Inside is the usual flagship Android components: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 3040mAh battery and 128GB of internal storage. More intriguing are the two holes on the back which can be used to attach Essential-made accessories. The most exciting is a tiny 360-degree camera, which can shoot a spherical UHD (3840×1920) image at 30 frames per second. There will also be a charging dock, should you prefer a cradle to the normal dangling cable. The general concept is similar to Motorola’s Moto Mods, which brought modular customisation to the Moto Z line.
The Essential Phone’s built-in camera is, at least on paper, promising too. The company has opted for a dual-camera setup similar to Huawei’s P9 and P10, with a sensor dedicated to monochrome imaging. It can be used standalone for black and white photos, or combined with the color sensor for improved low-light performance. The front-facing camera, meanwhile, is an 8-megapixel snapper capable of shooting 4K video.
As The Verge reports, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack (yep, we’re groaning too). The phone will ship with a headphone dongle, however, so all of your regular buds and cans will work, provided you’re ready to embrace the #donglelife. Instead, Essential is banking on USB-C and, like Apple, Bluetooth connectivity. The phone will come in four colors — Black Moon, Stellar Grey, Pure White and Ocean Depths — and ship for $699, or $749 with a bundled 360-degree camera. You can pre-order today but there’s no word on when the phone will ship or otherwise be on sale.