Smartphones

Project Gem is Essential’s new attempt to innovate the smartphone market

The Essential Phone was without a doubt a project that started out as a great idea and slowly turned into a disappointment. The company recently showed off its new device, Project Gem, and while it seems to be a totally new approach of smartphones, it might be even worse received than the Essential PH-1. This is mainly due to the design of the phone, which will probably also cause it to not be able to run some of the most popular apps smartphone owners now use on a daily basis. Then again, Essential stated that the new phone tries to make people become less addicted to smartphones, and the new project might just make them give up on smartphones altogether. At least on this model.

Image credit: Andy Rubin

The most striking thing about Project Gem is its form. Instead of looking like any other smartphone, the new Essential device has an elongated body that looks a lot like a remote control with a touch screen. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing on its own, some people might actually find it interesting and it could fit more easily in some pockets. However, thanks to the awkward format of the phone and thus of the display, it’s highly likely that not all apps will work seamlessly on this model. Also, it’s hard to imagine how writing a text message on the keyboard displayed on this screen would be like. Probably really annoying.

Image credit: Essential

In order to make up for all these possible downsides of Project Gem, Essential also plans on adding an assistant that allows users to interact with the phone mainly using voice commands. This does sound great and it would indeed solve some of the issues, but then again, in some cases, smartphone users can’t or wouldn’t like to interact with their devices this way, as it really takes away a lot of the user’s privacy.

Image credit: Andy Rubin

The Project Gem will reportedly come in a variety of really nice colors, with a rather bulgy camera bump on the back, and something that looks like a fingerprint sensor at first sight, but could also be a control that turns on a so-called “fingerprint walkie talkie”. Essential did not yet share any information with the world regarding the launch date of the new device but they did state in a tweet that they will share more in the near future. As for the pricing, judging by the course of the first Essential Phone, we might see another high starting price that will later lower as the company realizes that not enough people are eager to try out their new handset.

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