We've seen phones of many shapes and sizes over the years, but it looks like Essential's next device could go in yet another direction. Android co-founder, Essential CEO and recipient of a reported $90 million payout from Google after a sexual misconduct investigation Andy Rubin posted pictures of a new device on Twitter that is taller and thinner than you're used to seeing, pointing out a "new UI for a radically different formfactor." He didn't mention the Boston Dynamics SpotMini robot in the background.
Other images and video showing the back of the device teased a "colorshift" material that changed shades from different angles. Last December Essential announced its debut PH-1 phone was effectively discontinued, but promised a follow-up device and has continued releasing software updates.
In a world where phone screens keep getting bigger and wider -- including fold-out displays and second screens -- going taller to adjust the placement of important info and notifications is certainly one way to stand out. Last year Rubin suggested a way to solve phone addiction is by moving to a "relatively small" screen combined with software that responds mostly to voice commands -- is this it?
Update: The Essential Products Twitter account posted two more pictures of the device with the hashtag #ProjectGem. Saying it's in early testing, the post told readers "We've been working on a new device to reframe your perspective on mobile." Take a look below and see if that's true.
GEM Colorshift material pic.twitter.com/QJStoiDleH— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) October 8, 2019
New UI for radically different formfactor pic.twitter.com/Es8hFrTuxx— Andy Rubin (@Arubin) October 8, 2019
We've been working on a new device to reframe your perspective on mobile. It's now in early testing with our team outside the lab. Look forward to sharing more in the near future! #ProjectGEM pic.twitter.com/BnVy7yM2Kj— Essential (@essential) October 9, 2019