Andy Rubin's Essential Phone should be released next month, will feature a new digital assistant
While the Essential Phone can already be reserved in the US, an exact release date for it hasn't been provided. Fortunately, we now know that the handset will start shipping soon. Talking at Code Conference 2017 today, Andy Rubin said that the Essential Phone would go on sale in the next 30 days - so it should reach customers before the end of June.
Andy Rubin also mentioned that the new handset - which runs stock Android 7 Nougat - will come with its own digital assistant. This will also be available on Essential's Home smart speaker (which will compete with other smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo). For now, it's not clear how the new digital assistant is differentiating itself from Google Assistant, Apple Siri, Alexa, or Cortana. But we'll find out more about this in the coming weeks.
As a reminder, the Essential Phone is offered unlocked (for $699), and will be compatible with most relevant US mobile carriers. For the beginning, the handset will be available only online, but "other distribution channels" should be added at some point.