The smartphone field remains crowded thanks to companies ranging from flagships like Apple and Samsung to smaller manufacturers such as Huawei. And soon, the premium smartphone market will be seeing yet another contender.

Essential, the smartphone company from Google Android co-founder Andy Rubin, confirmed Tuesday it will release the Essential Phone. The new smartphone is intended to go head-to-head with other premium competitors like the Apple iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel. Internally, the new phone will be anchored around a display with a minimal bezel and feature an upscale ceramic and titanium body.

Read: Andy Rubin's Essential Android Smartphone Possibly Appeared In A Michelin Ad

Essential has yet to confirm a release date for the Google Android-based phone, but it will retail for $699 and is expected to launch later this year. The Essential Phone will also launch alongside a Home personal assistant device that will compete against models like the Amazon Echo.

While Andy Rubin is well known to tech analysts and the industry thanks to his work with Google, Essential represents Rubin’s highest-profile move yet. Here’s what you need to know about Andy Rubin:

Danger Inc.

After short stints at companies like Apple and WebTV, Rubin becomes a co-founder and CEO at mobile hardware company Danger Inc. alongside Joe Britt and Matt Hershenson. Their flagship product is the T-Mobile Sidekick, which was also known as the Danger Hiptop. The HipTop was an early smartphone that featured a full keyboard and flippable screen.

A 2002 Fortune feature details the company’s novel hardware structure:

"The other particularly formative experience came from Rubin and Britt's stint at WebTV, 1996's hot startup that let users access the Internet through their TV sets. WebTV initially won praise because it was the first product that made getting on the Internet as simple as using a blender.

" 'WebTV was a good appliance,' " Rubin says, " 'but it wasn't easily expandable. When users wanted instant messaging, it took us six months to come up with it.' " Those delays sunk WebTV. With the Hiptop, Rubin realized he could preserve the simplicity and correct the mistake. Instead of being just a stand-alone product, the Hiptop would have its intelligence residing on a server so the device could be updated regularly with new features without ever changing the hardware."

Rubin Moves to Android

In 2003, Rubin co-founded Android. At the time, the small startup operated under the radar and focused on developing software for mobile phones. The startup would eventually catch Google’s eye and be acquired in 2005 for an estimated $50 million.

A 2005 Engadget story reflects the low-key reaction around the acquistion:

"We only have the faintest idea why Google just bought Android, a stealthy startup that specializes in making 'software for mobile phones,' but we do know that trying to guess Google's next move recently replaced digging through Steve Jobs' garbage for clues about the next iPod at the top of our weekend activities list. It's no secret that Google's getting ready to a move into wireless [witness Monday's story that they were thinking about launching some sort of free Wi-Fi network]. We just don't know exactly what it's going to be yet."

Essential PH-1 The Essential PH-1 features a titanium body, a ceramic back and Gorilla Glass 5. Photo: Essential Products Inc.

Android Becomes Google Android

Under Google, Android’s work eventually became bedrock behind its Google Android mobile operating system. The operating system launched in 2007 and helped fuel Google’s successful expansion into the mobile devices space. A 2016 Gartner report estimated that Google Android had a worldwide market share of around 82 percent.

Read: Benchmark Reveals Specs For Andy Rubin's Essential Android Smartphone

As an executive at Google, Rubin helped to shepherd Android to its initial heights. But at times, the operating system struggled to make the transition from startup to a central part of Google’s larger plans. Issues ranging from hardware fragmentation to partnerships with middling returns hindered Android’s ambitions and ability for growth. Rubin would eventually move to Google’s robotics division in 2013 and leave the company entirely in 2014.

Playground Global and Side Ventures

After leaving Google, Rubin explored and launched various projects including Playground Global. The company acts as a mix between a startup incubator and investment fund, and lets Rubin explore a longstanding interest in artificial intelligence development.

A 2016 Wired feature details the company’s larger plans:

"Playground’s ambitions extend far beyond building individual gadgets or even individual companies. Rubin wants Playground to become the factory that creates the standard building blocks — the basic quartermaster’s inventory of components — for the AI-infused future. And he wants to open up this platform of hardware and software tools so that anyone, not just the companies he works with directly, can create an intelligent device. If he’s successful, Playground stands to have the same kind of impact on smart machines that Android had on smartphones, providing the technological infrastructure for thousands of products and giving a generation of entrepreneurs the ability to build a smart drone. Or a house’s worth of intelligent appliances. Or, hell, a full-fledged robot."

A Return to Smartphones

However, Rubin’s focus would eventually turn back to the mobile hardware space. As Bloomberg reported, Rubin would start laying the groundwork for Essential starting in late 2015. The company’s flagship smartphone echoes many of Rubin’s past stops and reflects trends within the current smartphone space: It’ll be upscale, boutique and lack the bloat found in typical carrier-reliant smartphones.

In a post Tuesday announcing Essential, Rubin reflected on the downsides of the current smartphone marketplace and his role in its creation:  

"For all the good Android has done to help bring technology to nearly everyone, it has also helped create this weird new world where people are forced to fight with the very technology that was supposed to simplify their lives. Was this what we had intended? Was this the best we could do?

"I left that night reflecting deeply on what was great and what was frustrating with the current state of technology today. After another long talk with my friend, we decided that I needed to start a new kind of company using 21st century methods to build products for the way people want to live in the 21st century."