Andy Rubin, the ex-Googler also known as the "Father of Android" and the co-founder of Essential, has given a first look at the second smartphone by the company on social media. The gadget sports a shape we don't typically associate with smartphones, and some pretty wild colors.
The company teased a new product, called Project GEM, on Twitter last night.
Rubin shows off a "new UI for a radically different form-factor" in the images, with what appears to be navigation buttons at the of the device, along with the Android navigation pill at the top-right side of the display. Images and videos show that the phone is not designed like an ordinary smartphone.
Along with the above images, Rubin also posted a video showing the GEM devices from the rear to better demonstrate the "Colorshift" material which actually changes shade when viewed from different angles. At the back, there is a physical fingerprint sensor above which is a single rear camera with a bump.
At the rear of the device, there's a large single-camera module on the phone, along with a unusual recessed circular... thing.
These photos came from Rubin's personal Twitter account, and not Essential Product's corporate account.
We are unsure of what these devices are because neither Essential or Rubin have used "phone" to describe Project GEM.
There is now no release date or pricing information for Essential's upcoming Project GEM smartphone. In addition to the taller, more narrow design, the phone also seems to be coming with a new UI. It's now in early testing, with the Essential team now using it "outside the lab".
With 2017's Essential Phone, the company focused on a forward-looking but recognizable design. However, the bigger story is the form factor evident at first glance of this design from nearly any angle.