Andy Rubin Just Unveiled Essential’s Next Phone, and It’s Weird

In case you haven’t heard yet, Andy Rubin put out a stock Android phone under his company, Essential, back in 2017. Since then, the creator of Android has faced harsh scrutiny in response to multiple sexual misconduct allegations, and his public reputation began a downward spiral.

Still, the Rumor Train kept rolling as to whether Essential would ever put out another phone. And after multiple “basically yes” reports, we finally have an answer: yes, indeed.

Rubin took to Twitter tonight to share images of what appear to be Essential’s next “phone.” I put phone in quotes because what we’re looking at isn’t your average smartphone whatsoever. It’s this super long, candy bar-esque, remote control-looking thing that comes in flashy colors and has a custom software UI.

It’s not a stretch to say there’s never been a phone quite like what Rubin is showing off. In the images, you can clearly see an earpiece at the top of the display, volume and power buttons on the sides, a front-facing hole-punch camera, and a single rear camera. Below that, there’s a concave shape that might house a fingerprint reader, but we can’t confirm that from these images.

What’s most interesting here is the sheer form factor of this thing. Phones come with much wider aspect ratios so you can consume content on them, but there’s no way Essential will market this thing as a YouTube champ or movie-watching maniac. Instead, it will likely fall in line with past rumors that point to the Essential Phone 2 as being a device you mainly control with your voice. After all, who would want to look at that screen all day?

Until we have more information, we’ll be stuck with the images Rubin has tweeted out. That is, unless he tweets more, which he’s most certainly welcome to do.