The Essential Phone’s 4 most interesting features

essential camera

Andy Rubin’s Essential company unveiled its impressive new Essential (PH-1) phone earlier this morning.

The device appears slim, sleek and features great specs. It also includes certain features that separate it from other smartphones on the market.

1. Nearly bezel-less

essential phone

We appear to be in a new world where the side bezels on smartphones are slowly disappearing. Devices like the LG G6 and especially the Samsung Galaxy S8 have all ditched the side bezels and the Essential has too.

However, that’s not what sets the Essential Phone apart from its competitors. The device’s lack of top bezel ‘forehead’ is what makes it truly stand out from other phones on the market. The smartphone’s Gorilla Glass 5 molds around the device’s 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and the bottom ‘chin’ is very small as well, similar to the LG G6. Because of the complete lack of forehead and relatively small chin, the Essential has the most screen real estate of any 5.7-inch device ever released.

2. Modularity

Essential Phone

While modularity isn’t exactly new, with companies such as Google and LG abandoning the idea, it’s not a feature we typically associate with 2017 smartphones. The Moto Z 2, however, will likely feature modularity, giving the Essential Phone some competition in the space.

The Essential phone’s modularity appears to work similarly Motorola’s Z series of devices, with magnetic connectors, though the Essential’s are placed at the top rear of the device — like the above Essential 36-degree camera — while the Moto Z smartphones’ Mods take up the entire rear.

Currently, we only know about two modules for the Essential, according to the company — the world’s smallest 360-degree personal camera and a phone dock. However, modularity has the potential to be limitless, which means we could see accessories like speakers, battery packs and zoom lenses for the Essential phone.

3. Titanium frame

Essential Phone

The device’s adamantium — er, titanium — is another heavily-touted aspect of the device. While not completely foolproof, having a titanium frame should protect the device from falls that would be considered fatal for other smartphones, particularly those with curved glass sides like the Samsung Galaxy S8.


The Essential sports a 13-megapixel rear facing camera with a dual shooter setup. According to the Essential company its new device contains the “the world’s thinnest dual camera system built for a phone.”

Essential also says the their phone uses colour and monochrome sensors that can capture 200 percent more light than other phone cameras. The rear camera also has a 1.85 aperture and can take 4K video, however, Essential’s website doesn’t mention anything about image stabilization. While we haven’t tested the cameras and can’t compare it to shooters featured in other smartphones, being able to brag about “the world’s thinnest dual camera system,” is quite interesting in itself.


The Ocean Depths colour is beautiful, with its gold-like frame. Definitely a must-have colour, if it makes its way to Canada.


  • Smanny

    Right now for only $50 usd more you are getting a 360 camera that attaches to this smartphone.

  • Mhee123D

    Almost read that headline as “iPhone 4”. So hyped for this phone if this ever comes to Canada.

    • JD

      Yes I also can’t wait for the iPhone 4

  • Ipse

    Beautiful phone with up to date specs, but that front camera cutout is hideous. And for over a grand (Canadian pesos) it better be waterproof… I could live without the audio jack (but grumble).

    • thereasoner

      Depends on the wallpaper used, it could blend into a dark background depending on your preference. In an interview yesterday Rubin explained the location of the camera and what happens to that area in certain apps. For the most part it’s just going to allow for wallpaper to extend into the notification area and for things like video/games etc the area turns into a black bezel.

      That’s not to say that a wallpaper background in the notification area is it’s only use, depending on the app/developer if a use for the area that makes sense can be found then it will be used. The camera app for example also sees that area go bezel like black but the area is used still for a picture preview window in the top corner and flash on/off in the bottom corner.