Even though Essential was shut down back in February, we know that they were still working on developing the next Essential Phones. Now, we get to see how the Essential Phone 2 and 3 would’ve looked like if they ever reached the market, or at least their prototypes.
A former Essential designer shared some images of some of the Essential devices that we never received. His name is Kevin Hoffman, and thanks to him, we can see the Essential GEM and the Essential PH 3, that could’ve launched as the Essential Phone 2 and 3. Here we have the images and his thoughts of each device.
Essential Phone 2
PH2 was a project I overtook as lead designer during a team reorganization. I contributed to early conceptualization, form & detail iteration, creating visual presentations, collaborating with Chinese vendors and meeting for product builds, CMF/PRD documentation for manufacturing, CMF approvals, etc.
This phone had a semi-round side profile for considered ergonomics and “slim border” look, a dual camera system, SUS321 ultra-fine bead blasted frame, 2.5D front cover glass, matte chemical etched back cover glass, IP68 rating, 84% screen to body ratio, and supported the “Essential click connect” system. Among others, all these features combined for a competitive mobile device (at the time).
Essential Phone 3
Essential PH3 was a project I led as a designer in an effort to create an inclusive phone with contemporary tech & aesthetic, at a low price point. The design was constrained to low BOM costs using a preexisting OLED display with defined dimensions, bead-blasted machined aluminum, and 2.5D cover glass.
Noteworthy design detailing is expressed in the back triple camera system: A polished stainless steel camera housing holding a flash module and 3 camera lenses. This exaggerated, bold treatment accentuates a high performance camera story in an age where consumers prioritize phones with exceptional cameras. Additionally, chemical etched back cover glass created further contrast with the camera, and the flat side wall treatment paid homage to the original PH1 Essential phone design language.
Noteworthy industrial design features include a 3D molded glass unibody (a manufacturing feat that has never been done before with the help of Corning Glass), a MX resistant coating with striking color effects, and a slim form factor & OLED display that refocuses how we interact with mobile devices.
What do you think? Do you like these designs?