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Essential Phone 128 GB Unlocked with Full Display, Dual Camera – Pure White
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- The Essential Phone is expertly crafted using titanium and ceramic, with an edge-to-edge Full Display and captures stunning images (even in low light) with the world's thinnest dual camera system ever built for a phone.
- Beauty meets brawn - With a titanium body, a ceramic back and the attention to detail that went into building this device, you’ll feel the craftsmanship from the moment you pick it up.
- Edge-to-edge Full Display - With the stunning edge-to-edge Full Display on the Essential Phone there's finally a large-screen device that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand.
- The world’s thinnest dual camera system - The camera system consists of color and monochrome sensors to capture up to 200% more light than traditional phone cameras. This results in stunning images that are rich in color and detail, even in low light.
- Accessories that simply click - With the phone's revolutionary magnetic connector, accessories can easily attach to your device so it's future-proof and always up-to-date.
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Screen Size||5.71 in||5.5 in||6 in||5.5|
|Item Dimensions||0.31 x 2.8 x 5.57 in||2.99 x 6.09 x 0.31 in||3.1 x 6.4 x 0.31 in||2.99 x 6.09 x 0.31 in|
|Item Weight||6.56 ounces||5.96 ounces||6.56 ounces||5.96 ounces|
|Operating System||Android 7.1.1||Android 7.1 with HTC Sense™||Android N||Android 7.0|
Essential is a new kind of company. Founded on our commitment to true craftsmanship, personalization and simplification. We're using 21st century methods to build products for 21st century people.
Andy Rubin, Creator of Android
Founder and CEO of Essential
From the Manufacturer
Essential Phone is expertly crafted using titanium and ceramic, has an edge-to edge Full Display and captures stunning images (even in low-light) with a color and monochrome dual system camera.
Your phone is an expression of who you are and it should have only the things you want and need.
No forced loyalty.
128GB Comes Standard.
The innovation opportunities are endless with our magnetic connector. Keeps your phone cord-free and always up-to-date with accessories that click.
Simply click the world's smallest 4K 360° camera to capture all of the important moments in complete surround.
Titanium is the perfect material to create one of the most essential things in our lives. It resists scratches and dents far better than aluminum.
Other 360° cameras are big, bulky, and complicated to use. We thought it was about time someone made a 360° camera for the rest of us. Simply click the 360° camera to your phone to point, shoot, and share. It’s that easy.
Describe your product in 3 words.
Freedom is Essential
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
I know people are going to ask me a lot of questions about why I started this company. Why didn’t I just travel the world, ride my motorcycle, tinker with my robots, hang out at my bakery with friends and family. And to be honest I still do ask myself that sometimes…but not too often.
So why did I create Essential? Well, my hardware engineers wanted me to talk about how we are bringing real passion and craftsmanship back into this category. My software engineers wanted me to talk about our vision for making all devices, even those we don't make ourselves, play well together. My partners wanted me to talk about how we are using methods that could change how successful technology companies are built forever.
And this is all true.
But the real reason is because of what happened during a night out with an old friend of mine. As the night went on we inevitably began talking about what we didn't like about the current state of technology. Less and less choice. More and more unnecessary features cluttering our lives. An increasing sea of products that didn't work with one another…
And just when I was about to drop another criticism it hit me: I am partly responsible for all of this.
For all the good Android has done to help bring technology to nearly everyone it has also helped create this weird new world where people are forced to fight with the very technology that was supposed to simplify their lives. Was this what we had intended? Was this the best we could do?
I left that night reflecting deeply on what was great and what was frustrating with the current state of technology today. After another long talk with my friend we decided that I needed to start a new kind of company using 21st century methods to build products for the way people want to live in the 21st century.
What makes your product special?
This is what we believe:
• Devices are your personal property. We won’t force you to have anything on them you don’t want to have.
• We will always play well with others. Closed ecosystems are divisive and outdated.
