While the company continues to get their Android Oreo build ready for the Essential Phone, Essential has made the process of getting the beta build and updates to it far easier. They have no enabled a new OTA update mechanism for beta testers meaning that you don’t have to sideload it.
The option for an OTA update is now listed as an option on the Essential Beta Builds site. Once you select the OTA option, you will need to sign up with your name, email address and your device’s serial number in order to be fully registered and to receive the latest beta build.
The last build in the beta program from Essential was released earlier this month. It is based on Oreo 8.1 as the company is skipping 8.0 altogether. This change to OTA updating should make it much easier for those who want to join to do so. Sideloading, while still an option, is a tricky process and many simply don’t want to do it.
There is no official word yet on when the beta program will end and the Essential Phone will get its official Oreo build, but it likely isn’t more than a few months away depending on now the beta testing goes.