Osom, the company formed by Essential employees after the start-up, has released new details about the upcoming OV1 phone, including a very familiar list of building materials. Supposed to compete with flagships from Apple, Google and Samsung, the OV1 will have a stainless steel and titanium casing, a ceramic back, Corning Victus glass, and a Qualcomm processor.
Stainless steel is used for the phone’s frame, while titanium will be used for accents such as the power and volume buttons as well as the ring around the camera bump, according to Android Police. It looks like the phone will have a lot of weight – Osom says the OV1 will be “significantly larger” than the base phone, which has slim bezels and a 5.7-inch screen. The company also says that the phone will come in white and matte black but there are “some surprises coming” in the colors.
Speaking to Jason Keats, Osom founder and CEO, he said that the OV1 was not intended to evoke the essential phone. The similarity is just a corollary of having the same engineering team and design. In my opinion, it can still stand out — the material is still relatively uncommon on most phones, even five years after we praised the basic phone architecture. Arguably, Apple is probably the closest with the iPhone 13 Pro’s stainless steel sides and “ceramic armor”, but I think most people will be able to tell the difference between the iPhone and the OV1 right away. (Plus, there’s the price – Osom didn’t say exactly how much her phone would cost but was told Android Police It came in for less than $1000, which is 13 Pro . place Begins.)
OV1 was supposed to be fully revealed this week, according to Take CrunchBut Awsome is delaying its announcement and shipping date to be able to upgrade the phone’s processor. The company says it will use a “Snapdragon 8 series” chipset, although it cannot provide details, according to Take Crunch. Qualcomm recently switched up its naming scheme for chips with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, although it seems unlikely that the OV1 will use that particular chip given its oath of silence.
Osom says the phone will have an all-day battery and that it will have Ultra Wide Bandwidth, or UWB, the same technology other manufacturers like Apple, Google and Samsung use for things like precise location tracking and digital car keys. Keats didn’t say exactly what this radio is for, but he did say the company has some “interesting things in cooking” that it will announce later. It will have room for two physical SIMs — Keats says the company deliberately chose not to use the e-SIM to avoid associating itself with certain carriers. (He also stated that partnering with a particular carrier was “a critical mistake for Essential.”)
Osom says she’s also learned from camera slips in Essential and that she wants the OV1 to have “a truly ground-breaking camera experience.” Design-wise, the OV1 has a camera bump, which is something the base phone avoided. This protrusion holds the two rear cameras, working at 48 and 12 megapixels. The front camera will be 16 MP. Given how critical software is to the mobile photography experience, it’s hard to say how these specs translate into shots at this point.
Finally, there’s a USB-C to C cable that comes in the box. There’s usually not much to say about those, but Osom includes one with a neat trick: the ability to flip a switch that physically disconnects the data pins, so you’ll feel more comfortable charging your phone from a public outlet (although admittedly in my country. My experience with these they are usually still USB-A). Unfortunately, the mechanical disconnect means that the cable operates at USB 2 speeds, according to Osom spokesperson Andy Fouché – 60MB/s. The OV1 port can support speeds of 625MB/s much faster than USB 3.2 Gen 1, though, when paired with a different cable.
Keats couldn’t say how fast the OV1 would charge, only that it would be “impressively fast”. It’s BYOB (bring your own bricks), although it won’t ship with a charger in the box.
Update March 3rd, 6:22pm ET: Updated with additional information about the included OV1 cable.