The Essential Phone (Essential PH-1) is developed and manufactured by Essential Products. It is designed and backed by the Father of Android Andy Rubins, who is also the CEO of the company. This phone looks really great with almost no bezels and premium built.
It’s quite uncommon these days to see a fresh smartphone company start from scratch, and it is very rare that the company dives directly into the ultra aggressive top of the line smartphone flagships.
We got our hands on the Essential Phone and here is everything you need to know about the phone by the creator of Android.
The Essential Phone has a very minimalistic design with no branding anywhere on the body. The fancy curves and blocky design provide firm grip and easy to hold the device. Instead of Aluminum, the company used the combination of titanium and ceramic which makes the device stronger and much more durable. The back is also made up of titanium with a glossy finish instead of gorilla glass to avoid getting scratched easily. The highly glossy elements make the phone smudgy and a finger print magnet.
The phone is very symmetrical and this quality comes down as the dual camera lens setup is placed directly opposite to the modular connector pins, below that in the middle is a finger print sensor. There is nothing else, no bits and pieces strewn about the body, no branding or whatsoever to keep the look of the phone as clean as possible. Design wise this is by far the cleanest phone we have ever seen.
The main aspect of the phone is its display as it was designed to make the user feel like they are basically just holding up a Display, to provide an immersive experience.
The phone has a 19:10 ratio edge to edge Quad HD Display with a front camera cut out up top in the middle and a very small respectable chin at the bottom. This edge to edge display allows fitting a bigger and wider display in a small body.
The screen gets fairly bright and the text is readable in direct sunlight. The only down point of the display is that it is IPS LCD instead of AMOLED.
The Essential Phone has dual 13 MP f /1.85 rear shooters, with one RGB sensor and one monochrome sensor. This is by far the thinnest dual camera setup built for a smartphone. The combination of these two sensors captures 200% more light than typical smartphone cameras, this will prove handy in low light situations.
However, the camera app itself is very laggy while switching through different modes and taking a picture. The images also have a lot of noise.
There is an 8 MP selfie camera up front that can record video up to 4K.
• Hardware And Performance:
The phone is powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset. It is an octa-core chip with four cores running at a clock speed of 2.45 GHz and four running at a clock speed of 1.9 GHz. It includes 4 GB of ram paired up with 128 GB of onboard storage, there is no micro SD card slot.
It runs the cleanest version of Android Nougat 7.1.1 which will attract Pixel users and stock Android lovers. The phone flies while multitasking and gaming because of the latest processor and stock Android.
The main down point of the phone is that it doesn’t have a headphone jack, so the easiest joke to make about the essential phone is they didn’t include a headphone jack which is essential to most people. However, they included a USB Type C adapter for your wired headphones and the sound quality through the adapter is above average.
Speaking of sound the speakers of the device gets very loud but the audio is not of great quality, it is almost piercing at the highest level. So clearly sound is not the main form factors of this smartphone.
The Battery life of the phone is fairly good and can be one of the reasons why you wanna buy this phone other than its stunning edge to edge display. There is 3040 mAh battery which provides 4-4.5 hours of screen on time.
The phone supports fast charging through USB Type-C, the company will also be launching a wireless charging dock that will connect magnetically to the modular pins.
• Modular Accessories:
So far the Essential Products has only announced a 360° camera (which is the smallest 360° camera for a phone) and a magnetic charging dock. There is no pricing for the dock yet but the camera will cost around $50.
• Final Thoughts:
The Essential Phone costs around $699 and for this price point you can get a better phone from more established manufacturers like Samsung or Google. You can get a Samsung Galaxy S8 which will surely have a headphone jack and will also IP68 certified dust and water proof.