• Premium materials and true craftsmanship shouldn’t be just for the few.
• Devices shouldn’t become outdated every year. They should evolve with you.
• Technology should assist you so that you can get on with enjoying your life.
• Simple is always better.
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
I have used the above principles to inform everything Essential is doing and they have helped me attract some of the best and brightest people from all over the world to join me in bringing this vision to life. We won’t achieve everything we hope on day one, but if you’re one of those people who also thinks it’s time for something new, please have a look at www.essential.com to learn more.
Top customer reviews
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I was not expecting to love the Essential Phone. “Kudos to Essential for what they are trying to achieve, but no way they can compete with the incumbents” … Or so I thought!
Press reviews got me intrigued enough to give it a try (after checking the return policy).
I have now been using the Essential Phone as my primary device for 3 days and I LOVE IT. I’ll update this review as things progress.
Other reviews are doing a great job going into many aspects so I’ll just add my perspective as a user (see the kind of user I am at the bottom).
DESIGN is a WINNER
( + ) Beautiful (look at it)
( + ) Simple/ergonomic (stock Android + no bloatware)
( + ) Different (people ask me about it) yet not quirky
It JUST WORKS
( + ) A LOT of screen in a truly one-handed form factor,
( + ) Touch input works great
( + ) Great call quality,
( + ) Fast camera,
( + ) All day battery,
( + ) Fast and accurate fingerprint sensor (I tried many & they aren’t all the same, this one is the real deal)
( + ) “Accidental drop” resilient (accidentally tested already) meaning I don’t need a case (at long last a beautiful phone that doesn’t need a case)
The PRICE is RIGHT (~$200 below similarly spec’d premium phones). At $700, it is a great value (but still an expensive phone — premium materials etc.)!
The “flaws” I don’t care much about (I call them SMART TRADE-OFFS)
( + / — ) Camera/Picture quality (good enough for me),
( + / — ) Not for VR (still a “niche” use case),
( + / — ) Not waterproof (I don’t swim with my phone),
( + / — ) No headphone jack (I love USB-C),
( + / — ) Weak built-in speaker (I use a headset or an actual high quality speaker when I need good/loud sound),
( + / — ) Unclear whether front facing camera will enable advanced face recognition use cases (the future is coming but I live in the present)
The things I wish it did better (or “Why not a 5 star rating”)
( — ) I’d like the screen to be brighter / colors to be more vivid. Those with the current generation of iPhones won’t necessarily mind, but for folks used to premium (AM)OLED phones (e.g. Samsung, Google Pixel, LG, etc.), it might very well be a deal breaker.
( — ) I’d like the camera app to be better, starting with “manual” mode (like what Motorola does). I am confident Andy’s team will improve the camera app though, they already have in the past month as per the press.
This phone is right for me, but is it right for you? The kind of user I am
- I live in the cloud. I love Google services (and Amazon’s too!). I appreciate Apple’s “less is more” design principles and the superb quality and durability of their products, but I don’t like that it is often “their way or no way”.
- I use my phone a lot, mostly as a work tool (+ videos, and a few games for my kids).
- I have 121 apps installed (for those who care to know, I included my home screen with the 30 or so that I use daily).
- I am on T-Mobile.
- I am “cheap” (or to put it nicely: “savvy”). I don’t like to pay for the brand premium or the fanciness I don’t need. I am fine paying for quality or “fair trade / eco friendliness”, but I have found that “high quality on the basics” and “inexpensive” actually align
* Oct 18 update: 50 days in, I am sticking with the Essential Phone. But I confirm my "not for everyone" comment. I think for most people, the Pixel 2 is a better choice (congrats team Google!) *
Day 50: new pros and new cons
(+) It still looks like new despite my having used it without a case. That is very impressive (I tend to bend my phones, or scratch them, or both)!
(+) The charger Andy's team included is AMAZING (it must have been pricey). I can easily charge my laptop with it (USB C)
(-) The camera is starting to bother me. I downloaded another camera app...
