When the Essential Phone landed back in September, one of the biggest criticisms most reviews had for the diminutive device was its decidedly mediocre camera. Subsequent price drops and recent sales may have increased consumer interest, though, and Essential remains committed to improving camera performance—at least, as much as they can.

Two days ago, the Essential camera app and 360-degree hardware were updated again, adding support for YouTube Live 360, Facebook Live 360, and improving 360-degree image quality and software stability. 

We've downloaded the two updates and tested out the changes for ourselves, and there does appear to be an improvement. Though I don't have a direct comparison to show you, 360-degree photos do seem to have better blending where the images from the two sensors merge, and compression artifacts seem to have been reduced a bit in the resulting 360-degree images.

I tested 360-degree Live on YouTube, and it works. So presumably, the feature is also working on Facebook.

The two updates are available now. The Camera app can be updated via Google Play (or you can grab it at APK Mirror), while the 360-degree camera attachment can be updated by connecting it to the phone and following the update prompts which should appear in your notifications.

Essential Camera
Essential Camera
Developer: Essential Products
Price: Free