OSOM OV1 from former Essential staff will use Snapdragon 8 series chipset, ship in Q4 2022

OSOM OV1 from former Essential staff will use Snapdragon 8 series chipset, ship in Q4 2022

OSOM Products is a tech startup that aims to build a privacy-focused Android flagship phone, with many of the same engineers and staff who worked at Essential and developed the Essential Phone. The company has been offering glimpses of its upcoming OV1 smartphone for a few months now, with the first images appearing in December, and now OSOM is sharing more details about the device.

OSOM now plans to use a different Snapdragon 8-series chipset that has not yet been announced.

Much like OnePlus (annoyingly) handles most of its product announcements, OSOM isn’t sharing much right now, and the company will continue to gradually share more details as the release date approaches. However, OSOM does have an excuse: the OV1 is still in the early development stages. The company was originally targeting a release in the middle of this year, but now OSOM is targeting the fourth quarter of 2022.

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The main reason for that shipping delay is the chipset. OSOM says it originally intended to use a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the OV1 — the same chip found in phones like the Galaxy S22 and OnePlus 10 Pro — but now plans to use a different Snapdragon 8-series chipset that has not yet been announced. That might be a ‘Plus’ version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, assuming Qualcomm follows the same product release cycle from the past few years. The Snapdragon 888 Plus was announced in June of last year, and started showing up in phones a few months later (such as the Xiaomi Mix 4).

OSOM OV1

OSOM isn't interested in 'sticker cameras'

We also know a few details about the camera setup. The OSOM OV1 will have two rear cameras (48MP and 12MP) and a 16MP front-facing camera, all using Sony image sensors. Most flagship Android smartphones are shipping with three or four rear cameras, but the company told us that it isn’t interested in “sticker cameras” — cameras that mostly just exist for advertising purposes and don’t significantly improve photo quality. OSOM has not confirmed if the 12MP secondary camera is a telephoto, wide-angle, or some other configuration.

OSOM already revealed the phone’s design, but the company now says it will use a stainless steel frame (with some titanium elements), paired with a back panel made from zirconia, a material commonly used in ceramics. The front display will use Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus, like many other flagship smartphones. OSOM isn’t saying how large the phone will be yet, but it will be “noticeably bigger” than the Essential Phone PH-1 to accommodate more antennas and a larger battery.

OSOM USB cable

OSOM USB cable

We still don’t have many details about the software experience. OSOM expects to ship the phone with either Android 12 or Android 12L, with the goal of 4 or 5 years of security updates. The ability to unlock the bootloader was a priority for OSOM’s engineers, so custom ROMs and other modding abilities should be possible, but the company isn’t saying how it will handle kernel source releases yet. Android phone manufacturers are obligated to release their modifications to the Linux kernel under the GPL license, but many companies either delay releasing the code for several months or don’t do it at all, which makes custom ROM and recovery development more difficult.

Finally, OSOM shared a few more miscellaneous details about the OV1. The USB Type-C cable included in the box will have a physical switch for shutting off the data pins, allowing owners to use public USB chargers without worrying about unintentional data transfer — much like ‘USB Condom’ adapters. The OV1 will also support dual physical SIM cards, which isn’t too common with flagship phones in the United States.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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