Former Essential CEO Jason Keats will launch a new smartphone with his new company OSOM next summer, the OSOM OV1. The OV1 will be a privacy-oriented Android phone, which will not be equipped with the modular accessory system from Essential.
That says Keats in conversation with Android Police. In a short teaser video, Android Police shows a few first images of the OV1, which shows that the phone will be equipped with a camera island with two cameras and a flash and that there will be a fingerprint scanner on the back, just like on the Essential phone sat. OSOM will share more details about the phone in February and it should be on the market in the summer of 2022. Keats says the OV1 should be a flagship-grade Android device.
In the conversation with Android Police, Keats says that the phone will not be equipped with the modular accessory system of the Essential phone, because this gave the engineers of Essential ‘the necessary headaches’. Keats expects the phone won’t have the same reception issues that the Essential PH1 did.
The most important change is in the software area, says Keats. The phone will be equipped with its own version of Android, aimed at privacy. Users should get ‘100 times more powerful’ privacy features than with stock Android, including by giving users more freedom to adjust settings and by making adjustments to Android at the developer level. Earlier, Keats said it should be easy to turn off features like GPS and cameras without the software turning those features back on itself.
Keats’ company was made public in November last year. OSOM stands for Out of Sight, Out of Mind and is run by eight former Essential employees, among others. Essential founder and former Google CEO Andy Rubin has nothing to do with the company. A year ago, Keats said that OSOM’s first product should hit the market by the end of 2021. That did not work out, so according to the new schedule it will be summer 2022. The company wants to release seven to eight products over the next three years. That will not only be smartphones, but could also be other hardware and software products.
OSOM OV1, Photo: Android Police