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Google’s Eric Schmidt confirms the Essential smartphone runs Android

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Android co-founder’s new phone does in fact run Android

Andy Rubin / Twitter

Earlier this week, Android co-founder Andy Rubin posted a picture teasing the first smartphone from his new company, Essential. At the time, we speculated that the bezel-less device would be running Android, but now it’s been confirmed — in a tweet from Alphabet's executive chairman Eric Schmidt, of all people. The whole thing is made even odder by the fact that Schmidt is tweeting about what could be a major Samsung competitor on the day of Samsung’s big S8 unveiling.

Now, it’s not exactly a surprise that Rubin — again, one of the co-founders of Android — would be using Android on his new phone, especially given that there aren’t a whole lot of other options if you’re looking for a smartphone OS with third-party developer support these days. But given Essential’s ambitions of creating a high-end smartphone meant to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung, the fact that it will run Android means that it’ll be competing in an increasingly crowded marketplace that includes the just announced Galaxy S8 and Google’s own Pixel.