Andy Rubin, one the creators of Google’s Android software, has launched his own high-end smartphone, the BBC reports.
Mr Rubin left Google in 2014 to create Playground, a technology investment company. Essential is one of the companies it funds – and the Essential Phone is its first product.
The device runs the Android operating system and has gone on sale in the US for $699.
Mr Rubin told an audience in California that he believed there was space in the Android market for another big player besides Samsung, and that Essential was aiming to be a major consumer brand with several products.
As well as Phone, Essential will “soon” sell Home a standalone assistant similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home.
The Essential Phone is made from titanium and has a screen that stretches across most of the device, with minimal bezel.
On the reverse, two magnetic dots are designed to make it simple to snap-on accessories, such as a 360-degree camera add-on the company is also offering.
There are two built-in rear cameras – the combined lenses make it possible to take better photographs in low light, Essential said. The front-facing (selfie) camera is in line with competitors, offering an eight megapixel sensor.