A Closer Look At The Essential Phone's Modular Ecosystem

Andy Rubin's newly unveiled Essential Phone isn't just a fully fledged Android flagship but is also meant to be the start of a new modular ecosystem. While a follow-up to the Essential Phone might happen at some point in the future, this device is meant to be much more "future-proof" than its contemporaries, largely thanks to a wide variety of mods that are in the works and will be available for purchase in the near future. The top back side of the handset houses two magnetic pins that are referred to as "Click" connectors and are used for pairing the Essential Phone with a number of accessories, including the Essential Phone Dock and the 360-degree camera accessory that were unveiled simultaneously with Rubin's new premium phone.

No other mods for the Essential Phone have been presented so far but more details on the matter might be available later today once Rubin himself takes the stage at the Code Conference that's scheduled to start at 6 AM PT. Some industry watchers are already speculating that the device will receive an audio accessory of sorts that's meant to compensate for its lack of a traditional 3.5mm audio jack, though the phone itself will also ship with a 3.5mm dongle that users will be able to insert into its USB Type-C port. This particular product strategy wouldn't be unprecedented as it was recently adopted by Motorola Mobility and its Moto Mods-compatible smartphone lineup. While first promotional materials indicate that the future-proof trait of the Essential Phone will be somewhat related to its modularity, the internal hardware of the device won't be user-replaceable and it's currently unclear whether external mods will be able to compensate for the fact that its SoC, RAM, and other components will still be prone to falling behind with times as new and more powerful hardware gets commercialized.

The disruptive design philosophy that led to the Essential Phone indicates that the device may be the center of a unique ecosystem that's unlike any other mobile platform ever created, though the diversity of its mods will largely depend on the commercial performance of the device itself. The Essential Phone is scheduled to be released in the coming weeks and more details on the handset are expected to be available later today.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]