(-) The power button below the volume button seems suboptimal to me
(-) That phone is slippery... I haven't found an elegant solution (I really dont want to add a skin or a case, but I'll keep looking (ideas?)
Comparison with Pixel 2
If you want stock Android, and a phone that just works, the default choice is Google's Pixel. So I got the Pixel 2 (disclosure: I know and admire the team who built it)
*Where PH1 wins*
- It has a much bigger screen despite being slightly smaller than the Pixel 2, which means a better browsing experience, more apps on the home screen. You just see more (see the pictures).
- PH1 seems more durable to me. Pixel 2's coating looks like a great improvement over last year's metallic paint (that tended to chip off quickly), but I don't think it will beat ceramic and titanium.
* Where Pixel 2 wins *
- Pixel's camera is AWESOME. Even I became an ok photographer. It is incredibly fast, and the pictures turn out super sharp, with great colors, etc. The movies are amazing as well.
- much better speaker (and there are 2 of them)
- UI significantly more responsive
- Water proof
- Squeezable assistant is cute and may create a warm emotional bond... we shall see
As you assuredly know, if you're reading this review, Essential is a new phone hardware company, and this is their first offering. They've made quite a splash because the company was founded by the guy who invented Android for Google. Darn good bonafides, as they say.
The assertion is that this phone, the Essential PH-1, is a smart phone done right. Top end construction, high end components, absolutely no third party bloatware on top of pure Android, and compatible with each and every cell carrier. Oh, let's not forget, overseen by the guy who started the company who, you might expect, as Mr. Android, knows how it should be done.
Well, promises and anticipation are one thing. Does this phone actually deliver?
Before I get to that, let me describe my list of what the "world's best" smart phone SHOULD offer:
❖ Fantastic battery life. You shouldn't be sweating bullets that your phone will still have juice at the end of a normal day.
❖ Great camera. If you're going to pay for a world class phone, it had better have a world class camera.
❖ Excellent phone call quality: Sound for both the caller and the called, and the reception.
❖ Headphone jack. Yeah, I'm going there. I've not heard a single convincing argument to remove the phone jack. Making the phone insignificantly thinner? Come on. And Samsung and others have demonstrated you can make a waterproof phone without removing the jack. Removing the jack is change for change's sake. And if you have been an important phone call via a Bluetooth headset when suddenly there's Bluetooth interference, you know why removing the jack is just idiocy. Oh, and to those who argue "you can use a standard headphone with a special dongle": Thank you, but adding a component that can easily be lost and juts out from the sleek lines of the phone is just wrong.
❖ At least 3Gb memory. (And 4Gb memory is better, to provide a safe buffer today, and for some element of future-proof).
❖ At least 32Gb storage. More is nicer, of course. But 32Gb is the minimum amount that leaves ample space for the OS, your apps, and a bunch of pictures before you have to do the dreaded storage triage.
❖ A multi-year roadmap for providing OS updates, and providing those updates in a timely manner. Not just 1-2 years, like most manufacturers, but as long as the hardware can reasonably support the latest OS.
❖ Unlockable bootloader and rootable. If you don't know what these are, that's OK. But a high end phone should provide full control over what's on the phone to advanced users who might want to play with it.
❖ Compatibility with all the major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint) and with most world carriers. Because you don't want your expensive phone investment to be a consideration in choosing the best plan.
❖ A good, modern processor: I was ambivalent about even putting this on the list, since each and every modern flagship phone, and even most affordable midline phones, has a processor more than sufficient to provide an entirely acceptable experience. For most users, we are far beyond the point where any negative user experience issues are processor related. But obviously, a slow doggy processor (if you could find one) would be a deal breaker for an ideal phone.
❖ Wireless charging. Once you've used it, you won't want to go back.
