The Essential Phone, by Andy Rubin, is basically the perfect Android phone – and this probably isn’t good news for the Google Pixel 2
I’ll readily admit I am a huge fan of the Google Pixel XL. I’ve used it for pretty much 12 months straight now and, during that time, I was also pretty convinced that I would do the same with the Google Pixel 2 in 2017/18.
But then something happened – the Essential Phone.
This phone, created by a new start-up, helmed by Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, has been causing quite a bit of hype ever since word first broke about the project online. And now it is official, it appears the hype was justified.
Not only does the phone look stunning and feature very impressive specs and hardware, but it also carries with it Mr. Rubin’s beliefs about open source technology, guaranteed Android updates for two years, regular security patches, a raft of innovative accessories, and, best of all, hardly any bloatware.
The Essential Phone – which is actually known as the PS-1 – doesn’t even carry a logo. Why? Simple: Andy Rubin says when you buy the phone, you own it, it is yours – not some branding experiment.
“One of the first things you’ll notice about Essential Phone is that there’s no branding,” said Rubin in a blog post. “That’s because we want it to be yours, not ours. And once you turn it on, you’ll find that there are a limited number of preloaded apps and no duplicative services.”
The Essential Phone is made from titanium and ceramic, meaning it is super hard-wearing. But, as you can see in the images below, it is also wonderfully eye-catching, way more so than Google’s incoming Pixel 2 updates, which have leaked plenty during the past couple of months and look, for the most part, like slight rehashes of the existing model.
The Essential phone, at its core, is designed to put the user first. It is designed to do that and then simply get out of the way and allow you to get on with your life.
“While the technology powering Essential Phone is cutting edge,” said Rubin, “the exterior and interface hide the complexity underneath; the result is a phone with a minimalist style designed to offer only what you need and nothing more.”
Essential even took a hit on storage to make the phone better; all Essential phones ship with 128GB of storage, so you will always have room for everything. Rubin said this was a small cost to the company and would pay dividends in the future, as more storage means happier users.
The price is pretty good as well – $699. That makes it cheaper than the incoming iPhone 8, the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google’s Pixel phones and just about every other flagship Android phone in existence right now.
To me, the Essential Phone kind of feels like a new Nexus phone. It has the software covered, it has the bloatware limited, and it comes with all the features you could ever need.
The ethos behind the phone is also very Nexus – it’s about the user and the software and not much else. Chuck in decent pricing, a great design, and some excellent, well-thought out features like 128GB as a standard for all phones, and you’re left feeling very compelled by this device.