Essential wants to reframe your perspective on mobiles; the result looks promising

Ruben Fields
October 11, 2019

The design of the device is radically different from other handsets on the market, it looks more like a TV remote than a smartphone. It's unclear if this UI will be based on Android or something entirely different.

There is a front-facing hole punch camera in the top-left corner with primary navigation (back button and pill) seemingly at the top instead of the bottom.

The few photos and brief video of "Project Gem" released so far focus on the unusual form factor more than the interface. According to their Twitter post, Essential have been now working on the above phone which has been titled "ProjectGEM". It has a large button and volume toggles on the right side, as well as a fingerprint sensor on the back below a single primary camera.

Essential didn't provide any details or specifications on this Project GEM device, but posted two images on Twitter.

According to the image shared by the company the phone looks substantially taller than a typical smartphone with an 18:9 or even a 21:9 aspect ratio. The panel is quite different from the usual reflective panels we see on some of the premium and mid-range smartphones.

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The Essential Phone 1 was introduced in 2017 and it was positioned as an Android flagship that was made by the operating system's founder. One of the pictures shows what looks like a Maps app suited for the tall screen functionality.

One image shows the smartphone running a mapping app over the narrow display. Additionally, the phone is rumored to be controlled mainly through voice commands, with an AI assistant performing numerous tasks. "We look forward to sharing more in the near future".

Essentially recently confirmed that a new device was in early testing stages, with the successor to the unique Essential Phone expected soon.

Essential's Project GEM smartphone is now in early testing but we expect to know more about the phone shortly.

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