❖ Fast charging: Nothing like charging your phone from 0 to a usable level in less than 10 minutes. If you've ever been twisted in contortions huddled in the corner next to a power outlet because your phone is out of juice and you have an important call coming up, you'll know what I mean.
❖ High resolution front camera. Because, admit it, we all like selfies.
❖ Front firing speakers. Because any time you use your phone in speakerphone mode, it's facing you and so should the speakers.
❖ More than 32Gb storage and/or a SD slot.
❖ A removable battery. Because, eventually, your battery is going to start going bad. No, not maybe.
❖ High resolution screen. Personally, I think higher pixel densities are, after a point, just a marketing scam (and one that robs battery life). A 320 dpi pixel density is more than sufficient for anything you're going to do on a phone, even if you are a image snob.
❖ Pure Android experience. No one likes "bloatware" (you know, the junk apps your provider insists on installing on your phone, such as their inferior mapping program). And while some of the add on navigation software that companies like Samsung add is OK, mostly it isn't necessary and makes your phone more likely to encounter software hiccups (and delayed OS updates).
░░░░Nice to have:░░░░
❖ Fingerprint reader. Entering a pin isn't so hard. But a fingerprint reader is easier.
❖ Waterproof. Honestly, I have never, ever, wanted to use my phone in the water. But it's nice to think that if you accidentally drop it in the sink it's not toast. If you accidentally drop it in the toilet, it SHOULD be toast.
❖ A "shatterproof" screen. Truth is that there are no shatterproof screens. Motorola has some models that promise this, but they are simply less shatter prone. So let's say it would be nice to have a less shatter prone screen.
❖ High quality case materials. Sure, a nice case is sleek and impressive out of the box. But day-to-day, after you have your initial blitz of bragging to your friends, it doesn't have that much to do with your experience.
░░░░No one cares:░░░░
❖ Thinner. All modern smartphones are more than thin enough to fit comfortably in your hand and in your pocket. Carving bits off the thickness that are barely measurable with a micrometer is just marketing nonsense--especially since the majority of people use a phone case that makes whatever's being shaved off irrelevant.
OK, that's my scorecard for a world class smartphone. How does the Essential do?
❖ Battery life: It has good-but-not-great-for-flagship battery life (it made it to the end of the day with normal use, although in my case [I do a lot of surfing during the day], just barely). It's not near as as good as my several year old Droid Turbo and not as good as it could be with the bigger battery in phones made by competitors. The battery is 3040mAh in size. I'll give it half a check mark for this. 0.5 check.
❖ Camera: Oh my. A big disappointment. The Essential uses a dual camera sensor system, one color, one monochrome, and asserts this will allow fabulous pictures even in low light. But...just no. The pictures were all generally very good in good lighting. But once the lighting was less than good...they were all over the place--some good, some fuzzy, few outstanding. I compared pictures of the same subjects with a friend who has a Pixel (currently considered by many the best camera phone out there), and it was no contest: In all cases where it wasn't a tie, the Pixel took better shots in the same conditions. The Pixel was also considerably faster in processing pictures. The Essential camera was pretty laggy in taking multiple shots, particularly with HDR on. Reading various information on the Web, there were numerous reports that the camera quality improved with updates so I made sure I had the latest camera update. I did. And the camera wasn't hideous. I mean, this would be considered very good quality relative to phones from a few generations ago. But it's not quite where it should be for a flagship, particularly one that is promising so much with the dual camera lens setup. I'll add that the controls for the camera are very limited in scope...much more so than, say, those for the Pixel. But I would add that I rarely use the advanced camera settings. So for me that's not so much a problem as is the fact that the camera quality could be better. 0.0 check.
❖ Call quality: The phone call quality is very good on my end and people I called said I sounded unusually clear for a cellphone. Speaker quality was good, too--acceptably loud, although a bit tinny. The Essential got the same or more bars in places with poor coverage as did my other phones (Droid Turbo, Nexus 6, iPhone 6). 1.0 check.
