Android unveils new smartphone, boasts high end specs

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Android founder, Andy Rubin, has just unveiled new smartphone, PH-1,” named after the company, and is available to pre order now for $699. That might seem like a steep price, but the Essential smartphone offers many of the high-end specs you’d expect from devices such as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8, including a sharp display, Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 835 processor camera and a fingerprint reader.

It’s also made out of titanium, instead of aluminum, which Essential says will help the phone survive accidental drops. It can be outfitted with a $50 360-degree camera accessory — perfect for recording content to view back in virtual reality — which snaps to the back of the device. There’s also a cordless charging mat and docking station, which the phone snaps on to with magnets.

The Essential smartphone, first reported by The Verge, can be purchased from Essential’s website now but is only available to US shoppers.

The world will learn more about the device, including whether or not any wireless carrier partners are lined up, during the Code Conference on Tuesday evening, when Rubin will speak with editors from Recode.

Android is a mobile operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and designed primarily for touchscreen mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Android’s user interface is mainly based on direct manipulation, using touch gestures that loosely correspond to real-world actions, such as swiping, tapping and pinching, to manipulate on-screen objects, along with a virtual keyboard for text input.

Initially developed by Android Inc., which Google bought in 2005, Android was unveiled in 2007, along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of hardware, software, and telecommunication companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Beginning with the first commercial Android device in September 2008, the operating system has gone through multiple major releases, with the current version being 7.0 “Nougat”, released in August 2016. Android applications (“apps”) can be downloaded from the Google Play store, which features over 2.7 million apps as of February 2017. Android has been the best-selling OS on tablets since 2013, and runs on the vast majority[a] of smartphones. As of May 2017, Android has two billion monthly active users, and it has the largest installed base of any operating system.

The new product boasts of many of the high-end specs you’d expect from devices such as Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8, including a sharp display, Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 835 processor camera and a fingerprint reader.

It’s also made out of titanium, instead of aluminum, which Essential says will help the phone survive accidental drops.

It can be outfitted with a $50 360-degree camera accessory — perfect for recording content to view back in virtual reality — which snaps to the back of the device. There’s also a cordless charging mat and docking station, which the phone snaps on to with magnets.

The Essential smartphone, first reported by The Verge, can be purchased from Essential’s website now but is only available to US shoppers.

We’ll learn more about the device, including whether or not any wireless carrier partners are lined up, during the Code Conference on Tuesday evening, when Rubin will speak with editors from Recode.

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