back to article Andy Rubin's overhyped and underdelivered Essential phone out 'in a few weeks'

After months of hype and missed deadlines, it seems as though Andy Rubin's new smartphone might actually make it onto the market. The Android creator's mobile phone startup Essential Products unveiled the phone at the end of May after talking about it for months, but so far there has been no sign of the actual handset. Now …

  1. boltar Silver badge

    Care? I've never even heard of it.

    Meanwhile another bunch of crowdfunding suckers have been parted with large amounts of money. Weather follows at 11...

    1. Alan Watson

      Re: Care? I've never even heard of it.

      Except it's not crowdfunded, and nobody has been asked to part with any money for it yet.

      Nice try, but when you know nothing it really is better to say nothing.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not trying to shoot anything down

    Just want to make sure that I understand whether there is some sort of disruptive innovation going on or if this article is just part of the usual marketing hype machine.

    Is this just another Android phone manufacturer, or my Googling and comprehension skills are not what they never were anyway?

    What sets this product away from the competition?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not trying to shoot anything down

      "Andy Rubin's overhyped and underdelivered Essential phone out 'in a few weeks'

      At this point does anyone still care?"

      Apologies if I have not understood, but I don't think the headline can be described as being part of a marketing hype machine, unless your business model is The Producers.

    2. Lost In Clouds of Data
      WTF?

      Re: Not trying to shoot anything down

      Apparently he thinks that, because he's Mr Android, that any subpar device he slaps his name on is suddenly turned into gold and is now more desirable than either the latest Samsung or Apple devicen...

      1. stephanh

        Re: Not trying to shoot anything down

        The vast majority of smartphone buyers have never heard of Mr. Rubin. Only among tech geeks his name is somewhat known. (But he's certainly no Larry Wall.)

        If his "star power" needs to rescue this product, it's pretty hopeless.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: Not trying to shoot anything down

          I don't think it necessarily matters is the unwashed masses recognize somebody's name. Rubin looks to be trying for a "boutique" style launch, akin to the OnePlus

          You couldn't even buy the original OnePlus without an invitation and when they opened it up for general sale the order system crashed hard for 2 day. On top of that there was the clusterf**k issue with Cyanogen delivering the phone OS and they had to flip to their own Oxygen. They still managed to overcome these issues and become profitable.

          If Rubin can deliver a handset that is slick and well designed then any initial delays or teething troubles will be soon forgotten about. Of course he might not do that at all and it all comes crashing down but it seems a little premature to pronounce it a failure yet.

          1. stephanh

            Re: Not trying to shoot anything down

            The OnePlus was excellent value-for-money, at least based on the specs. This phone is essentially comparable in price and specs to a HTC U11, except from a noname vendor.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Not trying to shoot anything down

        Given the amount of Samsung S8 Advertising on TV at the moment, nothing can even come close to being as desirable as the S8 even the next Jesus Phone (if it ever appears that is).

        I wonder how many of these will get made? How many Pixels will Google/Alphabet sell?

        I'd be comparing it with a Pixel rather than a top of the line Samsung/Apple even though the Pixel seems to cost almost as much as an iPhone.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not trying to shoot anything down - What sets this product away from the competition?

      As far as I can see it's the charging/external power pins with magnetic connect, the very fast short range wireless peripheral connect, claimed very good durability, small form factor for the screen size and a promise of regular updates.

      I'm waiting to see but when my present phone is due for replacement (sadly before too long if I drop it again) it might be worth considering. It looks to me a lot like what Sony should have done instead of suddenly taking a scattergun approach, and it's relatively gimmick free (no curved screens with exposed edges to crack, for instance).

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Not trying to shoot anything down - What sets this product away from the competition?

        "small form factor for the screen size"

        Suddenly I'm interested!

        "5.71-inch diagonal screen"

        That's not small. Well, it'll probably be about average for new phones, but I'd like something closer to 4", all the better to fit in my pocket.

        (While we're at it, why this obsession with thin phones? Make mine 10mm thick and fill it with battery)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only it was something different..

    .. like, ooh, a high performance phone that isn't stupidly large, or a phone that is small and thick and rugged not big and thin and ridiculously fragile, or a slider with a real keyboard or a flipphone or a phone without pathetically weak "gorilla" (hah!) glass but something that can actually survivie normal life.

    Something that wasn't exactly the same pointlessly thin, tall, megaslab like all the other pointlessly thin, tall, megaslabs.

    Something NEW that people actually WANT !

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: If only it was something different..