❖ Headphone jack: No, they went there. No headphone jack. Tim Cook's folly is now spreading. On the upside, the Bluetooth on the phone easily paired with my favorite Bluetooth headphones (Jaybird J3). But no headphone jack still makes me sad. 0.0 check.
❖ Memory: 4Gb. Excellent. The current flagship standard. Enough memory, even if you have multiple apps opened. 1.0 check.
❖ Storage: 128Gb, not expandable. But with 128Gb, who cares if you can expand it. That's swimmingly sufficient and then some. 1.0 check.
❖ Multi-year roadmap: The Essential company hasn't promised more than 2 years of updates, a promise the same as, but no better than, such competitors as Google. That said, they've made a huge deal of this being a phone for your many year future, and if I were being optimistic, I'd interpret that to mean they plan to offer updates for more than 2 years. But of course there's always the question of where this very young company will be in multiple years. So fingers crossed, but no data. Given lack of data, no check mark can be assigned for this.
❖ Unlockable bootloader and rootable: The Essential company has promised that the bootloader will be unlockable, but how to unlock it isn't yet clear. I assume that if we get that, root will follow. But again, wait and see. 1.0 check (taking company at its pre-release word).
❖ Compatibility with all major US carriers: Yes. Even the dreaded Verizon (although at the time of this writing you may have an issue if you are not already a Verizon customer and are trying to use this phone on the big V--but Essential promises that will be resolved soon). 1.0 check.
❖ Processor: This phone has the Qualcomm 835 processor. It's this year's flagship phone processor of choice (also used by the Samsung S8, the Motorola Moto Z2 Force, and others). It's an octa-core processor clocked at 2.4ghz). It may not be the fastest next year and...honestly, who cares? All these higher end processors are, at this point, sufficient to smoothly run anything the average user might do with their phone. The one important thing about having the latest and greatest is that there's a good chance that chipset drivers will be available and updated for the next few years, making it easier to provide OS updates. 1.0 check.
❖ Wireless charging: Sadly, no. This one hurts. They are promising some sort of proprietary docking station (purchased separately) to allow wireless charging. But A) I hate having to pay more for that functionality later; and B) no need to reinvent the wheel. Existing Qi wireless charging works great--though not on this phone. 0 check.
❖ Fast charging: Yes. Although it uses a new protocol, USB-C PD with QC 4.0. Lots of jargon to say: If you have fast/turbo chargers around, they won't work to provide fast charging with this phone. You need a new one. (It comes with one...If you want one for travel, you'll need to buy a new one...the ones you already have probably won't work, except as slow chargers). 1.0 check.
❖ High resolution front camera: Yes! 8 glorious megapixels! (And a first: 4K video from the front facing camera). Let the Instagram parade begin. (Watch out for the boss...). Front facing picture quality is decent. 1.0 check.
❖ Front firing speakers: No. Unfortunately, the edge-to-edge usable screen apparently makes this impossible. That said, I found the speaker volume with the phone facing me, to be fully loud enough (though tinny sounding). So I'll give it half a check mark for this. 0.5 check.
❖ SD card storage: No. But with 128Gb standard, I don't care. 0.0 check.
❖ Removable battery: No. Well, at least not trivially easily removable. We'll wait for the teardowns to figure out if you can do it with a little elbow grease. 0.0 check.
❖ High resolution screen: This phone has a 5.7" screen, 2560x1312 pixels, for a pixel density of 504ppi. That's far more than sufficient for any discerning user. Some of the competition has somewhat higher density on their flagships. Beyond bragging rights, I don't consider those differences significant. 1.0 check.
❖ Pure Android Experience: Yes. 100% stock Android. 1.0 check.
░░░░Nice to Haves:░░░░
❖ Fingerprint reader: Yes. And it's on the back, which, once you get used to it, makes a lot more sense than on the front. 1.0 check.
❖ Waterproof: Nope. And, honestly, I don't care. 0.0 check.
