Here's the essential phone 2 you wanted and never got


It’s been more than two years, several price cuts, and one mass layoff since Andy Rubin’s Essential burst inlớn the scene with a new kind of phone. Hailed by critics và instantly declared the next big thing, it was the first Android phone with a notch, no headphone jack, a modular magnetic system, và an overinflated sense of purpose.

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In no uncertain terms, Essential Phone was a beautiful disaster. Initial figures put sales south of 100,000, the promised charging and audio mods arrived late or not at all, and the AI-powered home page hub turned out to lớn be pure vaporware.

But now Rubin expects us to lớn forget all that—along with a series of sexual misconduct allegations that reportedly forced hlặng out of Google baông xã in 2014—& trust in his new smartphone vision. In a thinly veiled tease of the next Essential Phone, Rubin tweeted out a series of pics of what he calls a “new UI for a radically different formfactor (sic).” A few hours later, his company confirmed the images as showing “a new device khổng lồ reframe your perspective,” claiming that “it’s now in early testing with our team outside the lab.”

And radical it is. The phone looks to lớn have a a glossy “Colorshift” bachồng with a single bulbous camera, a hole-punch selfie cam, unikhung bezels, and an extra-tall screen that puts the Note 10+‘s 19.5:9 aspect ratio to lớn shame. In all honesty, it looks more lượt thích a new Apple TV remote than a phone, and it raises for more question than answers.

Let’s start with the most obvious one: what operating system is it running? Rubin touted the chất lượng UI of the new device, but the two screenshots don’t look like any version of Android I’ve sầu ever seen. So it’s safe lớn say that it’s a proprietary OS designed for the screen’s a ridiculous ratio. Rubin may have the Android pedigree to stand one, but the last thing we need is a new smartphone OS in 2019.

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Andy Rubin/Essential

Andy Rubin is teasing a new Essential Phone but I have lots of questions.

Also, what about our perspective needs reframing? The first Essential Phone may have been a monument to Rubin’s self indulgence, what with its laông chồng of a logo, “real passion và craftsmanship,” and desire to “change how successful technology companies are built forever,” but at least it stuông xã to lớn a basic điện thoại thông minh formula. The pictures of Essential Phone 2 show screens with numerous tiles for time, music, photos, và apps all showing at once, but how is that a benefit? To vì anything with the phone we’re going lớn need to lớn launch an tiện ích anyway, which leads to lớn the rest of my questions:

How vì you type on it?How bởi you watch a Clip on it?Does it run Google apps?Can you vì chưng anything other than use Essential’s stoông xã apps?How vì you play games other than Tetris?How vì chưng you hold it?How bởi vì you use it?How secure is it?

And if I wasn’t clear earlier: what’s the point? As far as I can tell, Essential Phone 2’s design is little more than Rubin’s desire lớn be different while once again admonishing the rest of the industry for not seeing it sooner.

The only thing Essential Phone was truly better at doing than other Android phones was delivering timely và regular updates, often as fast as Google’s own Pixel phones, even lớn this day. But assuming Essential Phone 2 runs an in-house OS, what guarantees will we have that it’s safe, secure, & private? After Essential Phone crashed và burned & failed to lớn deliver on its biggest promises, now we’re supposed lớn believe that Rubin has created a ground-up reimagining of the smartphone experience that is mature enough lớn challenge Android và iOS? Màu sắc me skeptical.

Let’s face it, without Rubin’s involvement, Essential wouldn’t have sầu received nearly as much attention as it did. Maybe we shouldn’t repeat that same mistake this time.