Android creator launches Essential Phone

Android creator launches Essential Phone [Image: Marco_Piunti via iStock]

The creator of Android has launched a new high-end smartphone, which he claims will feature a pure version of the operating system, lacking in bloatware or unnecessary features.

Andy Rubin said that there is space in the smartphone market for another major player to challenge the likes of Samsung and Apple.

When Mr Rubin left Google, he went on to found Playground, an investment company focused on technological developments. The firm has funded Essential, which has now produced what is simply known as the Phone. It has been priced at $699 (£540), placing it in the top end of devices.

The Essential Phone is constructed from titanium, which Essential is proud of. According to Wired, several sources at the company said that Apple attempted to produce the next iPhone from titanium but weren’t able to.

Titanium is a more durable material but it is difficult to work it through the machines required for producing smartphones. However, it is strong enough to not need a protective case, said Mr Rubin.

One potential downside for the new device is that it is not waterproof, something consumers are increasingly expecting in their phones. The Essential Phone also lacks a headphone jack.

However, the company behind it is hoping that its powerful performance will attract new users. It features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and has 4GB of RAM, with 128GB of storage.

It also comes with two magnetic dots on the rear of the device, which are used for docking or attaching accessories, such as the 360 degree camera that comes in the box. It is a modular approach, one that Mr Rubin told Wired was an attempt “to make the accessory as future-proof as possible”.

Whether the Essential Phone can compete with the established giants remains to be seen.