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Dissidents of Essential launch steel, titanium and ceramic smartphone


The Osom OV1 is the spiritual successor to the Essential PH-1, the smartphone launched by the founder of Android in 2017. After years without any plans, the company was acquired by Carl Pei (Nothing, ex-OnePlus ) in 2021.

Essential fans who don’t want to invest in a too conventional device (Apple, Samsung or Google) should soon have a little more choice. Former employees of the company, led by Jason Keats, launched Osom, a new company to develop high-end Android smartphones. The OV1, its first model, should reconnect with the luxury codes of Essential devices.

Premium materials

The Osom OV1 will use the prestigious materials of the Essential PH-1. Its back will be ceramic, its edges in steel and its buttons in titanium. Relatively small (5.7 inches), it aims to be a unique device on the market, designed for users looking for excellence.

Equipped with a Qualcomm chip from the Snapdragon 8 series (therefore top of the range), the Osom OV1 is presented as a real competitor to the iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra by its founders, even if it will have some shortcomings such as the absence of an optical zoom in photos. Its price should be less than 1000 dollars, its availability is still mysterious. Logic would dictate that it should be exclusive to the United States to begin with.

The Osom smartphone uses the design of the Essential Phone. // Source: OSOM / Android Central

Finally, there is a fun detail with this smartphone: its USB cable. Equipped with a small switch, it can disable data transfer to protect you if you connect to a public computer and fear data theft. It’s pretty useless given Android’s security features, but it might reassure some people. The only flaw, as noted by The Verge, is that the Osom OV1 cable is restricted to USB 2.0 despite the smartphone’s USB 3.2 compatibility.

Nothing soon on the market

For those who have never heard of Essential, it is a start-up created in 2017 by Andy Rubin, the founder of Android. Its goal was to create the iPhone of the Android universe, with finer materials than the competition and a refined experience. Despite a very good reception from fans, Essential never took off and gradually fell apart. There has never been a version 2 of the Essential Phone, to the great despair of some – remember that the American market does not offer Chinese brands like Oppo and Xiaomi.

At the start of 2021, Carl Pei, the co-founder of OnePlus now in charge of the Nothing business, raised the hopes of the brand’s fans by announcing the acquisition of Essential. Very soon, Nothing should launch into the smartphone world with a first device surfing on the OnePlus heritage, and that of Essential. In a few months, therefore, people who miss the 2017 smartphone should finally have replacements that meet their requirements.



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