Android co-founder teases bezel-less smartphone

Essential Phone

Android co-founder Andy Rubin has been working on a new premium smartphone meant to take on the likes of flagship Apple and Samsung phones. Little is known about the device so far. Now Rubin himself has outed a photo of the phone via his Twitter account, offering a small hint of what to expect.

To recap, Rubin left Google back in 2013 and has since founded a firm called Essential. A Bloomberg report back in January this year claimed that the company was working on a handset with an edge-to-edge display that lacks a surrounding bezel.

Rubin’s Twitter teaser backs up this assertion, showcasing a smartphone with very little bezel running along its sides. Unfortunately, only the top portion of the device is seen. There’s a cutout for the speaker and a physical button on the side, possibly a power button.

The icons seen in the corner look very similar to the ones present in Android, suggesting the handset will either run on a pure or forked version of the OS. The caption accompanying the tweet doesn’t give much away, with Rubin simply stating that he’s excited by how the phone is shaping up and talking about how eager he is to get it in more people’s hands.

At first glance, the Essential offering looks strikingly similar to the Mi Mix. The Xiaomi device also boasts of a nearly bezel-less screen on top. Its bottom makes room for more bezel, but there’s no way to know whether the upcoming phone has the same design.

Reports suggest that the smartphone may get blessed with a ceramic back, 3D Touch skills, and modular support. The last might come about via a proprietary magnetic connector that charges the battery and expands the device’s functionality over time.

The ability would allow Essential or third-party firms to create hardware accessories to add features like a 360-degree camera to the phone. As for its launch date, the handset might go official sometime in mid-2017.

VIAThe Verge
SOURCEAndy Rubin
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