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Android co-founder prepping smartphone that “lacks a surrounding bezel”

by Brandon Russell | January 13, 2017January 13, 2017 4:00 pm PDT

Andy Rubin Google’s senior vice president of mobile and digital

Andy Rubin, one of the minds behind Android, is ready to burst back onto the scene with a lineup of smart devices, including a mobile device “that lacks a surrounding bezel.”

According to Bloomberg, Rubin and his 40-person team are working on a suite of consumer hardware products, one of which will be a high-end smartphone to compete with the iPhone and Pixel. Rubin is said to have discussed the device with mobile carrier executives earlier this month, the report says.

“It’s expected to include high-end materials and the ability to gain new features over time,” according to the Bloomberg report.

One prototype reportedly being tested by Rubin’s company, dubbed Essential, sports a display in the 5.5-inch range, with a footprint that’s significantly smaller than Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus. Rubin was able to achieve this by cutting down on the bezels.

The alleged phone also sports a pressure-sensitive screen and metal edges. The back is said to be made of ceramic, a material that’s difficult to manufacturer, people familiar with Essential’s plans said.

“Essential’s engineers are developing a proprietary connector that serves double duty for charging the battery and expanding the phone’s functionality over time,” Bloomberg said. “The magnetic connector would allow Essential or even third parties to create hardware accessories that add features to the smartphone.”

It’s sounds a lot like the Moto Z

Rubin apparently has a lot of talent on his team, including former Google and Apple engineers. It’s unclear whether or not the device will run Android though the project is said to feature Rebecca Zavin, a former senior Google software manager.

The device sounds a lot like a Moto Z, a device released toward the end of last year. Through the use of Mods, users could extend the abilities of the device—a key feature Rubin’s device will reportedly possess.

Check out Bloomberg’s report for more information on Rubin’s mysterious project.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...