Project Gem. © Essential.
Despite the flop of its first phone, the PH–1, and massive lay-offs, Essential, founded and led by Andy Rubin, the “father of Android”, unveiled a new phone. The unmistakable Gem is an oddly-shaped device that looks like a remote control. Andy has posted several photos on his Twitter account of what seems to be functional prototypes. Little is known about the phones, except that they come in four different eye-catching, metallic colours. Apparently, it runs an Android fork and would not have access to Google Play Services (but would use the open source microG solution). Can this new, radically-different phone save Essential? Experts are unanimously doubtful.
⇨ Ars Technica, Ron Amadeo, “Essential’s new smartphone has the aspect ratio of a TV remote.”