Android Police



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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Essential Phone pre-orders are live in Canada, but only on Telus

It took a few months longer than expected, but the Essential Phone went up for pre-order in the US yesterday. Our friends north of the border didn't have any way to buy the phone at the time, but that changes today. The Essential Phone is now live on the Telus website... and that's all. Telus is the only place you can get the Essential Phone in Canada.

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Essential Phone is available now for pre-order from Essential, Sprint, and Best Buy

It's finally happening. Today marks the official, long-overdue launch of the Essential Phone PH-1 with Essential and Sprint making announcements that you can pre-order Andy Rubin's new device today.

Both Essential itself and Best Buy have the unlocked model for $699, and Sprint will be the exclusive carrier in the U.S. Both versions of the phone will work on all major U.S. carriers.

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Essential is sending out emails to pre-orderers that claim their phones will be shipped within 7 days

Essential hasn't been doing great with deadlines on its new PH-1 smartphone, with its promised 30-day shipping period being missed and a statement some weeks after that claiming that the phone would be available "in a few weeks." Well, a few weeks have passed, and it looks like pre-orderers are getting their shiny new Snapdragon 835-powered, ceramic-backed phones very soon.

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WSJ: Essential's investors include Amazon, release date for phone being announced next week

It's being reported by the Wall Street Journal that Amazon is among the companies which contributed to Essentials $300 million coffers. They also reveal that Best Buy and Amazon will be retail partners for the upcoming phone launch. The best bit of news, though, comes in the form of a set of dates. Although we still have no idea when the phone will launch (Essential has now very much overshot its 'end of the month' June prediction), Essential president Niccolo de Masi says, "I will give you an exact date in a week."

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Essential PH-1 shows up at Best Buy in unlocked and Sprint guises for $699.99 and $749.99, respectively

Andy Rubin's Essential hasn't had the greatest start, what with executives jumping ship and shipments being delayed so early on, but things may finally be looking up. The startup's flagship product, the PH-1 smartphone, has just hit Best Buy's website with listings for both the Sprint and unlocked models.

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