The Essential Phone, brought to us by the person who created Android, is finally ready for the spotlight. It is an incredibly audacious and ambitious project, with an outlandish screen and the beginnings of a modular ecosystem. After months of speculation, rumors, and teasers, the man who co-created Android, Andy Rubin, officially announced his next big project: The Essential Phone. This Android 7.1 Nougat device has a very audacious name. Rubin seems to think his phone will be an “essential” part of the lives of anyone who owns it. It is clearly targeting the audience who wants high-end devices like the iPhone 7 Plus and the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
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The Essential phone plans to go head to head with all the flagship phones in the market right now. Just like all the flagship phones, the Essential phones also have their own pros and cons.
Things That Are Great About The Essential Phone
Gif Source: Giphy
Dropping the bezel on phones is the new trend in high-end handsets today. The newly launched Essential Phone certainly comes very close to doing away with it entirely. It has an edge-to-edge display on the sides, and there is no bezel on the top. Indeed, the screen wraps around the phone’s 8MP front-facing selfie camera lens. There is still some bezel on the bottom, but the front look of this phone is definitely a unique one. Essential Phone will also feature a 5.71-inch 19:10 aspect ratio display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,312. This comes along with Gorilla Glass 5 to protect it from scratches.
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The handset will use titanium and ceramic materials, which are certainly are among the toughest materials used for smartphones today. Essential also claims that they have done some breathtaking durability tests such as dropping the phone on rough concrete floor just to find zero scratches. That would not be the case if a device made of aluminium would have made that same trip. From the looks of it, seems that the Essential phone might save it’s users from spending some extra bucks on buying phone cases.
Gif Source: Giphy
Essential Phone smartphone has been launched in May 2017. The phone comes with a 5.71-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1312 pixels by 2560 pixels. The Essential Phone is powered by 1.9GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM. The phone packs 128GB of internal storage that cannot be expanded. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Essential Phone offers a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 8-megapixel front shooter for selfies.
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The Essential Phone runs Android and is powered by a 3040mAh non removable battery. It measures 141.50 x 71.10 x 7.80 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 185.00 grams. The Essential Phone is a single SIM (GSM) smartphone that accepts a Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Compass Magnetometer, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope and Barometer.
Things That Are Not So Good
Samsung has made waterproofing the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus one of its big selling points. However, there is no such feature that has been announced for the Essential Phone. For a phone that is made of some high-end materials, it is odd that it appears to have little resistance to water.
3.5 mm Headphone Jack
Following the footsteps of many flagship phones, the Essential phone has also opted out of the 3.5mm jack team. We still do not think it is a good idea to get rid of this feature, at least for now. Sadly, it looks like majority phone makers are trying their best to make headphone jacks obsolete in favor of Bluetooth wireless headphones. But Essential phone will also come with a dongle that will enable us to use the 3.5mm headphone jack if we want.
Not So Affordable
At an unlocked no-contract price of approx INR 45,000 ($699), the Essential Phone does not seem an essential buy for everyone. We suspect that if the company had decided to cut down the onboard storage on the phone to 64GB instead of 128 GB, they could have shaved off at least INR 6000 ($100) off this price. That could have perhaps helped them in selling some more units. Even though the Essential phone features some high end spec and some high quality hardware, the price tag it comes with still does not justify it. Moreover if this phone wants to make an entry into the Asian market in the future, it will have to face some heavy competition from well established mid range phone manufacturers like Xiomi, Oppo and Vivo. Mr. Rubin needs to remember that to compete with these brands, it is essential to have a convincing price tag.