13 February 2020
If you are one of the many people waiting for Essential to launch a new smartphone, there is finally good news. An Essential spokesperson has confirmed to XDA that the team is indeed working on a new device. He did not offer any other details but revealed that this new device is currently in the early phases of internal testing.
Here is the complete official response from the spokesperson:
"We’ve previously shared that the Essential team is working on a new device. It is now in early testing and we look forward to sharing more details in the future."
It is clear that Essential does not want to offer any more details about this particular device for the time being but thanks to XDA's further investigation, we have some clues regarding what it could be. This new Essential device has an internal codename "gem" and is currently being tested on Android 10. This makes sense as it is the latest Android version and if the device becomes official in the near future, it should be running the same software as well.
The mysterious Essential device seems to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 processor but this could be limited to initial internal testing purposes. The most interesting bit of information is that the team is using an open-source Google Play Services framework alternative "microg" for the testing. It is unknown why Essential would do so but this makes use speculate is the company considering releasing the new device without any Google apps and services. It is hard to say why Essential would do that but we will suggest you wait for the time being.
This is undoubtedly a piece of good news but just to be clear, it is not confirmed whether this new Essential is actually a smartphone. It could be some other device too but considering it has been over two years since the Essential Phone PH-1 launch, we are hoping that it is a successor.