Here is why the Essential Phone exists: 6 principles that make it different from others



In a world of tens, if not hundred of great devices, the announcement of the Essential Phone, the first handset from the namesake company conceived by Android creator Andy Rubin himself, will feel like one of many in just a few days.

In order for a phone to truly stand out these days, it needs more than just specs: it needs a solid reason to exist.

The Essential Phone, unlike many others, claims to have that reason. It has the why.

And it comes in the form of six principles that Andy Rubin clearly stated as his manifesto for the Essential Phone. Let's waste no time and look at them:


Here is our short comment on each of these points, as we understand them. Note that you can find the full manifesto at the source link below, and note that some of the points are a bit murky.

1. Personal property. 

This is all about privacy and security on your device, but it's also about the fact that the Essential Phone ships with no bloatware, with a crystal pure version of the Android platform.

2. Open ecosystem.

This one is a bit harder to interpret: yes, the Essential Phone is an open ecosystem, but the same can be said about other Android phones as well. We are looking forward to more clarifications on this: does this mean unlocked bootloaders and other goodies for devs and enthusiasts? Or does it mean that things like the magnetic docking system of the Essential Phone will be open for everyone to use? We are yet to see.

3. Craftsmanship.

The Essential Phone is the first mainstream phone to come with a titanium body, and this is an example of the commitment to craftsmanship. The fact that titanium is not suitable for a phone with the scale of an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy has not stopped Andy Rubin from creating the Essential Phone from titanium, a material that is much stronger than traditional aluminum.

4. Updated software.

This promise could be big for an Android phone like the Essential Phone. In a world where phones are forgotten by the media after a few months, but used by real consumers for much longer, updates are crucial. Basically, this is a pledge that the Essential Phone will be regularly updated.

5. Easy to use tech.

Technological advancement could come in many forms, but often they are dressed in complicated interfaces and are hard to access for many people. It is this commitment to ease of use that Essential is making here.

6. Simplicity.

Last, but not least, the Essential Phone stands by a principle of simplicity and straight-forwardness. It's hard to say just yet how will this translate into real life experiences, but simplicity goes shoulder to shoulder with ease of use, and is a pinnacle of great design, both for software and hardware.

source: Essential

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29 Comments

1. toukale

Posts: 631; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

What a bunch of pr bs, next.

16. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Ah! Essential Phone, eh? Well, I agree with all the reasons and 'principles' provided by its creators... But (Comma) The Google Pixel, OnePlus and of course; even Samsung Galaxies comes pretty close to this definition; and I can say the same about the upcoming Nokia Smartphones.... Essential phone is definitely nice on paper; but (comma) is it really... And I mean "REALLY" essential...? And that, detective, is the right question... Program terminated...

17. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2366; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well I would say that one of the main "concepts" this phone is trying to reintroduce the idea of a modular phone. It's a neat concept but how successful has that been? LG tried really hard with the G5 and abandoned it for the G6. Motorola seems to be sticking with it but I wonder how successful it's actually been or if people are mostly just buying one type of add on like the battery. People who pay $700 for a phone I don't think are going to shell out another $100 for one add-on. So the trick is making the mods cheap enough for the end consumer to purchase. And it has to be an add-on people are gonna want to use. The picture of the add-on featured is some sort of camera they have sticking up from the device, so obviously you can't have that on the device all the time because it will fall off. So that means having to carry it around in your pocket until you use it, which means it could easily get lost. I don't know I mean I'm interested to see the reviews on it and hope they are successful, but I can see where to improve on for their second iteration.

28. sgodsell

Posts: 7368; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Considering the first module they have is only $50 for a 360 camera, that attaches to this smartphone. Plus it comes standard with 128 gb of storage, stereo speakers, SD 835, USB-C​ with USB 3.1 transfer speeds, 1 gigabit LTE, Bluetooth 5, titanium casing, gorilla glass 5, 85% screen. This phone has a lot to like. It even has dual Sims as a standard feature.

2. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Going to be tough beating some of the other flagships out there. Good luck Andy.

6. Bankz

Posts: 2543; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Guess being 'father of android' wasnt enough afterall.

3. alexkim92

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

I'm not really sure how this is different from what Google has been doing with their Nexus and Pixel programs. Yeah, it's made out of titanium, but most people use cases on their phones anyways. Its material also suggests that it will be very difficult to mass-produce it to make the customer base that they want (unless they are aiming for Vertu-like market).

