in all conditions – different kinds of scenes, distances and lighting conditions.
Next week, we’ll finally know when US customers are likely to get their hands on the new Essential Phone PH-1.