Essential didn't find much success selling a $700 smartphone, but it's doing better selling that same phone for $500 or less. The Essential Phone has improved with software updates, and it's currently running Android 8.1 Oreo. The company isn't taking too much time to pat itself on the back after getting Oreo out the door. There's already another build with the latest patches and new Bluetooth features.
Here's the changelog for build OPM1.180104.141 for the Essential Phone.
We're rolling out a new Oreo 8.1 build (141) that includes April security patches, Bluetooth 5.0 certified, modem stability fixes, and more. pic.twitter.com/KMoSmjIR47
— Essential (@essential) April 6, 2018
This update brings the newest April security patches, which Google just sent out to Pixel devices a few days ago. There's also support for Bluetooth 5.0 in this update. The hardware has supported BT 5.0 since launch, but the software wasn't there. Now it is. You also get fixes for modem stability, performance, and game controllers.
It took a few days, but after the unlocked variant, the Sprint version of the Essential phone is also getting Android Oreo 8.1 now.
Sprint customers: Good news! Oreo 8.1 is rolling out to you now! Check your Essential Phone for the update.
— Essential (@essential) April 9, 2018