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How essential is the new Essential?

When you call a smartphone “Essential”, it itself is a very bold step. It suddenly comes under the scanner and people want to know how it’s different from the high-end smartphones we already carry. But, the fact is – It isn’t.

The Essential phone is a debutant product from a company called Essential Products. It was conceived by Andy Rubin, the person who was behind the Android operating system, and who later joined Google when Android was acquired.

The phone looks and feels like a well-made superior handset the moment you take it out of its box. It’s thin, weighs 6.5-ounce, solid black in color, a logo-free rectangular phone made of titanium and ceramic. You will immediately be reminded of the monolith from the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The phone, however, has its corners subtly curved.

The phone is not water resistant like its other recent contemporaries, like the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device. It also lacks biometric features – like the ability to unlock the phone by gazing into the display screen. However, it does have a fingerprint sensor.

The USP of the Essential is its special new wire-less futuristic magnetic connector. To keep the phone future-proof and fresh, Rubin also promises to deliver some other wireless accessories every few months, with guaranteed OS updates for two years, and monthly security updates for three. Right now, it operates on Android Nougat.

It has a dual rear 13MP cameras, and comes with a camera sensor designed especially for black and white images. The pictures are of superior quality. The small bad news is, there was a momentary lag between the time the shutter was tapped and the time in which the photos displayed on the device.


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