Andy Rubin has his own take on what high-end smartphone should look and feel like, and what features they should offer — they still run Android. That vision is called the Essential Phone that was quietly unveiled earlier this week. Priced at $699, the phone is supposed to offer buyers looking for flagship devices an alternative to the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 8. We did not have an actual release date when the Essential site went live, but we finally got one.
Speaking at the Code Conference, Rubin said that the Essential Phone will ship within the next 30 days, The Verge explains. He did not offer an actual release date for the handset, but that’s still great news for anyone looking to grab the phone.
“You can reserve it now, and I wouldn’t take reservations if it wasn’t going to ship in 30 days or so,” Rubin said.
The only place to buy the phone is Essential. You’ll have to preorder it online and then wait to have it delivered to your door. That means you can’t get it from a carrier for a subsidized price, or not yet.
Rubin said that Essential plans to sell the phone via carriers and other retailers in the future, but that’s just not the case right now.
The good news is that the Essential Phone ships without any carrier bloatware, given that there’s no carrier partnership in place right now. The phone doesn’t even have an Essential logo on it, which is a great indication that Rubin doesn’t want marketing gimmicks on his phone.
“I’m trying as hard as I can” to keep bloatware off the phone, Rubin said at the conference. It remains to be seen whether carriers will appreciate such a stance.