Andy Rubin's phone, dubbed the Essential PH-1, has officially been launched after discreet years in the making. A handset that started as an audacious venture from the Android co-founder's desk, the Essential phone is bound to be the next key player in the smartphone race.

Specs

The Essential PH-1 phone has top of the line specs and features. It sports a 5.71-inch edge-to-edge touchscreen display (1312 x 2560 pixels) that goes all the way to the top draping around the 8MP front snapper at the centre. There is a quarter of an inch of bezel left at the bottom. The main camera has 13 megapixels. It is made of titanium and ceramic which means it can survive a dreadful drop test unscathed.

The device runs on a 1.9 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable internal storage, and 3040mAh non-removable battery. It is powered by Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Rubin's team projects the handset to be of the minimalist kind—no fancy design, no attention-grabbing logo, just an Essential phone at its best. With this impressive hardware design comes another crucial part of the entire performance—software. Fortunately, the developers are proud to announce that the Essential phone's minimalism goes deeper down to the core—it is not rippled with a bunch of bloatware!

The company is building an ecosystem of accessories: magnetic connector, 360-degree camera, and charging dock. The magnetic connector is used for wireless data transfer. The 360-degree camera can be snapped on and off the phone through a small pogo pin. There will be no headphone jack; the phone ships with a headphone dongle instead.

Price

The Essential PH-1 phone's base price is US$699. It will be available in four colour variants: Black Moon, Pure White, Stellar Grey, and Ocean Depth. The 360-degree camera is an add-on pegged at US$50. Reservations are now open on Essential's website.

Release date

Andy Rubin has not announced the phone's release date. But it will be available in the US first before it hits other markets worldwide. Nevertheless, the Essential PH-1 phone is expected to come out in the next few months.