Photo Credit: Twitter / Essential
Essential has been in a hardware slumber for over two years after launching its first and only phone – the eponymous Essential Phone. After revealing that a new product is in the pipeline last year, Essential founder Andy Rubin has shared the first look of the company's next phone via a short video and a few live images. Essential's upcoming phone is shown to have a very tall aspect ratio and a single rear camera housed in a large circular module. The phone defines conventional design standards and has a candy bar form factor with a metallic lustre finish on its rear panel.
Rubin tweeted a short video and few images of Essential's upcoming phone. It is shown flaunting a very reflective rear panel in four distinct colours that appear to be shades of blue, gold, magenta and cyan green. One can clearly see the dramatic colour shift on each colour variant when light falls on it from different angles. Surprisingly, the phone appears to have a single rear camera and a physical fingerprint sensor below it.
The former Google employee, who is also credited with the creation of the Android operating system, used the words “GEM Colorshift Material” in his tweet, which suggests that the phone might end up being called the Essential Gem upon its launch. This is supported by the fact that Essential has already filed a patent application before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to trademark the name. Rubin mentioned in a subsequent tweet that the company “is still dialling in the colours”.
He also shared a couple of images showing the front face of Essential's upcoming phone and its display that has one of the tallest aspect ratios we have seen on a smartphone lately. The phone can clearly be seen sporting a punch-hole camera. Rubin mentioned that Essential is working on a new UI for a radically different form factor. While the Essential founder did not reveal much about the new UI, the phone appears to display apps in a card-like interface to make the most out of its thin display.
Essential revealed back in September last year that the company is working on an AI-powered phone that will mimic users and automatically respond to messages and book appointments on their behalf. It was also reported that the upcoming phone will sport a small display and can be controlled primarily using voice commands. Rubin's tweets and the phone's UI suggest that the Essential Gem, or whatever the company decides to call it, might well be the phone that has been in development for over a year.
However, there is no word when the phone will debut. The official Essential Twitter handle also shared a couple of images of the company's upcoming phone and mentioned that it is currently under testing with its team. An XDA-Developers report states that Essential's next phone might run Android 10 and will reportedly be powered by the Snapdragon 730 SoC. There is also the mention of a “walkie talkie” feature that is tipped to let users talk with the Google Assistant while pressing one's finger against the fingerprint sensor. However, these are speculations based on random code, so do process them with a fair bit of scepticism.