It was less than a month ago that Andy Rubin, the co-founder of Android, teased his first smartphone since leaving Google, a nearly bezel-less smartphone.
Now it appears a device that’s very likely a prototype of Rubin’s new phone, “Essential FIH,” has made its way to GFXBench. The codename comes from “Essential,” the name of Andy Rubin’s new startup, and “FIH,” Foxconn International Holdings, the company that’s believed to be manufacturing the phone for Essential, per a previous Bloomberg report. It’s those two hints that led MobileTelefon.ru, one of the first websites to catch the benchmark, to conclude this was Rubin’s new smartphone.
The performance chart shows the phone will run Android Nougat, as confirmed by Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt, and will come with a Qualcomm octa-core chipset clocked at 2.2 GHz. If the information logged on GFXBench is correct, it’s likely the Essential smartphone is running a Snapdragon 835, the same processor that’s inside of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.
Some of the GFXBench results are unusual, likely alluding to the early nature of the benchmarked hardware. According to GFX, the prototype smartphone features 3.6GB of RAM — Essential will likely market the smartphone as a 4GB device. Stranger is the fact that the logged device only had 10GB of storage. For prototyping purposes, it’s likely Andy Rubin and company didn’t build a device with more storage than they needed.
The benchmarked prototype also features a 12-megapixel camera that doesn’t support auto-focus, HDR or face detection. Given how important these features are to modern smartphone cameras, it’s unlikely the device will ship without these functions. On the front of the device, is a 7-megapixel camera that’s capable of capturing 4K video.
Past rumours have suggested the Essential smartphone will feature a 5.5-inch display. Combined with the 1312 x 2560 pixel recorded in the benchmark, it seems the smartphone will feature an unusual 80:41 aspect ratio. It should be noted that the benchmark says the phone comes with an 18-inch screen, again suggesting that this is a prototype.
9to5Google suggests the device will come with 3D-Touch-like haptic feedback technology and a magnetic connector that allows for modularity much like the Moto Z. Moreover, the device will likely feature some sort of AI technology. All told, it seems Essential has a promising device on its hand.
Dean is a graduate from Durham College's journalism program. He loves all sorts of Android devices and video games.