Wednesday, 31 May 2017 09:25

Android creator Rubin releases Essential smartphone

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Given the number of Android phones on the market, it might seem like overkill to have yet another device released. Yet that is precisely what Android creator Andy Rubin has done, releasing a smartphone branded Essential-PH1.

The phone is at the top end of the market at US$749, and is positioned to compete with Pixel, Google's own smartphone, and Samsung's new Galaxy S8.

The handset is modular and sold unlocked. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 128 GB of internal storage and a 360-degree camera that can shoot spherical UHD images at 30 frames per second.

As usual, it will be available only in the US initially.

After Google bought Rubin's company Android Inc in 2005, he oversaw the development of the Android mobile operating system until March 2013.

essential phoneRubin quit Google in 2014 to set up Essential Products.

One of his emails was prominently cited in the Google-Oracle copyright case last year when it came to light that he had written, in response to suggestions that some other company might use Java in a mobile operating system, "Wish them luck. Java.lang.apis are copyrighted. and sun [sic] gets to say who they license the tck to."

Google won the case and an appeal. Oracle is appealing the final verdict and it is set to come up sometime this year.

Detailed specs of the Essential-PH1:

Materials

  • Titanium body
  • Ceramic back
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 cover glass

Dimensions

  • Height: 141.5mm
  • Width: 71.1mm
  • Thickness: 7.8mm
  • Weight: < 185 grams

Display

  • Resolution: 2560 x 1312 QHD
  • Aspect Ratio: 19:10
  • Diagonal Size: 5.71” with radiused corners
  • Brightness: 500 nits (typical)
  • Contrast Ratio: > 1:1000 (typical)
  • Technology: CGS / LTPS

Human Input + Sensors

  • 10 finger multitouch; palm and water-error rejection
  • Fingerprint reader: fastest available technology
  • Proximity / Ambient light sensor
  • Volume buttons, Power button
  • Environmental pressure sensor (barometer)
  • Accelerometer, Magnetometer and Gyroscope

Audio

  • Microphone: 4x microphones with noise cancellation and beam forming
  • Low Audio (earpiece)
  • High Audio: (loudspeaker)

Rear Camera

  • 13MP Dual RGB + Mono camera with image fusion technology
  • 13MP True Monochrome mode
  • f/1.85 lens
  • Hybrid Auto Focus combing Contrast, Phase Detect and IR Laser Assist Focus
  • Video at 4K 30fps, 1080p 60fps or 720p 120fps

Front Camera

  • 8MP resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio
  • f/2.20 fixed hyperfocal lens
  • Video at 4K 30fps, 1080p 60fps or 720p 120fps

Battery

  • 3040mAh.
  • Fast charging via USB

Memory and Storage

  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB UFS 2.1

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth: 5.0 LE
  • WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO
  • NFC: yes
  • Positioning: GPS and GLONASS

Network / Bands

  • UMTS/HSPA+: 1, 2, 4, 5 6, 8
  • GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A: 0, 1, 10
  • FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66
  • TDD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43
  • TD-SCDMA: 34, 39

System Architecture / OS

  • Android
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835
  • CPU: Kryo 280 Octa-core (2.45GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10nm processor
  • GPU: Adreno 540, 710MHz, 64bit

Ports

  • USB Type-C
  • 60GHz, 6 Gbps Wireless Accessory Connector
  • 2x accessory power pins
  • NanoSIM tray with pin eject

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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