Some of the team that created the Essential Phone has a new Android handset due out next summer

Some of the team that created the Essential Phone has a new Android handset due out next summer
According to Android Police, the team behind the Essential Phone PH-1 (or PHone) has another handset in the works for a new company named OSOM that was co-founded by Jason Keats who is also the firm's co-CEO. Keats said that when designing and building the Essential Phone, the team had no idea what the point of the device was or what they were designing it for.

The OSOM OV1 is definitely not a sequel to the Essential Phone PH-1

But as he explains, this time things are different. He states, "One of the things that hurt Essential was, it wasn’t entirely clear what the point of Essential was, what we were building for, and that hurt us. Ultimately, that was probably the biggest — for all the other issues, that was probably the biggest thing that prevented us from being successful. And so we sat down and said, 'What is something we can address?' And we said, 'Well, I’m really annoyed at how much my phone and other companies know what I’m doing.'"

OSOM's first handset is the OV1. OSOM is an acronym for "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" which is supposed to promote the firm's belief in privacy and security. And if you speak with an accent and say that name fast phonetically, it sounds like "awesome." The OV1 model number stands for OSOM Vault 1 and brings back memories of the Essential Phone PH-1 name.

As we said, OSOM plans on putting security first. The focus is on privacy and simplicity (read ease of use) in software, hardware, and marketing. The phone features a triangular camera island on the upper left corner of the rear which carries a dual-camera system and a flash. With a return to simplicity, there is a rear capacitive fingerprint scanner on the handset and a Qualcomm chipset will drive the device.

Keats had more to say about building a device that puts privacy and security first. "Everybody’s got stuff they just don’t want on the internet — like, I know because I travel a ton, I have a picture of my passport, my green card, my driver’s license. I have them all, and I hate knowing they’re living on Google Drive. And that Google probably has access to them."

He adds, "And, if something goes wrong, anyone that has access to Google has access to that…. It’s nothing nefarious, it’s nothing shady, these are just things that are important to me, and I really don’t want them out in the world. Everybody’s got stuff like that — not necessarily photos; it’s files, it’s medical data, it’s financial data. Everything we do is around helping the user control what’s shared and what’s not shared."
The full specs of the OSOM OV1 will be released at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February and the phone will be released sometime this coming summer. Keats stresses that the phone is not a sequel to the Essential Phone PH-1 and will not have modular accessories as that phone did.

The device will run Android, no surprise. And the company hopes to use a near-stock version of the operating system similar to how the operating system was presented on the Essential Phone. You might remember that the latter was one of the first Android phones after the Pixel to receive Android updates and this is one thing that Keats wants to take along with him on the new ride with OSOM.

The executive points out that Google was upset at the speed at which the Essential Phone offered Android updates. He said, "Literally, we would get yelled at by Google for being too fast… they would then say, 'We will not allow you to push your update until the Pixel team is ready.'"

The OSOM OV1 is currently at the Engineering Validation and Testing (EVT) stage

The OSOM OV1 will also allow users to decide what data is and isn't being shared. And Keats promises that this will be done in a manner that is "100-fold more powerful" than how Android currently attempts to maintain a user's privacy.

The OSOM OV1 is currently at the Engineering Validation and Testing (EVT1) stage and Keats says that the device was the best EVT1 experience of his career. In fact, he told his team that "outside of the camera app, I could daily-drive this phone today." Not that he is neglecting the camera; the company is spending plenty of time and money to make sure that the phone's camera and camera app are delivering an outstanding experience.

The OSOM OV1 will not be sold by carriers and the company won't need to sell even one million units in order to be financially successful. The co-CEO says that pre-sales already add up to what the company was hoping to gross its first year, so money is not an issue.

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