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Android co-founder Andy Rubin hopes to reinvent the smartphone — again

His startup, Essential, is working on a phone as well as smart-home gear.

Asa Mathat for Recode

Once again, Andy Rubin is trying to show the world what the smartphone of the future should look like.

He first did it with Danger, then again with Android. His latest startup, Essential, is trying to do that and more.

Essential is working on a high-end smartphone as well as other consumer hardware, including smart-home products, according to a source. The startup is in addition to Rubin’s broader hardware incubator, Playground Global, which has raised $300 million.

According to Bloomberg, Essential has about 40 employees and discussed its phone plans with carriers at last week’s CES trade show in Las Vegas.

Former Magic Leap marketing executive Brian Wallace joined Rubin’s effort late last year; an Essential representative declined on Friday to comment on its plans.

The Information reported last year that Rubin was working on a phone.

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