New company Essential Products announced its debut products today, including a modular titanium smartphone with an edge-to-edge display and an Amazon Echo competitor. Andy Rubin, the founder of Essential and the original creator of the Android OS platform, announced the devices ahead of a talk he is scheduled to give later on Tuesday at the Code Conference.

The company's logo-free Essential Phone features a 5.71-inch edge-to-edge QHD display that reaches all the way to the top of the phone and runs around the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The unique design is in contrast to Samsung's Galaxy S8, which retains a minimal bezel to house the camera and associated components.

ph 1 color black moon copy 1000x1000
The phone is constructed from titanium and ceramic, allowing it to survive a drop test "without blemish, unlike the aluminum competitor devices," the company claims. Apart from the fingerprint sensor and camera lenses, the rear of the device also features a modular accessory system that works via a pair of magnetic pins.

Initially, the "Click" cordless connector pins will hook up to the company's 360-degree camera and phone dock, with more modular products planned that Essential promises will "keep your phone cord-free, future-proof, and always up-to-date". A USB-C connector at the bottom of the phone provides the only other connectivity; no headphone jack is included.

The Essential Phone is powered by a Qualcomm 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and has 128GB of storage, while its 13-megapixel rear-mounted dual lens camera includes a monochrome sensor and supports 4K at 30 frames per second. The phone runs some form of Android, but the company promises no extraneous software is pre-installed. Available in black, grey, white, and "Ocean Depths" colors, the phone will launch in the U.S. later this summer and cost $699.

pz5s5zb3
Onto the company's new Amazon Echo competitor, the Essential Home. Details are still scant on the product, but here's what we know. The intelligent assistant device has a relatively inconspicuous puck-like shape with a sloping top that's dominated by a round touchscreen, which allows users to control music, ask general interest questions, set times, and control lights. It can be activated with a question, a tap, or even a "glance", according to Essential, suggesting some form of face detection.

The Essential Home will run the company's open platform Ambient OS, allowing it to interface with existing smart home products as well as SmartThings, HomeKit, Nest, and other popular standards. The intelligent assistant will also support notifications and reminders with contextual information displayed on-screen. Processing of user data is said to remain local to the device wherever possible. Pricing is yet to be announced, but the Essential Home is expected to ship later this summer.

Wired today published a write-up of Rubin's new Essential venture that provides some interesting background on the company. You can read the article here.

Top Rated Comments

JaySoul Avatar
55 months ago
It's interesting and wish them all the best.

Doubt many people will buy it but it's always good when a company comes with fresh ideas.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
55 months ago
Looks like Google Pixel, with modules and un-symmetric bezels. (don't like that chin)
4GB RAM is questionable for such price and year. (oneplus 5 is gonna be 6-8 GB)
Your thumb will rest on volume up button and not on power, this design is straight out of chinese phones, hate it too.
Android phones need 6-8GB RAM? Why?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
55 months ago
If you see a fingerprint sensor on the back, they blew it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
55 months ago
More impressed by the echo competitor than the phone. Makes me wonder though where we go with smart phones once we've gone completely bezel free. I guess just spec bumps year after year? I guess it had to happen eventually, but for me the enthusiasm I once had for following this sector is fading fast and I don't think even Apple can pull something magical out of the bag anymore. I really hope I'm wrong though.
Think less in terms of specs, and more in terms of what role your smartphone can play in your life.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mascots Avatar
55 months ago
This makes Amazon's attempt at a voice assistant with a screen look just down right sad.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
usamaah Avatar
55 months ago
Looks like Google Pixel, with modules and un-symmetric bezels. (don't like that chin)
4GB RAM is questionable for such price and year. (oneplus 5 is gonna be 6-8 GB)
Your thumb will rest on volume up button and not on power, this design is straight out of chinese phones, hate it too.
I think 4GB is enough if the software is close to "stock" Android. Samsung phones typically need tons of RAM because they have so many useless services running in the background.

If you see a fingerprint sensor on the back, they blew it.
Yeah, totally. /s

Android phones need 6-8GB RAM? Why?
None need it, but some benefit from it because they're trying to do so much. Samsung phones typically have tons of extra services running and they eat up RAM. As Android O introduces picture in picture to all phones, I imagine having more RAM will be nice. But more RAM does need power to run, and so I do wish these companies would balance things a bit better.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature

Unreleased Apple Macs and Apple Watches Listed in Eurasian Database Ahead of Fall Product Launches

Monday August 2, 2021 9:34 am PDT by
Apple is preparing for a slew of fall product launches according to new filings that showed up today in the Eurasian Economic Commission database. There are listings for new Mac and Apple Watch models, all of which have previously unknown model identifiers that indicate that they're upcoming devices. There are six new Apple Watch identifiers, including A2473, A2474, A2475, A2476, A2477, and...
ifixit iphone12 mini

Apple to Make Space for Larger Batteries in iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks By Adopting Slimmer Peripheral Chips

Monday August 2, 2021 2:12 am PDT by
For future iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, Apple plans to use smaller internal components in an effort to increase the size of the device's battery, according to DigiTimes. Image Credit: iFixit Specifically, Apple plans to "significantly increase the adoption" of IPDs or integrated passive devices for the peripheral chips in its products. These news chips will be slimmer in size and allow for...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
iPhone 13 Wi Fi 6E feature update

Wi-Fi 6E Explained: What It Could Mean for iPhone 13 and Beyond

Monday August 2, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 is widely expected to come with Wi-Fi 6E capabilities, and while it may seem rather nuanced to the average consumer, with only improved speeds and being "up to date" in the realm of Wi-Fi technology, it's actually a fairly significant improvement, laying the groundwork for much of what we know the future holds. To truly understand Wi-Fi 6E, MacRumors sat down for an exclusive...
magic keyboard touch id

Apple Makes Magic Keyboard With Touch ID Available for Separate Purchase

Tuesday August 3, 2021 5:22 am PDT by
Apple has made the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, which previously was only available with the purchase of the new 24-inch iMac, available for purchase individually for $149. Apple also retails the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and a numeric keypad for $179. A standard Magic Keyboard without Touch ID or a numeric keypad is available for $99, and a new Magic Trackpad for $129. One major...
themorningshowcarrell

Apple Decided Not to Buy Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' Media Company

Monday August 2, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Reese Witherspoon's media company "Hello Sunshine" recently courted various buyers, and while Apple was one of parties interested in buying Hello Sunshine, the Cupertino company did not end up going through with the purchase. Hello Sunshine was valued at around $900 million thanks to its involvement in popular series like The Morning Show," "Big Little Lies," and "Little Fires Everywhere,"...
COVID19 Digital Wallet Apple Wallet

Australian Government Now Offering COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificates for Apple Wallet

Monday August 2, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
The Australian government has introduced support for adding COVID-19 vaccination digital certificates to Apple Wallet via the Express Plus Medicare app on iOS. Image credit: Tap Down Under As spotted by Tap Down Under, users who have received two doses of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine now have access to the digital certificate through their Medicare online account or via the Medica...
mac pro new graphics

Apple Introduces New High-End Graphics Options for Mac Pro

Tuesday August 3, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Apple today began offering new high-end graphics upgrade options for both the tower and rack versions of the Mac Pro desktop computer. This comes on the same day that Apple started selling the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID on a standalone basis. As noted by CNN Underscored's Jake Krol, the Mac Pro can now be configured with new AMD Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, or W6900X graphics when...