OSOM OV1 shown off for the first time, developed by former Essential staff
The Essential Phone was an interesting device when it was released in 2017. Its ceramic casing and display notch (which wasn’t common yet) stood out from the crowd, but a sequel was never officially released, and the company shut its doors in early 2020. Even though Essential in its original form no longer exists, some of its former staff have started up OSOM Products, which has now shown off its phone for the first time.
OSOM, which stands for “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” was formed in November of last year and reportedly secured $5.6 million in initial funding. The company’s founder is Jason Keats, who was the head of research and development at Essential, and worked at Apple before that. Keats spoke to Android Police and shared the first actual details about OSOM’s first phone, the OSOM OV1, including an early render of the back of the device.
OSOM didn’t confirm many hardware details, besides that it will have two rear cameras, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and an unspecified Qualcomm chipset. More information about the device will arrive at Mobile World Congress in February (assuming there is an MWC), with a release date set for sometime in summer 2022.
The OSOM OV1 is focusing on privacy, with unique software features in development to reduce the amount of data is sent to the cloud services. The operating system will supposedly appear similar to “stock” Android (complete with all the usual Google services and apps), just like the Essential PH-1, but with changes targeting privacy and security. Again, there are not many specific details here, other than Keats’ claim of “100-fold more powerful” privacy features than what you would find on typical Android.
Besides the upcoming phone, Jason Keats also shared a few details about OSOM’s early days. The company had plans to complete the ‘GEM’ smartphone that Essential was developing before it collapsed, but that was reportedly scrapped due to supply chain problems. OSOM also says it’s the first new cell phone manufacturer in Canada since BlackBerry, as the company is registered in Quebec.