Android cofounder Andy Rubin's upcoming Essential smartphone has missed its initial launch date, but we now know it is coming in August.

In an email released to those who preordered the phone, Rubin apologized for the initial delay but said the device was on its way.

"I personally wanted to thank you for putting your name down for our first phone," the email said. "We've been hard at work getting everything ready and the good news is that we're now going through certification and testing with multiple U.S. and international carriers."

"You might be getting impatient to get your hands on your new Essential Phone (and I'm also impatient to get it to you!) but rest assured that you will have a device in your hands in a few weeks."

Delays Weren't Surprising

When the phone was first announced, Rubin's company said it would arrive within the month, but that date came and went. The company kept quiet about any future release dates, possibly to avoid future disappointment, but now appears confident enough to give us another release window. Of course, Rubin did not promise a date, so all we know for sure is that the device arrives sometime next month.

Essential Features

There are plenty of premium smartphones out there, so even with Rubin's name attached, the Essential needs something special to stand out. Luckily, it has a few tricks up its sleeves. For starters, Rubin is confident enough in its titanium body that the phone will not need a case. Speaking as someone who prefers the look of their phone without a case, that's a definite bonus in our eyes.

The phone features a somewhat modular design that could allow for a wide array of accessories and customization to be added to the device. It's not as modular as a desktop PC, but it's a step in the right direction.

Overall, the Essential still has a rough road ahead of it if it wants to challenge Samsung and Apple for the premium smartphone market, but its unique features and Rubin's name make it a worthy contender. Of course, with the iPhone 8 due to release this year and the Note 8 launching within the same time frame as the Essential, Rubin will need some luck to pull this off, but so far, things are looking pretty good for his return to the consumer-electronics game.

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