Andy Rubin’s Essential Smartphone Could Be Announced On May 30

Essential smartphone teaser 1

Essential, the startup founded by Android’s co-founder Andy Rubin, has announced on Twitter that it will be announcing something on May 30. According to the Tweet, the announcement will be a big one, but no details beyond that were provided. Speculation here, obviously points directly toward Essential’s upcoming Android phone. Meant to be fundamentally different from other phones, the timing of such an announcement could put the phone out there just in time to ship with Android O on board. Or of course, Android 7.0 (Nougat) with a number of Rubin-centric customizations on board. A third, slightly more outlandish possible scenario is that the phone ships with Fucshia OS rather than Android. Fuchsia is open-source and freely available on GitHub right now and a preview APK was compiled just recently which showed off what the interface may be like, but since Fuchsia is a Google project and Rubin parted ways with Google long ago, the chances of that are far less than the phone shipping with Android.

Essential’s upcoming device is still shrouded in mystery, though there have been a couple of occasions where it seemed to turn up. Rubin himself sent out a Tweet not long ago with a picture of a hand holding what may have been the device (shown above), and a device that seemed to match that picture turned up in a Michelin commercial, running Android and bearing a text message that set one of the commercial’s many tiny storylines into motion.

The phone in the commercial sported the nearly bezel-free look found on the likes of the Xiaomi Mi MIX and Sharp AQUOS lineups. The screen size and resolution aren’t clear in the appearances that the device has reportedly made so far, and the specs for the device have only been leaked via Geekbench, with no full confirmation that the Essential phone is indeed the one shown. That benchmark showed a device with a 5.5-inch screen set at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,312. The processor wasn’t specified, but the Adreno 540 GPU implies that it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. Whatever processor is in that mystery device, it’s paired up with 4GB of RAM. Strangely, only 16GB of storage seemed to be on board, which wouldn’t be much when taking pictures with the 12-megapixel back camera and an 8-megapixel selfie shooter, especially since they’re capable of recording in 4K. It’s worth noting that the mysterious device that showed up on Geekbench ran Android Nougat.