Is that a 360 camera on Andy Rubin’s upcoming premium Android phone?
Andy Rubin, better known as the guy who created Android and then sold it to Google only to later leave, will finally show off his new smartphone on May 30.
Rubin’s company, Essential, sent its first tweet on Thursday teasing the phone launch and then a follow-up tweet showing a silhouette of the device.
But what is that thing poking out of the top?!
Before we try to make some sense of it, here’s the picture Essential shared:
Essential (@essential) May 25, 2017
It kinda looks like one of those fat antennas on an old Palm Treo. There’s definitely a wave of interest for retro phones this year, but we doubt Rubin’s new phone is a blast back to the eyesore antenna days.
To see if I could get more details, I opened the image in Photoshop and cranked up the exposure, and… well, well, well, what do we have here?
It sure looks like that’s a camera on top. One of my coworkers says it looks like an PC webcam from the ’90s, and I have to agree.
And if it is a camera (likely an attachment), what type of camera is it? A super-charged selfie camera? My guess is some kind of 360-degree camera, if only because Rubin tweeted this picture showing 360 footage in April:
Needless to say, as the guy who brought us Android, all eyes are on Rubin’s first real mobile hardware.
Though we’ll have to wait until next week to see the phone proper, we know a few things about it.
One, it’ll have a screen that runs edge-to-edge on at least three sides (top, left, and right) like the Xiaomi Mi Mix:
Two, it’ll run Android, as confirmed by Google chairman Eric Schmidt:
Three, the screen could be larger than the 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 7 Plus and come with some kind of pressure-sensitive technology similar to the iPhone’s 3D Touch, as reported by Bloombergin January.
Four, the same report also says the phone could be made of premium materials (metal and possibly ceramic) and come with a proprietary magnetic connector for connecting attachments. Motorola is the only other company that’s got “modular” phones with a magnetic connector for adding on accessories (Moto Mods).
Five, it’ll likely have some kind of advanced AI built into it, because AI is the future and every tech company, from Apple to Amazon to Microsoft to Google is betting on it to make our lives more convenient.
And six, it’ll probably cost as much as an iPhone. So if you’re hoping for cheap, don’t bet on it.
Enjoy the next few days while you can because when Tuesday rolls around, the world of phones and Android could be completely transformed.