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Essential reveals radical Project GEM mobile device after lengthy hiatus [Updated]

Essential's radical Project GEM "reinterprets mobile". (Source: Essential)
Essential's radical Project GEM "reinterprets mobile". (Source: Essential)
After being quiet for the best part of twelve to eighteen months, Andy Rubin’s Essential has surfaced with what appears to be a radical reinterpretation of a smartphone. The new mobile device looks to be focused on communication with visual content taking something of a backseat.

Andy Rubin’s Essential has been pretty quiet for quite some time now, but the company has finally re-emerged from its self-imposed exile with what looks to be a radical reinterpretation of the smartphone. In a short tweet, the company revealed the new device is going by the name of Project GEM and that it aims to “reframe your perspective on mobile.” It is also said to have moved from the lab into real-world testing suggesting that it could make an appearance in the next quarter.

Based on previous rumors, Project GEM is expected to be powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 730. This now seems quite plausible as Essential doesn’t appear to be focused on the high-end of the smartphone market with this device as it was with its original Essential Phone PH-1. Given the company’s failure to crack that market, it makes sense for it to pivot to another segment, but also bring a fresh approach at the same time.

In many ways, it looks like a contemporary take on a feature phone while it also comes in four colors that might have particular appeal to a younger audience more focused on messaging, making calls and listening to music. It also appears to have a 360-degree camera built into its rear which leverages technology the company has already developed in house as a camera accessory for the PH-1. The apps on the home screen include a phone app, maps app, camera app and messages app. There is also a gallery app and a music widget suggesting this is very much a paired down mobile experience.

Let us know what you think of Project GEM in the comments!

Updated with new pics of Project GEM in action via Andy Rubin.

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Project GEM comes in four colors that will appeal to the youth segment. (Source: Essential)
Project GEM comes in four colors that will appeal to the youth segment. (Source: Essential)
Some sneak peaks of the prototypes in action. (Source: Andy Rubin)
Some sneak peaks of the prototypes in action. (Source: Andy Rubin)
(Source: Andy Rubin)
(Source: Andy Rubin)
 
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > Essential reveals radical Project GEM mobile device after lengthy hiatus [Updated]
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-10- 9 (Update: 2019-10- 9)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.