❖ Shatterproof screen: Nope. But as noted, there really isn't such a thing. The titanium and ceramic body is supposed to improve structural integrity and ability to withstand a fall. I'm not going to test that intentionally. But the titanium body won't protect the (Gorilla Glass) screen any better than any other if your phone falls in such a way that the glass screen hits the floor first. 0.0 check.
❖ High quality case materials: Yes, the Essential is a no discussion winner here, fabricated from titanium and ceramic, along with a beautiful edge-to-edge screen on the front. 1.0 check.
Summary and Conclusions
OK, so 6.5/9 of the must haves we can evaluate, with future updates an unknown. The camera currently a MAJOR disappointment. But given the improvements that have already been rolled out with software updates, one can hope (fingers crossed) that the camera with in short order get a lot better. The headphone jack isn't going to come back and that's sad. The battery is good enough (and I gave it a half a checkmark), but really isn't as big as I'd like. I am willing to have a thicker phone if it means a much better battery.
Of the should haves, the phone only manages 4.5/8, with wireless charging a particularly egregious omission. For the nice to haves, it manages 2/4, but for one of those (superior materials) it leaves the pack in the dust.
6.5/9, 4.5/8 and 2/4...Good, similar to other flagship phones, though not quite the specs of the phone of my dreams. But it's worth noting a couple of other unique features of this phone.
First off, it offers a unique modular system for adding modular functionality. These snap-on add-ons attach through magnets and a couple of small cutouts on the back of the phone. It's a pretty clever system. That said, the only add on currently available is a 360-degree camera attachment that holds absolutely no appeal to me. But one can imagine more interesting add-ons like a higher quality camera lens, a higher quality microphone, etc. Time will tell whether the potential of this ecosystem is realized, but the few attempts at modularity already attempted (e.g. LG, Motorola) haven't exactly set the world on fire.
Second, and I've alluded to this earlier, the screen covers the ENTIRELY of the front of the phone. There are no hardware buttons. There is no bezel on the top or bottom of the phone. The image even covers the area around the small cutout for the front-facing camera. It's a lovely, engaging, experience, although I found that many apps weren't yet programmed to properly use the entirety of the full screen (leaving bands at the edges).
On top of the above, you should know that this phone incorporates USB-C, the new USB standard that, unfortunately, isn't directly compatible with your old USB cables. So if you haven't already moved to USB-C, this phone will force you to...
A couple of other nits I have to pick with this phone. First off, all you get in the package is the phone, a fast charger, a USB-C cable, a USB-C to headphone adapter, and a pin to access the sim card tray. (See the photo I've attached). Given the flagship high price of this kit, I would have liked to see a USB-C to micro-USB adapter (which lets you use your old cables with the new phone). Most people have a lot of micro-USB kit around and very little (or no) USB-C infrastructure. Samsung includes a USB-C to micro-USB adapter in their Galaxy S8 package (as well as wireless headphones, also not included with the Essential), and given that Essential is pushing us into a new standard, it seems the least they could have done. Put it another way: Because Essential cheaps out and doesn't include USB-C to USB-A or micro-USB adapters, unless you have a computer at home with USB-C connectivity, you CANNOT connect the phone to your computer for data transmission until you buy a third party adapter. The cable in the kit (USB-C to USB-C) won't work. Given how expensive this kit is and how few people have USB-C connectivity at the time of this phone's release, that's just ridiculous.
Second, Essential has decided to move the power button to BELOW the volume buttons on the side of the phone. The power button lies about half way down the right side. Maybe it's just me, but I find this counter-intuitive, and find myself hitting the power volume button instead of the power button, or vice-versa.
You should also know that the phone FORCES you to do an update when you first set it up. The update is a almost 900mb big, and takes about 20-30 minutes to download and install. Just a FYI: You'll want to be on good wireless and have some time before you start.
