Essential, the company that was founded by Andy Rubin, who is known as the father of Android, has unveiled their first smartphone. Introducing the Essential PH-1.
Essential PH-1 Phone
The phone combines some of the features that we’ve seen in phones from other manufacturers. The display on the PH-1 is a dubbed a “Full Display”. It is a 5.7-inch QHD display with a 19:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2560 x 1312. The display’s brightness is capable of 500 nits.
The entire device is surrounded by Corning Gorilla Glass, titanium and ceramic. Essential says the PH-1 is significantly more durable that it’s competitors like the iPhone and Galaxy S8.
It’s being powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with 4GB of RAM and it has 128GB of internal storage. You’ll also find the Kryo 280 Octa-Core processor for the CPU and the Adreno 540 for the GPU.
It also uses USB Type-C for charging and to plug-in the 3.5mm to Type-C adapter to listen to music, since the PH-1 has no headphone jack. The PH-1 is being powered by Android (most likely 7.0 or 7.1 Nougat) but Essential didn’t specify.
The PH-1 also comes with Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, a 3,040 mAh battery with Fast charging support. There are 4x microphones with noise cancellation and beam forming. The back of the device has a fingerprint sensor which is the fastest available technology.
As for the cameras on the PH-1, there is a dual-lens setup on the back, one 13-megapixel RGB + Mono camera with image fusion technology along with another 13-megapixel True Monochrome lens. The camera can take video up to 4K at 30fps, IR Laser Assist Focus, Hybrid Auto Focus combing Contrast and has a f/1.85 aperture.
The front camera on the PH-1 is 8-megapixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a f.2.2 fixed hyperfocal lens. To the right of the dual-camera setup are a pair of accessory pins which can be used for future modular accessories such as the option 360 camera which is capable of taking 4K 360 video and 12-megapixel photos.
As for what networks or bands the phone will work with, here’s all the PH-1 works with:
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
Essential has said when the PH-1 will actually release but the phone is available for pre-order now from Essential’s website. It’s available in two colours, Black Moon and Pure White and two more colours, Stellar Grey and Ocean Depth will be available soon.
The PH-1 cost $699 USD and there is an offer going on right now, to get the 360-degree camera accessory for an extra $50 USD, instead of the usual price of $199 USD (or $898 USD together).
One thing to note is that the Essential PH-1 is only shipping to customer in the US right now. We’ve reached out to Essential about international availability and a more concrete ship date, we’ll update this post once we hear back.
That wasn’t the only thing that Essential announced. They also announced the Essential Home, which is the company’s answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo.
The actual device is the size of a puck and has an angled screen which is presumably a touchscreen. Essential says the Home is a device, “that you’ll actually be proud to display in your home. No boxes, tubes or strange lights.”
The Essential Home is running their own Ambient OS, which is capable of “introducing itself” to other smart home device to provide a smoother setup. The auto-display on the Essential Home can be activated in a few ways, via voice, tapping the screen or just by glancing at it. It will also wake up to alert you about contextual info like when to leave for your next appointment, depending on how long it will take you to get there.
That’s all the info on the Essential Home we have for now, you can go to the landing page for the device and sign up to be notified when it becomes available. Developers interested in the Ambient OS API can sign up soon.