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Essential

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Essential Phone gets September security update immediately following Google's release

Even though a May report suggested that Essential has canned its second-generation phone (an assertion the company didn't fully contradict), the first Essential Phone remains a cult favorite. In large part, that's because the company pushes out Android updates in near tandem with Google — and that was no exception with the September 2018 Android Pie update released today.

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Essential Phone finally gets support for YouTube zoom-to-fill

Now that almost every major smartphone has a display with a ratio around 18:9, regular old 16:9 videos aren't looking too hot with their black bars. To combat this, YouTube added a helpful zoom-to-fill feature to its Android app, but that functionality only works on select, more mainstream devices. The Essential Phone is finally getting support for it, months after both its and the feature's release.

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[Deal Alert] Essential Phone in Halo Gray down to $280 ($220 off) on Amazon

Aside from its incredible build and lightning-quick updates, I'd argue that the most interesting thing about the Essential Phone is how low its price dropped in such a short time; this once-$700 phone hit an all-time low of just $249.99 on Amazon last month for Prime Day. Today's deal on the Halo Gray Essential Phone can't quite beat that, but at $279.99, it comes close.

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Essential Phone's Android 9 Pie update is rolling out, minutes after Google's announcement

Mere minutes after Google announced the Android 9 Pie name and official launch, Essential has tweeted that its own Pie update is rolling out to the PH-1 right now. Somehow, in spite of the serious financial problems the company is facing, it's still absolutely killing it in terms of updates.

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[Deal Alert] Essential Phone being offered with free Earphones HD, 360 Camera, and camera case for $399

The Essential Phone has seen some pretty crazy deals over the past few months, but the best one we saw came last month during Prime Day. Today's deal isn't quite as good, but if you're interested in picking an Essential Phone up, Essential will toss in a pair of its Earphones HD, a 360 Camera, and a protective camera case for free.

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Essential drops latest Android P Developer Preview within minutes of Google

The only OEM faster to update its devices these days than Google is Essential. Although the company may be running up against rough times, it has consistently offered timely OTAs for security patches and Developer Previews. Like last month, the company is rolling out its own spin on the release candidate-ready DP5 (Beta 3, so far as Essential's numbering goes) less than an hour after Google.

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[Update: Refunds for pre-deal purchases] Deal alert: Essential's 360-degree camera is an insane $19 right now

Essential and Amazon busted out one of the biggest deals this year when they dropped the PH-1 to an all-time low price of $250 for Prime Day. But, it turns out that's not the end of the Essential deals. Right now you can pick up the Essential 360 Camera accessory for a mere $19.

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Essential Phone likely to receive Android Q update... someday — frequent camera tweaks due in the short term

Deemed just “essentially okay” by Ryan shortly after its launch, when it was still selling for $700, the Essential Phone was essentially a must-buy earlier this week, at a discounted price of $250. Bargain hunters who are only starting to get accustomed to the divisive Andy Rubin-created device may want to know the company answers questions every month on Reddit.

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[Update: Pure White sold out] Deal alert: Essential Phone hits all-time low of $250 for Amazon Prime Day

Prime Day is upon us, and the deals are piling up. Essential's PH-1 is going for just $250 — that's $450 off its launch price and more than $200 off its previous price. The deal began today at noon, Pacific time, and runs until 7 a.m. tomorrow morning (or until the phones sell out).

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Essential releases latest P Beta and July security patches same day as Google

Essential may have given up on its next smartphone, but it hasn't given up on the one it has. Updates have been delivered with Pixel-level timeliness. Case in point: The Essential's updated Android P beta is rolling out today, a mere hour or so after Google. Monthly security updates for July are also rolling out. And, you guessed it, Google only just pushed those patches out, too. 

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