On the whole, I find a lot to like about this phone, and some things--like the elegant high quality build and no bezel screen--to love. The Android OS runs very smoothly, apps install and launch fast, and call quality is good. Have they built one phone to rule them all, turn over all the cards, just buy it? No, not in my opinion. It's a good option at the flagship price point, but there are other good options at that price point, and construction and design aside, I am not sure this phone has sufficiently differentiated itself to say you shouldn't carefully consider your options. If Essential ultimately provides timely updates for a longer horizon than their competitors that would be a HUGE incentive to buy into their ecosystem. Heck, if I knew that they'd support Android updates until the hardware simply can't handle them, I'd say that all other caveats aside, this IS the phone to get. (I've got a drawer full of hardware-willing Android phones that were abandoned way too soon by their manufacturers). But that remains to be seen, even if the company us being run by the father of Android itself.
░░░░░░░░░░░░░ UPDATE (10/04/17): ░░░░░░░░░░░░░
OK, so I've owned this phone for about a month. I just received the third major firmware update, and these three updates have fixed some of the earlier bugaboos, particularly with respect to general functioning of apps. They have also improved the camera (though it's still a work in progress, it's generally good enough). The design choices that I hated up front I still find terribly annoying: No headphone jack; USB-C; no wireless charging built in. I have tons of wired headphone/micro-USB/Qi wireless charging infrastructure around my house and in my car, and this phone takes those away without any real benefit.
But even with a just-good-enough camera and with the design choice headaches, in the past month I've come to love certain things about this phone: The form factor; the feel in my hand; the glassy smooth performance; the super fast booting; the lovely edge-to-edge display; and the (surprisingly) consistently excellent battery life. I WANT to love this phone, warts and all.
Sadly, I can't. And beyond the more modest annoyances noted above, the fundamental reason is this: Unreliable cellular data service. I'm on Verizon, and this phone was properly provisioned on Verizon shortly after it was released. But the phone has a horrible tendency to lose its data connection. I'll have a four bar solid data connection. Then I'll enter a location with a recognized WiFi connection. The phone will switch to WiFi, but when I leave the WiFi area it doesn't properly return to cellular data. Sometimes it will even show a good strength data connection, but won't be able to connect to it. The only way to fix this is to reboot the phone. (Sometimes taking the phone into and out of airplane mode will also fix things, but sometimes it won't). The phone also has a tendency to get stuck on dirt-slow 3G even when there's a LTE connection available, and again the only way to force it to properly connect is to reboot the phone. As of the time of this update, this phone has the WORST ability to find and hold a solid data connection of any phone I have used on Verizon since the advent of LTE.
I've tried to switch to this phone as my daily driver, but the issues with lost data connection when I'm moving around are so common and so aggravating that ultimately I find myself switching back to other phones whenever I will be in a situation where using my phone is mission critical.
I keep hoping a firmware update will fix things, and that's why I waited to write this update until the just released update of today, but it didn't fix anything in this regard and so...well, I really do want to love this phone. But if the phone isn't going to love me back...well, you know...stay tuned...
Think of the Essential PH-1 as the new Sony PlayStation 5, rushed to the public with only 1 or two game titles, Pong being one of them; yes, it would disappointment, but given time to refine and update the release of new software and it will blow everything out of the water because the Hardware is "there"... There is no other device in the market that matches the choice of materials, build quality or design aesthetic. The software experience will improve regularly, and with Essential supporting the ROM community by releasing their Kernel Source, you can bet the sky will be the limit... so ignore the Camera, ignore the lean, lackluster software, ignore the yet to be experienced "lag" or "lock-ups". As it stands in its [Beta] form, it performs better than my Pixel, the S8+ and on par with the OnePlus 5 . -and in a few weeks, it should exceed any current device in terms of performance, as it already does in the context of hardware.
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Packaging is standard affair for the price range. Accessories include a usb power adapter, a fairly short braided usb-c cable, and a braided usb-c to 3.Read more