Is Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone the iPhone killer we’ve been waiting for?
Android inventor Andy Rubin finally took the wraps off his newest toy: the Essential Phone.
Yes, it’s an Android phone in an extremely saturated smartphone market and it’s wildly different from the second you look at its futuristic display. But can it dethrone the iPhone?
This week’s MashTalk is hosted by Mashable Senior Tech Correspondent Raymond Wong and Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff.
If there’s anyone who can make you care about yet another rectangular slab, it’s Rubin. His new phone, the Essential Phone, is unequivocally designed for the future.
It’s got an insane-looking edge-to-edge display (just look at that cutout around the selfie camera). There’s a magnetic connector on the rear for connecting accessories like a 360-degree camera. And it’s got all of the latest specs you’d expect from a flagship Android phone, including dual cameras on the backside.
It’s got everything to kill the iPhone, but will it? Probably not. It’s expensive at $700 (unlocked) and it’s unproven. Still, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great phone. Plus, it could give us some clues as to what future iPhones will look like.
Rubin also introduced its own digital assistant, the Essential Home. Details are scant, but Rubin says it’ll be the most open digital assistant and work with Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s an interesting idea (one voice assistant to rule the home) but until we see it work, it’s just vaporware.
Next, Tech Editor Pete Pachal phones in from Los Angeles to give us the highlights from Recode’s Code Conference.
He got a look at Steve Ballmer’s new AI-powered basketball broadcast, saw the Essential Phone, and took a brief stroll down memory lane with retiring tech journalist and Code Conference co-host Walt Mossberg.
But his most defining moment was when he battled his way to ask Hillary Clinton the million-dollar question: Is Twitter good or bad for our national discourse? Clinton spared no expense slamming Twitter and Facebook their broken platforms that cost her the election.
Lastly, Apps Reporter Karissa Bell dials in to tell us what to expect from next week’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Apple uses WWDC to show off new software versions for its various platforms — we’re expecting iOS 11, macOS 10.13, watchOS 4, a new version of tvOS, and maybe an update for CarPlay.
WWDC isn’t usually a stage for new hardware, but it’s not without precedent. Apple announced the first MacBook Pro with Retina Display at WWDC back in 2012.