Essential's Rumoured Second Smartphone is Now in the Early Testing Phase

By Shabana Arif on at

Despite having a big old flop on its hands with the launch of the Essential PH1 smartphone, the company is rumoured to be working on a second device and it better be good if we're to forget about the first attempt.

We first heard about the possibility of another smartphone from Andy Rubin and co. last year with a Bloomberg report saying that it would be an AI-powered device with a design that “sounds a bit like the sci-fi movie Her.” Rubin also confirmed that another phone was on the way via Twitter in the face of fans thirsty for more information.

Now it seems that the follow up phone is well on the way to becoming a reality, with an Essential spokesperson telling XDA Developers that it's in the early testing stages.

Further titbits have been leaked via a commit which seems to suggest that the default orientation of the device isn't 0 degrees which translates to portrait and is used for smartphones, but 90 or 270 degrees, which is landscape and used for tablets. So either Essential is also working on a tablet that it's managed to keep a very tight lid on until now, or the smartphone's orientation doesn't conform to the norm.

The new device is also rumoured to be testing the open source microG OS to move away from Google, which would meant no Google Play or Google apps.

A fingerprint walkie-talkie was spotted amongst the other features of the phone, suggesting the function will operate as long as your finger is making contact with the scanner, and it appears to be running on the Snapdragon 730.

Of course, it's still early days, so who knows what the final device will look like, or features it will incorporate, and it'll probably be next year at the earliest before we see or hear anything official, but it's piqued our interest. [SlashGear]