The day before yesterday, we received word by way of a Twitter teaser that Essential was finally planning to release its hotly-anticipated Ocean Depths color. It turns out that Andy Rubin and friends actually had even more in store, with a Stellar Gray and a never-before-seen Copper Black also coming onto the scene. Unfortunately, these will cost $599 apiece — a full $100 over the price of a Moon Black or Pure White unit, and significantly more than the going rate.
Essential claims that designing custom colors for ceramic is much more difficult than it is for, say, plastic, and I don't doubt that. On top of that, colored ceramic is apparently very hard to manufacture consistently, hence why a small batch of each color has been produced. The company says these three new colors make up its "Spring Collection," which is an interesting term for a tech startup.
left: Ocean Depths. right: Stellar Gray.
Smartphone manufacturers seem to like coming up with their own creative little explanations for each new color, so I'll let Essential do the talking here. Ocean Depths is its "most fashion-forward and on-trend color," and the "playful design is quite the statement piece for someone looking for a truly unique phone that will make waves among a sea of lookalike devices." Stellar Gray, which sports a matte black back, is "a bold expression of minimalism" whose black frame "complements the refined design to deliver a modern, mature look." And lastly, Copper Black features a glossy black back and a copper band; Essential says this combo was "inspired by high-end accessories and timepieces." We've actually never seen Copper Black before, and it seems to be the AP team's favorite out of the three offered here.
The release of these colors is being staggered. Ocean Depths will be available for purchase later today, February 15th, at 12pm PT/3pm ET, Stellar Gray will go on sale on Tuesday, February 20th, at 12pm PT, and Copper Black will be available on Thursday, February 22nd at 12pm PT. Be ready to pony up $100 over the price of a "standard" PH-1, though. Considering Amazon's Cyber Monday sale for the Phone effectively made the phone cost less than half of that, you'd have to seriously love these colors to drop this much cash for one.