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essential phone

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Only around 50,000 units of the Essential Phone have been sold, according to its camera app's download figures from the Play Store

By now, it should be apparent that the Essential Phone hasn't sold in the numbers that Andy Rubin and co. had thought it would. Having started at an MSRP of $699, the PH-1 dropped to $499 just two months after release (and to $650 CAD in Canada). On top of that, there have been numerous opportunities to get the phone for even more cheaply, including through a $200 friends-and-family discount and an incredible Cyber Monday Amazon deal. After all this, it looks like Essential has only sold around 50,000 units of the PH-1, if install figures from the Play Store of the Essential Camera are to be trusted.

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Google's Project Treble could start a custom ROM revolution

Android phone buyers have been begging Google for years to do something about the platform's typically slow updates. As of this month, Android 8.0 Oreo only has 0.3% market share among Android devices, Marshmallow (released in 2015) is still at 30%, and Lollipop (from 2014) sits at 27%. Google's latest attempt to solve this problem is 'Project Treble,' a major restructuring of Android that is part of 8.0 Oreo.

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Essential posts Oreo beta build for PH-1, finally provides Nougat factory images

Hot on the heels of Samsung and its Oreo beta for the Galaxy S8, for which an update has already been released, Essential has posted an Oreo beta image for owners to flash. Also now present are regular factory images, which were previously unavailable. The only caveat is that you must sideload it via ADB; there's no OTA.

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[Update: Black Moon back in stock] Essential Phone drops by another $50 to $449.99 at Best Buy and Amazon

Yes, you're reading that right - the Essential Phone (and its 360 Camera mod) are already getting another price drop, courtesy of Best Buy. Less than two weeks after the phone's official price drop to $499 (or $300 with the friends and family discount), Best Buy has dropped the Essential Phone's price by another $50 to $449.99. Plus, it's offering the 360 Camera, which has an MSRP of $199.99, for just $49.99. Essential is trying really hard to get rid of these things.

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Essential Phone drops from $1,050 to $650 in Canada

Late last month, Essential dropped the price of its flagship (and only) phone from $699 to $499 in the United States. While Essential said it lowered the price in order to help the company break into the smartphone market, it's also very likely that sales have been poor. A drop was also announced for Canada, but the new price wasn't revealed at the time.

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Essential rolling out OTA (build NMJ20D) with fingerprint sensor gestures, KRACK fix, and more

Essential's software on the Essential Phone had some issues at launch, but the team has rolled out multiple updates since then to resolve bugs and add new features. Today, the company is sending out a new build of Nougat with a fix for that troublesome KRACK vulnerability. It includes a few new things, too.

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Essential Phone goes down to an incredible $300 with friends and family discount

The Essential Phone wasn't at the top of our list when it came out, and while there were a lot of little reasons for that, the prime determiner of its value—and our disappointment—was the price. At $700 it wasn't really worth it. But when the phone dropped down to $500 earlier this week our opinion changed drastically. And now it turns out there's even a way to get one for just $300 plus taxes. That is, if you are lucky enough to know someone that plopped down the $700 full price.

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[Update: Price changes now live] Essential Phone gets a permanent price drop to $499

Besides the poor camera performance, perhaps the biggest complaint with the Essential Phone was the price. While the phone definitely had a premium design with a good software experience, the $700 asking price was a sore point for potential buyers. Now the phone is getting a permanent $200 price drop.

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[Update x2: Now $499] Deal alert: Get the Essential Phone for $100 off ($599) from Best Buy

The Essential Phone marked Andy Rubin's return to the Android world, but it wasn't received well by everyone. The mediocre camera, lack of a headphone jack, and the high price tag made it a hard sell for many. But that last issue is less of a concern now that the phone is $100 off at Best Buy.

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Essential is being sued over its modular accessory technology

Essential Inc, created by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, launched its first smartphone earlier this year. The new company has already been subject to legal action, specifically from case manufacturer Spigen over its use for the 'Essential' brand name. Now it is being sued again, this time by Keyssa Inc, over the phone's connector for modular accessories.

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