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