Essential Phone 2 may still happen, Essential reportedly making an AI phone
The reports of Essential’s death may have been greatly exaggerated. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Essential Phone 2 is coming and it could be a big departure from the Essential PH-1. The new device will be heavily focused on AI features that will “try to mimic the user and automatically respond to messages on their behalf.”
While the Essential Phone has a cult following in the Android community for its great software support, the device did not do well in the big picture. Essential reportedly only sold 88,000 units in 2017, though an exec refuted that claim. The company was also said to be losing engineers and executives at an alarming rate. Despite all these reports, Essential has continued to support their device and, apparently, work on successors. Though they allegedly canceled their second phone, the company is working on a brand new device.
The new report claims the next Essential phone (potentially the Essential Phone 2) will have a small screen that is controlled primarily by voice commands. The built-in AI would try to mimic the owner’s behavior by responding to notifications for them. Think of it like Google Duplex, but for your entire phone. This concept is not new to Andy Rubin, CEO of Essential. He once had this to say:
“If I can get to the point where your phone is a virtual version of you, you can be off enjoying your life, having that dinner, without touching your phone, and you can trust your phone to do things on your behalf, I think I can solve part of the addictive behavior.”
Bloomberg says Essential is hoping to have the first prototype of the device finished by the end of this year. They could potentially show it off to partners at CES in January. Would you be interested in an Essential Phone 2 with AI features like this?