Rubin Shows Phone and Assistant with Circular Display

Essential Phone e1496158112334Andy Rubin is a well known name in mobile phone circles as he was a key individual in the development of Android. He now has a company, Essential, which has a new smartphone, a voice-based personal assistant and a new OS called Ambient.

The smartphone has a 5.71″ display that covers much of the front of the phone and has 1312 x 2560 resolution (19:10). It uses a Qualcomm 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of on-device storage. The front camera is an eight megapixel unit with 4K video support (or 1080P at 60fps) and a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with a secondary monochrome sensor. There will be a clip on 360º camera and connectivity is via USB Type-C. Pricing is set at $699.

The operating system is described as follows by the firm:

  • Ambient OS provides a set of services and abstractions that enable the development and execution of applications that run in the context of your home. With Ambient OS, your home is the computer. Ambient OS is aware of the physical layout of your home, the people that live in it, services relevant to both your home and the people within, and devices.
  • Key to Ambient OS is the belief that people should always be in control. To this end, it does not try to make your home smart by anticipating what you need. Instead, as it learns from people, it can suggest certain behaviors but in the end people decide whether or not use them.

The Ambient OS is on top of Android and the company calls it “the API for your home”.

The assistant is called Essential Home and includes a circular display. It will ship later this year.

Analyst Comment

Essential takes privacy issues very seriously and stores data locally where possible and is intended to be less dependent on the cloud than other devices. That really sets it against the long term trend for more and more migration to the cloud.

“The home is your own space where you should be able to say what you want, without having to worry about your privacy,” it says on its website. (BR)