Tech | May 30, 2017 2:28 pm

Android Creator Invented a Smartphone to Take Down the iPhone

Silicon Valley veteran Andy Rubin returns to the fold with Essential Products.

The Essential Phone (Essential Products)
The Essential Phone (Essential Products)

A tech visionary has returned to take on Silicon Valley’s most formidable opponents—Google and Apple.

On Tuesday, Andy Rubin gave the world its first look at the Essential Phone, following months of rumors and speculation. The $699 smartphone boasts top-of-the-line specs tucked into a smart, minimalist design with an edge-to-edge screen and no logo.

It’s the first release from Essential Products, a new company from the Google and Apple-spin-off General Magic alum. The company is set to debut another product, called Home, later this year.

Rubin built his career on the frontier of the mobile internet, Wired reports. He’s known primarily for inventing Android, the Google software used in two billion internet-connected devices from phones to cars and TVs. He also made the Sidekick, one of the first smartphones introduced to the public.

His veteran experience is evident in the Essential Phone’s design, which is built with titanium and ceramic to survive drops, according to The Verge. The smartphone already has some accessories including a clip-on 360-degree camera and a charging dock.

No shipping date for the Essential Phone has been announced yet, but it’s available for pre-order in the U.S. starting Tuesday.