      I saw the headline and thought "ooh a new phone!" dived into the article, read a few lines and then.... oh, Android. Nothing new then.

      Next.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since when

    Did we start complaining when products missed their ship date because they weren't up to standard???

    Whilst Americans might be more concerned about launch dates than quality (xbox360 is the classic example), the rest of the world cares about quality.

    1. Lost In Clouds of Data
      Flame

      Re: Since when

      " the rest of the world cares about quality."

      Sarcasm, right?

      1. Barry Rueger

        Re: Since when

        " the rest of the world cares about quality."

        Sarcasm, right?

        Why do we need to drag US politics into EVERY discussion?

        1. J.Smith

          I believe you're the one that just did that.

          But while we're on the subject...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    "Sprint, the US' fourth largest and rapidly failing telco"

    I don't really get it. Flat earnings this year, flat earnings next year. They are owned by a Japanese mega-corp. What is rapidly failing about them? They aren't a great cell company, but I don't see them failing as a business anytime soon.

    Maybe I'm wrong and the writer knows something I don't. But if they aren't really "rapidly failing", then I don't think it's a great idea to write that they are.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Sprint, the US' fourth largest and rapidly failing telco"

      I use a Sprint MVNO. Their network's almost as good as Verizon, much better than those other two.

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: "Sprint, the US' fourth largest and rapidly failing telco"

        I used to own a phone on the Sprint network. I have moved that number to AT&T.

        Around here, Sprint was:

        * the slowest network; three bars of LTE would be 4 Mb/s down, 2 Mb/s up. while three bars of T-Mobile was 20-30 Mb/s and three bars of AT&T right now is 25 Mb/s.

        * the least reliable network; I had dropped calls all over, and multiple dead zones where I couldn't make calls because I had no connection. In multiple areas I could make calls, but the connection was so poor that one side or the other or both had problems understanding what was being said. This rarely happens with AT&T or T-Mobile. Note that for years I used Motorola and Samsung flip-phones on T-Mobile, and had a brief (not nearly brief enough) fling with Android also on T-Mobile, and had Samsung Windows phones on Verizon followed by iPhones on Sprint and AT&T. I'm pretty sure that the problems were not with the phone. (Except with the Android phone on T-Mobile. That was the phone, alright. I've never had so much trouble before or since. I've had no problems with the iPhone which replaced the Android.)

        * the network with the worst customer service. They declined to admit that there were problems, even when the call they were on was breaking up due to a bad connection. They declined to admit that their network coverage was bad even when it was impossible to get better than two bars and there were dropped calls from inside their own stores. (That's stores. Plural. I demoed the problems at three stores locally, while showing that T-Mobile had no such problems.) They promised to call back and never did. They promised improvements in the network, notably new towers, which never happened. And they really, really, REALLY hate the though of an unlocked phone, possibly because such a phone would probably be headed to another cellco's network; it should be noted that my phones with AT&T and T-Mobille are both unlocked and were from the moment I got them, though admittedly AT&T tried hard to avoid that. Sprint customer service was actually worse than Verizon's, and I'd left Verizon for Sprint in large part because of Verizon's customer service.

        AT&T and T-Mobile both have their problems, but they're both faster and more reliable than Sprint, though not as fast as Verizon. Their customer service is not quite as bad as Sprint's or Verizon's. I've had a number on T-Mobile for more than a decade now, during which time the other number has moved from Verizon to Sprint to AT&T. I've tried all four of the Big Four. T-Mobile and AT&T are the least objectionable. It is remotely (very remotely) possible that I might move a number to Verizon again. It is extremely unlikely that I will ever again do business with Sprint. Yes, they're that bad.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Didn't think I'd heard of this, then the clip 360deg camera attachment reminded me.

    So no, not getting impatient to see this alleged masterpiece either.

  7. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
    Gimp

    For an extra $ 200

    If you pay two hundred Dollars extra, you get a magnetic attachment with a microphone device.

    A microphone would surely be useful for making virtual phone calls, but I wonder what if a little speaker comes among the essentials, the other extras or will not be available until version 2.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: For an extra $ 200

      "If you pay two hundred Dollars extra, you get a magnetic attachment with a microphone device."

      Did you read the article?

  8. Shooter

    Best feature?

    When this phone is available, I will take a look at it for one major reason - NO BLOATWARE!

    I know, I'm probably dreaming...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Best feature?

      If you don't want bloatware, buy an iPhone. Easy.

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      (^ this space above reserved for comments on walled gardens.)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    At this point does anyone still care?

    Only Andy Rubin, and he's probably ambivalent.

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