Andy Rubin, the former boss of Android, has a new startup that’s currently working on a high-end smartphone supposed to compete against premium devices this year, including the iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note, Google’s Pixel, and many others. Soon after an extensive report last week explained that Rubin’s company Essential lost a massive $100 million investment, Rubin posted a teaser image on Twitter showing what appeared to be his new Android creation.
At the time, Rubin did not reveal any other details about the Essential phone, except for what you could see in the image. He suggested the handset will feature an all-screen design, complete with almost non-existent bezels. That’s hardly surprising, considering what we’ve seen so far this year in terms of new smartphone designs.
The image also indicated the phone would run Android out of the box, which is something probably everyone familiar with Rubin’s work expected. Besides, Android is the only option new smartphone makers can really consider.
While Rubin did not say that his Essential phone will run Android, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt quickly came to the rescue on Wednesday.
“Phenomenal new choices for Android users coming very soon,” the former Google CEO tweeted. “An example!” he continued, linking to Rubin’s tweet from earlier.
What’s puzzling about Schmidt’s unexpected endorsement is that it came right on the day of Samsung’s first major press conference of the year. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 (top image) on Thursday, during an Unpacked event in New York, a phone with a fantastic design that promises to be one of the top Android phones of the year. By promoting the unannounced Essential handset, on the day Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8, Schmidt seems to imply that Android fans shouldn’t get the Samsung flagship just yet.
On the other hand, the Essential phone will not compete only against Samsung’s flagship, but also against Google’s upcoming Pixel 2, which is set to launch this fall. By then, Schmidt might not be too thrilled about all this competition.