Confirmed: Andy Rubin is coming back to Android with his Essential phone

The mysterious new smartphone project from Andy Rubin will run on the Android operating system he created from the ground up.

After Rubin dealt-up the first image of the Essential smartphone earlier this week (above), speculation turned to whether the ex-Googler would jump back on the Android train.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Galaxy S7

While Rubin has remained shtum since Monday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt has given the gamer away.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Schmidt promised “phenomenal new choices” for Android smartphone users, with a link to Rubin’s earlier reveal.

https://twitter.com/statuses/847125894753792000

Schmidt’s reveal isn’t exactly blockbuster news, but there was always the possibility Rubin would go back to his software engineering roots and surprise us with a new competitor to the big two of iOS and Android.

Now Android has been confirmed, the Essential smartphone could go on to rival the brand new Galaxy S8 or the Google Pixel range.

Early reports have suggested Essential’s flagship phone will have a 1080p display with a ceramic rear casing. There’ll also be a large phablet version judging by reports of early prototypes.

Essential’s smartphones will just be a small selection of its offering through, according to a January report from Bloomberg.

The company, comprised largely of ex-Apple and Google employees, is looking to align smart home products with mobile devices, with multiple releases planned to follow the first flagship smartphone this year.

Could the Essential phone challenge the Android big boys? Share your thoughts in the comments below.