Android creator Andy Rubin’s Essential is back in the news again. If you’ve been a fan of the company’s Essential Phone, that had a rocky start to begin with only to pleasantly surprise everyone by its tenacious software support even after all this time, you’ll be pleased to know that a second Essential phone is in the making. Rubin and Essential have shared the first details of their upcoming gem of a project, aptly titled Project Gem. And much like the Essential Phone 1, this one’s going to also surprise you as well – even more so. For it looks different. Different from anything that we’ve seen before.
Prototypes shared by Rubin and Essential on Twitter show off a unique smartphone – a radically different form factor – with an unusually tall display. Sort of like the Samsung Galaxy Fold folded. And it’s narrow. Again, sort of like the Samsung Galaxy Fold folded. But this is no foldable. It’s a regular old-fashioned smartphone – if you can call it that, in the first place. There’s a punch hole cutout at the top for the selfie camera, like the one we’ve seen in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.
We've been working on a new device to reframe your perspective on mobile. It's now in early testing with our team outside the lab. Look forward to sharing more in the near future! #ProjectGEM pic.twitter.com/BnVy7yM2Kj— Essential (@essential) October 9, 2019
On the back, the phone has gradient glass. The Essential Phone 1 was carved out of titanium and ceramic so we will have to wait and watch what the second-generation has in store with regards to build quality. Elsewhere, the phone has a single rear camera inside and what appears to be a fingerprint scanner below it. The phone, as is the new trend, will come in a slew of colours from coral to blue.
Bigger changes will be coming in software though. Assuming that the phone is still running Android, what we see in the images shared by Rubin and Essential, looks like a highly modified version with a card-based interface. Should this be a new ROM based on Android, it would be interesting to see how Rubin and Essential would convince developers into making apps for it. If at all, this is a fully-fledged smartphone and not something that Essential is looking to pitch as a secondary device for a digital detox. Further details are awaited.