5. Hama22

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

The software might be Pixel and Nexus like but the design and build quality is not, well is n`t it good that you probably don`t need a case with this one? and for the customer base c`mon not Vertu-like bot not iPhone and Galaxy -like either, they wouldn`t get a iP and Galaxy-like customer base even if they wanted anyway.

7. alexkim92

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

Yeah, I agree. It made me to think this though. You know if you look at cars, their bumper, etc are made out of thin aluminium so that they absorb the impact when crashed. I wonder how this phone is actually better than iPhone or Galaxy. Because yeah, it may be more scratch-resistant, but when you drop it, your phone may just bounce around giving the front glass more chance to break. It may be the case that titanium transmits the majority of impact to the front glass causing it to crack more easily.

12. Guaire

Posts: 886; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

It's back is more fragile and probably more slippery than glass. Also we have yet to see how hard this titanium frame. Titanium is a strong, but not that hard material.

14. jgates86

Posts: 13; Member since: Jan 14, 2015

Titanium is much harder than aluminum, it's a 6 on Mohs scale vs the ~2.5-3 of aluminum. It's more brittle as it will instantly fracture and fail when stressed where aluminum will bend and deform before failing. Keep in mind that the tensile strength of TI is much greater than that of and AL alloy.

4. NoAllegiance unregistered

...So it's basically a hipster Nexus?

8. frustyak

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

"Premium materials and true craftsmanship shouldn’t be just for the few." That will only ring true if the Essential Phone is priced accordingly.

9. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Nice looking phone, but the battery could have been a bit more generous in size. Two-day battery life is my number on criterion, which is why I have been sticking to Xiaomi phones lately.

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I wonder if it comes with the mandatory Google apps installed or does it come without the Playstore.

13. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

I'm pretty sure that Google's all seeing eye is preinstalled and unable to be uninstalled.

18. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Most pre-installed Google apps can be disabled however.

22. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Still not the same as full uninstall. Or even better, never putting it on the device in the first place. Disabling Play Music caused me a bunch of problems on LG G2. It was bypassing LG's audio driver and limiting audio playback to 16 bits in all apps, most of the time. After rotting and uninstalling Play Music and some other Google services problems stopped. Since then it plays 24 bit audio without any problems.

23. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Google Play Music is no longer mandatory among others, so even if they come pre-installed, they should be removable nowadays. Pretty weird though that it bypassed a hardware driver. I am glad the list of mandatory Google apps is becoming shorter & shorter. Same for iOS that certain pre-installed Apple apps can be disabled. I prefer to have a phone with only the apps that I want.

24. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Good to hear that Google is scaling down their requirements for OEMs. I share your (and pretty much everyone else's) opinion that we don't need multiple apps for the same function. As for Google's apps, I'm not strictly against them. I just wish they were better (or at least good enough). But pretty much any OEM music player is better than Play Music, same for videos and gallery apps. LG's browser all the way back from Jelly Bean 4.2.2 has more options than Chrome has in 2017.

11. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

It is quite funny that he tries to look like Steve Jobs

19. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yeah because a bald head, glasses, a scruffy beard and black sweater is something only Steve Jobs did.../s

15. jove39

Posts: 2146; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Unless you enter market with $399 price to generate initial rush...it's gonna be tough. Anyone foresee nextbit robin repeat.

20. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

4. Updated software

21. A_A_A

Posts: 222; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

Device looks great, but I do not believe it will be any successful. First of all - it's quite pricey and you will need to find it to purchase... Without quick worldwide availability there is no any hope for any noticeable sales. In best case they can hope for a fraction of sales of Nexus devices.

25. LiveFaith

Posts: 465; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Didn't Rubin work with Palm and WebOS, or am I thinking of another who came over to Android? Too lazy to look up.

26. epdm2be

Posts: 822; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

"..Technology should assist you so that you can get on with enjoying your life..." Thus you remove essential features that people take for granted? Did this guy ever ASKED someone in the street what he or she actually want? Do these guys even USE the damn phones themselves? Essentially this Rubin guy should get his head out of his arse. Leave his ivory tower and come back to earth. And please, stop with the marketing talk. Some of us really don't fall for it anymore.

27. obedchuni

Posts: 335; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Google did best to remove him, afterall we are getting essential phone, he know his first baby was the mix of blackberry and symbian OS, with keyboards

29. pvt_aru

Posts: 1; Member since: May 31, 2017

They talked about closed ecosystem and "not forcing you to have anything that you don't want to have" and yet they took out the headphone jack? And no, selling or including a dongle or magnetic accessories doesn't forgive it. That just makes it even less convenient.

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