Android Police



[Update: Price changes now live] Essential Phone gets a permanent price drop to $499

Besides the poor camera performance, perhaps the biggest complaint with the Essential Phone was the price. While the phone definitely had a premium design with a good software experience, the $700 asking price was a sore point for potential buyers. Now the phone is getting a permanent $200 price drop.

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[Update x2: Now $499] Deal alert: Get the Essential Phone for $100 off ($599) from Best Buy

The Essential Phone marked Andy Rubin's return to the Android world, but it wasn't received well by everyone. The mediocre camera, lack of a headphone jack, and the high price tag made it a hard sell for many. But that last issue is less of a concern now that the phone is $100 off at Best Buy.

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Essential is being sued over its modular accessory technology

Essential Inc, created by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, launched its first smartphone earlier this year. The new company has already been subject to legal action, specifically from case manufacturer Spigen over its use for the 'Essential' brand name. Now it is being sued again, this time by Keyssa Inc, over the phone's connector for modular accessories.

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Pure White Essential Phone can now be ordered at

The Essential Phone is already a gorgeous phone in its debut Moon Black, but us tech enthusiasts seem to have a thing for panda-themed phones (black front, white back). Just look at how many people went crazy over the 'Black & White' Pixel 2 XL. But before the Pixel 2 XL was even unveiled, Essential already had a Pure White version of the PH-1 in the works. And now, it's finally available.

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Essential releases kernel source code for the PH-1, factory images coming soon

Essential, the tech startup by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, released its first phone back in August. There has been exactly zero ROM development for the PH-1, but part of that is because Essential had yet to release the phone's kernel source code. Just over a month since it started shipping to customers, the PH-1's kernel source is now available to download.

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Essential announces new OTA update to improve camera performance [APK Download]

The Essential Phone has a pair of cameras on the back, but more does not always mean better. As demonstrated in our review, the Essential Phone took really mediocre pictures at launch. The company has been working on improving the camera through software with a series of updates, and today the latest one has been announced. Build NMI81C is rolling out now with a number of camera tweaks.

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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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