OnePlus is a company that, historically, hasn’t been known for adventurous smartphone designs. And while much of the OnePlus 6 merely iterates on the same rather staid, minimal hardware language, there is one part that stands out: this is the first Android phone with a screen notch I haven’t felt repulsed by.
Now, I don’t mind screen notches, in theory. The iPhone X manages to incorporate one well, particularly owing to the fact that the rest of the screen bezel around the phone is equally thin. Which is to say, there isn’t a chin.
The OnePlus 6 does have a chin - and there are reasons for that - but I think it incorporates that element far better than, for example, Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone. Read More
In an unprecedented move for Google, Android P's latest beta will be available on eleven devices. The registration just went live not too long ago, but it's not limited to just the Pixels this time. No, dear reader, Google is offering the beta to devices from other manufacturers. Read More
The Essential Phone and 360 Camera are in demand around the world — according to Essential. So the company is responding by selling its phone and accessories directly to consumers in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, and Japan. If you live in one of those five countries, it's time to get mildly excited. Read More
The Essential Phone's initial $700 price obviously wasn't very enticing, as the phone has since fallen to as low as $399 with a free 360 Camera attachment. Today's $399 deal from Amazon and Best Buy doesn't include the 360-degree camera, but let's be honest; you were never going to use that after the first day of ownership anyway. Read More
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. Read More
Since Essential launched the PH-1 last year, the phone has gained a cult following. Although the phone isn't without its faults, there aren't many other choices for a Snapdragon 835 below $500, and many people took advantage of last fall's Sprint and Amazon sales that saw the price fall lower, under $400. Essential also pioneered the "notch," which (like it or hate it) is only just now coming into vogue. The company and its products aren't perfect by any means, but one might even call Essential disruptive.
For better or worse, I’m reminded of another company that pioneered disruption in the flagship space: OnePlus. Read More
There are really just two ways to handle a "notch" display cutout in software. Either you have content stop before it would be cut off by it, or you allow it to go all the way to the display's true edge and suffer the loss of visibility.
Everyone has an opinion about which is better, but Essential just made it so we can all have our way. The Oreo 8.1 (build 141) update includes a new "Essential notch settings" that allows for per-app and global notch customization. Read More
At the end of January, Essential announced that it would be skipping a full release of Android 8.0 Oreo, instead going straight to 8.1. About a month after the first beta build of 8.1 came out for the Essential Phone, the official Android 8.1 Oreo update has been released from the floodgates. Read More
Many of you were probably wowed by the Vivo Apex, a concept phone with way too many futuristic things on board, at MWC 2018. The Apex has extraordinarily small bezels and an in-display fingerprint sensor, but arguably its most innovative feature is its popup front-facing camera that allows it to avoid the dreaded notch. Andy Rubin has revealed that a patent for this solution was granted to Essential Products, Inc in 2017. Read More
Essential has been steadily instilling more and more features into the PH-1, many of which have concerned the camera. Most recently, the Essential Camera app has seen autoHDR and 360-degree live-streaming added. Today Essential announced via Twitter that Tiny Planet mode and "flash" for the front-facing camera (read: white burst from the screen) are bundled in the latest Essential Camera update. Read More