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Android creator Andy Rubin unveils Essential Phone

Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, has launched a smartphone and Smart Home assistant under his new company called Essential.

Rubin left Google in 2014 to create Playground, a technology investment company. The incubator plans to raise $300 million to support startups globally. Essential is one of the companies it funds.

According to Essential’s website, the new handset is powered by a Qualcomm Inc. processor and inlcudes USB-C port for charging. It is equipped with an 8 MP camera on the front and a 13 MP sensor on the rear. It also has a magnetic connector on the back to connect an additional 360-degree camera and a wireless charging hub.

The sides of the phone are made with titanium, which the company claims is impervious to scratches and dents. The device’s rear side is designed with ceramic and comes in black, gray, white, and a gold-like color it calls “Ocean Depths.”

Meanwhile, the Home assistant device has a circular screen and can play music, set timers and control lights with a user’s voice.

The Essential Phone runs a version of the Android operating system with a customised user interface, while the Home device runs a custom system called Ambient OS.

The handset is available for pre-order and is priced at $699. The handset will be available only in the US when it launches; Essential hasn’t given any details if it would launch the phone to other countries as well and when it will ship or provide pricing for the home product.

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