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Ex-Googler’s Essential Phone tipped for UK release in 2017 – report

The much-hyped Essential Phone looks likely to arrive in the UK by the end of the year, at least according to a new report.

The PH-1, as the handset is unattractively called, will most probably arrive with network exclusives in Q4 2017 – courtesy of analysis by the Financial Times. There’s not been any official confirmation however, so take this report with due caution.

Andy Rubin, one of the co-creators of Google’s Android mobile operating system, is the brain behind the project. The ambition is huge, with an accessory line, a smart assistant and an operating system to pull everything together all planned.

The company has raised $300million to target the lucrative smartphone market. Android was sold to Google for an estimated $50million in 2010.

The device, the first from the company, is expected to start shipping in the US over the next few weeks, but UK consumers may have to wait until the end of the year.

Ben Wood, an analyst with CCS Insight, commented to the FT: “My view is that there would be little or no interest in the Essential phone if it were not for the involvement of Andy Rubin. His personal brand has been enough for the device to get onto the radar of the technorati in the current sea of smartphone sameness.”

Essential phone aims to disrupt the duopoly of Apple and Samsung by offering a modular phone, whereby magnetic connectors on the phones rear can accommodate swappable accessories and upgrades – similar to Motorola’s MotoMods.

Similar efforts such as those by Google and LG have ended without success, however.

Related: Best Android phones

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