The Essential Phone, otherwise known as PH-1, changed smartphones as we knew them, with its titanium-and-ceramic form factor, close-to-bezel-less display and now-iconic notch – the first mainstream phone to sport one.
This time, Essential founder Andy Rubin (and also Android co-founder) unveiled photos of Essential’s Project Gem devices.
The phone appears to extremely slender, with what appears to be a volume rocker and power button on the right edge, visible speaker grille and hole punch-style selfie camera cutout on the top left corner.
With a roughly 4:1 aspect ratio, the Project Gem also seems svelt – like what an iPhone X would look if split right down the middle. On the rear, there seems to be a significant protrusion to the single rear camera, with a divot for the fingerprint scanner mounted underneath it.
Reports surrounding the project suggest that the more inconspicuous form factor belies Project Gem’s voice-centric user interface. Leaked code on XDA-Developers suggested the fingerprint hollow could be used as a push-to-talk trigger for a “fingerprint walkie talkie” mode.
If you’re expecting top-notch, high-end specs, you’re not in luck. The Essential Gem, as it would likely be named, will be powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 chipset, which means this device will be unlikely to be a gaming-oriented performance machine.
Founder Andy Rubin had left Google in controversy, with allegations of rampant infidelity involving a forced prenuptial agreement, a sex ring and numerous sexual harassment complaints – all worsened by a US$90M severance package.