Before the release of the iPhone X, Andy Rubin's Essential Phone was recognized for its use of a cutout to house the front-facing camera. Unfortunately, despite the eye-catching design and premium craftsmanship, it was overshadowed by Apple's mobile phone, which released a few months later.

After a lengthy absence from the smartphone scene, Android's co-founder and Essential Products CEO is teasing a follow-up to its first handset. The name is not yet official, but it seems that internal documents refer to it as GEM, but others prefer to call it the Essential Phone 2.

At first glance, what immediately draws attention is the elongated form factor. Modern smartphones come in different shapes and sizes, but the Essential Phone 2 still manages to stand out due to its odd display aspect ratio. On the other hand, the stylish design and unique shape could work in its favour. TechRadar believes the GEM could be a good alternative for consumers who are looking something different.

From what could be gathered from Rubin's tweet, the Essential Phone 2 sports a narrow body akin to that of a remote. The display stretches vertically with minimal bezels on all sides, while a hole-punch front-facing camera sits on the upper left corner. Moreover, what appears to be a notification LED at first, is apparently an on-screen navigation button and resides just across the selfie shooter. Similarly, other bezel-less smartphones, the slim earpiece is just above the screen wedged within the bezel frame.

The back of the GEM prototype handset houses a single rear-facing camera with its LED flash module on the top left corner. Just below it is a small dimple most likely the fingerprint sensor. There's currently no word if this area would support gestures as other smartphones do. Some of the shots shared by Rubin show the visual interface. However, it is not clear if it is running on a customised Android operating system or a first-party OS.

With a name like GEM, the prototype of the Essential Phone 2 features a stunning design. There are four shades available and each one touts a mesmerising Colorshift material that changes hues depending on angle where the light hits the surface. According to the manufacturer, the colours are not yet final.

Android creator Andy Rubin
Creator of its Android software Andy Rubin speaks at WIRED Business Conference presented by Visa at Spring Studios on June 7, 2017 in New York City. Getty Images/Brian Ach