Essential

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The unlocked Essential Phone is now available from Best Buy

It's rare that new smartphone makers arrive on the scene to launch a phone without even so much as a Kickstarter campaign. Of course, they don't all have Andy Rubin at the helm. Essential released its first phone a few weeks ago as an unlocked device and a Sprint edition. Until now, only the Sprint version was on sale at Best Buy, but now you can get the unlocked one, too.

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Essential Phone is now fully compatible with Verizon networks

Those of you who read about the Essential team's AMA on reddit yesterday probably saw that Essential was working on Verizon certification for the PH-1 (PH-One, get it?). Andy Rubin has lived up to his word; just a day later, the Essential Phone has indeed gotten fully certified for Big Red.

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Here are some highlights from today's AMA with Andy Rubin and the Essential team

AMAs on reddit are a good way for tech companies to communicate with fans and potential customers and answer any concerns they may have. Of course, not all of them go well, but if you're honest and respond to important questions, it's easy enough to do. Essential may have had a couple of screw-ups in the past, but at least it did its AMA right. Here are some responses we thought deserved a spot in this recap.

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Essential Phone arrives at Sprint today

The Essential Phone has been long-awaited, not just because it was developed by Andy Rubin (co-founder of Android), but also because it's a pretty sleek device. After the initial delays, it showed up for pre-order a month ago and began shipping to customers soon after.

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Essential Phone drop test demonstrates a strong ceramic back, but an easily broken screen

JerryRigEverything does teardowns and torture tests pretty often, but a drop test from the channel is rare to see. The torture tests that Zack does compromise the devices' strength, and drop tests are pretty expensive in the first place. But for the titanium- and ceramic-constructed Essential Phone, an exception was made, giving us the video you see here.

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Essential Phone review: Essentially okay

Anyone who reads Android Police probably has a good idea who Andy Rubin is—he founded Android before it was acquired by Google, and was in charge of the platform for a number of years. After leaving Google, he dabbled in a few ventures, as very wealthy people are wont to do. Eventually, Rubin started Essential, a company that has now launched its first Android smartphone. The hype train got started earlier this year when Rubin posted an image of the phone showing off its impossibly small bezels, but they hid the unusual cutout in the teaser.

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JerryRigEverything puts the Essential Phone's premium materials to the test

The Essential Phone doesn't use the same old materials we've seen on other high-end smartphones. Rather than an aluminum frame, this phone is made from titanium. Instead of the same old glass panel on the back, Essential opted for ceramic. Are these materials actually any more durable? YouTube channel JerryRigEverything scratches, scrapes, and bends to figure that out. The results: pretty good.

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iFixit's Essential Phone teardown reveals a very tedious repair process, nets it a score of 1

It's hard to deny that the Essential Phone has some good-looking hardware. Its titanium frame and ceramic back might make the phone a bit more durable, but what happens when you do break the phone? iFixit has just torn down Andy Rubin's new phone, and the results are not good.

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Essential Phone's mediocre photo quality can be fixed by a modified Google Camera APK

Even before the Essential Phone was released, we knew the camera wasn't going to be very good. Sure enough, once the phone got into the hands of reviewers, the camera was by far the most disappointing aspect of the device. But most of the problem doesn't appear to be with the camera sensor, but with Essential's software.

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Essential Phone is now shipping

Android co-founder Andy Rubin officially unveiled the first smartphone from his new startup, the Essential Phone, back in May of this year. With a near bezel-less design, flagship specifications, and stock Android, the phone certainly seemed like a winner. But the promised 30-day shipping period came and went, with nary a word from Essential.

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