Andy Rubin, the founder of Android and Essential, has managed to raise $300 million in funding during the first round. The funding comes from some of the big names in the world of tech like Amazon, Tencent, Foxconn, and more. Essential is one of the newest entrants in the smartphone space after being conceptualized and set up by Andy Rubin, the once co-founder of Android at Google. The smartphone was finally unveiled earlier this year though it is yet to go up on sale in the US.
Access Technology Ventures led the new round of funding which is valued at a total of nearly $330 million. While the maker has managed to secure a funding in the second round, there continues to be a confusion regarding the release date and availability of the smartphone. When first unveiled, Andy Rubin had pegged the date of availability in June. However, the month went by without any news from the makers of the smartphone and after a delay of more than a couple of months, people began to tweet out to Andy Rubin, asking about availability. ALSO READ: Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone gets FCC certification; here’s everything you need to know
The maker has finally revealed that the final date for the availability of the smartphone will be announced next week. The detail was shared with Essential President Niccolo De Masi in an interview. Along with the funding details, a Bloomberg report also revealed that Sprint will be the carrier for the smartphone in the US and Essential Phone will be available over Amazon and Best Buy e-commerce portals for retail purchases. Unlocked versions of the device will also be available with the online retailers. Essential Phone is not expected to be available in international markets. ALSO READ: Here’s how the dual-camera setup on the Essential Phone works
Currently, while Essential is competing with the biggest names in the smartphone industry, the company is not aiming for immediate profits. President De Masi has said previously that the company will initially consider sales in single digit million numbers to be a success for the first year. However, they will aim at expansion and reach out to other markets in the future. Reports have suggested that Essential is looking at entering in the affordable smartphone space by launching a budget smartphone next. However, details on the tentative upcoming device are still scarce. ALSO READ: After Essential Phone, Andy Rubin wants to take a shot at Google Glass-like smart glasses
In terms of design, Essential Phone looks impressive with a complete bezel-less display except for the selfie camera cutout on the top bezel. The smartphone comes with a large 5.7-inch QHD display. The smartphone is extremely slim and Andy Rubin highlighted that it comes with the slimmest dual camera system on any smartphone. The smartphone is also modular in nature, as accessories can simply be snapped onto the back of the device which is magnetic. The fingerprint scanner is on the rear of the smartphone.
Under the hood runs a Snapdragon 835 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM. The internal storage is 128GB. The smartphone comes with a 3,040mAh battery that supports fast charging. On the rear is a 13-megapixel dual rear camera setup with a monochrome sensor and an RGB sensor. The front comes with an 8-megapixel selfie camera. Both, the front and the back cameras are capable of shooting 4K videos. Wi-Fi-, NFC, Bluetooth are some of the connectivity options. The Essential Phone is priced at $699 (approximately Rs 45,00) in the US.