A smartphone is a smartphone, right? Not according to Android founder Andy Rubin. The operating system icon might seem as though he’s not breaking any new ground with the announcement of his new smartphone Essential, but it’s the ethos – and the reason that creator Andy built this product to begin with – that really sets it apart from competitors.
In a personal post on the Essential website, Andy explains his motives for creating a new strain of smartphone.
“The real reason is because of what happened during a night out with an old friend of mine,” Andy writes on the company website. “As the night went on, we inevitably began talking about what we didn’t like about the current state of technology. Less and less choice. More and more unnecessary features cluttering our lives. An increasing sea of products that didn’t work with one another…
“And just when I was about to drop another criticism, it hit me: I am partly responsible for all of this.”
It’s this line of thinking that led Andy to develop Essential with the following product principles: the phone doesn’t come with anything you don’t want or need (apps that you never use? No, thanks), no “closed ecosystems” or difficulty working with oppositional tech, as well as a focus on longevity to result in you having your phone for multiple years, premium craftsmanship and design simplicity.
Read More: This New Tech Lets You Mute Your Work Space
What does that translate to? Apart from all the techy stats (4GB RAM, 2560 x 1312 QHD screen resolution and 8MP camera), Essential is also made of shatterproof titanium (as opposed to the aluminium iPhone), all accessories can magnetically connect to the back of the phone, leaving it essentially wireless. The phone also charges via a dock, so there’s not wires there either. It’s a full-screen display, with the only obstruction being the front-facing camera.
No Australian release date has yet been set for Essential, but it’s currently priced at US$699.