Essentially losing it: Unbridled enthusiasm for an upcoming phone


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Andy Rubin revealed more information about the iPhone-killing Essential Phone this week and, if you’re curious about it, never fear because The Verge has published no fewer than infinity stories on it.

OK, that may be an exaggeration. The Macalope doesn’t really know because he stopped counting at 9 pieces that can best be summed up as “Isn’t Andy Rubin dreamy? What do you think he’s doing right now? Probably something really cool.” That doesn’t include stories on Essential Home, the other product Rubin pre-announced which is a home speaker system that is supposed to compete against the Amazon Echo and Google Home while simultaneously working “seamlessly” with Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant.

Sure, Jan.

The Verge’s initial report on the Essential Phone sorta neglects to mention all the images in it are renders as TechCrunch noted. Renders aren’t that unusual in marketing materials but it was probably worth pointing out in your exclusive title “This is the Essential Phone” because technically it wasn’t.

Ugh, Macalope, stop being such a buzzkill. Get to how cool it is.

It’s an incredibly audacious and ambitious project, with an outlandish screen and the beginnings of a modular ecosystem.

It’s an Android phone! And it has a magnetic connector! And its front camera hangs down into the screen like a solitary, dangling truck nut! Who wouldn’t want that? You needn’t worry about that last detail, though. The Verge assures us it’s cool.

It’s a unique take on a big screen that makes the phone stand out — and it’s smart, too. Often, the status bar at the top of an Android phone doesn’t fill that middle space with icons, so it’s efficient.

Unique! Smart! Efficient! Not at all an eyesore! As another piece from The Verge claims, you won’t even notice it.

In the few minutes I played around with the Essential phone, my eyes kept getting drawn to that gap... until they didn’t.

It’s nothing like the Opti-grab! Stop saying that!

I am guessing that people who see the phone will find it strange, but people who use the phone won’t mind it at all.

It’s like when you hear voices in your head whispering dark secrets to you for years on end and then eventually you’re just like, whatever, voices, I’m over your dark secrets. It’s just like that. Very relatable.

Anyway, there’s a perfectly logical reason why the camera has to jut into the screen like that and it’s because Essential…

…filled the phone with radios that should make it work on all major carriers…

It’s full of radios, OK? Gah, stop being so dumb. Look, ya got yer GSM, yer LTE, yer EDGE, yer AM/FM, yer VHF and UHF, Gary, yes, it’s in there… and yer NPR, Christian rock and sports talk and such. All the radios are in there. Literally full of radios.

Sadly, no room for batteries or memory.

The most hilarious part of this other than all the really funny parts is that after months of telling us how “user-hostile and stupid” it was for Apple to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7, The Verge is doing pre-release backflips over a phone that… doesn’t have a headphone jack, either. So it’s an audacious, ambitious, unique, smart and efficient phone that is user-hostile and stupid. Got it.

It’s weird because TechCrunch’s coverage somehow manages to talk about the Essential Phone while having a healthy dose of skepticism.

The pursuit of bezelessness has clearly driven us mad – how else would humans look at a large, high quality display and think it was okay to cut out a section of that, even if in service of maximizing screen real estate.

This may be a very fine Android phone with a weird screen quirk. But maybe you should try to keep a lid on your over-boiling enthusiasm until the thing actually ships.

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