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See the Essential Phone in its titanium flesh

The phone that wants to out-Google Google looks like a million.

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Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET

This is the Essential Phone PH-1, a new device from Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Android, that's aimed at Android enthusiasts.

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2 of 26 Sean Hollister/CNET

  It's a pretty simple phone.

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But one thing makes the Essential Phone different. 

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It's a modular phone that takes a new approach to connecting add-ons.

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These two connector ports at the back magnetically attach to accessories.

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It's a wireless connection that transfers data, and even power, between the two.

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7 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET

It's much more convenient than Motorola's multiple pins at the bottom of phones like the Z2 Force and Z2 Play. (The Essential's on the right.)

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8 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET

The phone's made from titanium, and it looks really great in an understated way.

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There's a dual 13-megapixel camera on the back with one color lens and one monochrome lens.

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10 of 26 Sean Hollister/CNET

The default camera app is laughably bad right now, with all sorts of issues, even though the camera sensors are capable of taking decent photos. Essential says it's working on fixes and can push them out regularly.

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You'll find the volume buttons and power/lock key on the right.

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Another view of those buttons.

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The phone has 128GB of storage, so there's no microSD card slot in here, just the SIM.

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14 of 26 Sean Hollister/CNET

How did Essential avoid putting any writing or stickers on the phone? It hides some info on this pull-out tab inside the SIM tray. Clever!

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The fingerprint reader lives on the back and is easy to reach.

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There's very little bloatware on the Essential Phone.

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Its sides are straight and uncluttered.

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Same with the top, though traditionalists might regret the lack of headphone jack.

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You'll get a USB-C-to-3.5 millimeter headset adaptor in the box.

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There's also a reinforced charging cable.

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It's a fingerprint magnet.

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22 of 26 Sean Hollister/CNET

On the plus side, that mirror-like finish means you can actually use the phone as a mirror. Or to line up high-res selfies, I suppose.

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Here's another look at the 360-degree camera from the front.

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It looks like an eyeball.

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The 360 camera for the Moto Z phones (right) require a cover that snaps on to the entire length of the phone back.

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Here's everything else you need to know about the Essential Phone PH-1.

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