Category: Essential Phone

Essential Phone in Halo Gray Exclusive to Amazon and has Alexa Built-in

In an unexpected move, Essential has quietly released an exclusive version of their Essential Phone on Amazon.  The new Halo Gray variant comes with Amazon Alexa built-in but is identical to any other variant of the phone as far as specs and features.  The Amazon exclusive is $449, the same price as other colors.

The addition of the Halo Gray color comes on the heels of three color variants being released by Essential themselves.  Those colors – Ocean Depths, Stellar Gray and Copper Black – are price $100 more than the standard color models.

Essential Phone Now Available in Three Limited Edition Colors

Essential teased on Tuesday via Twitter than a new color for the Essential Phone was going to be available starting today.  That color, Ocean Depths, has arrived.  The teal blue with gold highlights version of the PH-1 has the exact same internals as the current Black Moon and Pure White versions but you get what is a pretty stunning looking color combo to set you, and your phone apart.

The new Ocean Depths color is available starting today.  It is exclusively available through the Essentials site and costs $599, $100 more than the standard color models.  In addition to this new color, two more were announced today and will be available starting next week.

Essential Phone Beta Testers Receive The First Oreo 8.1 Build

For those enrolled in the beta testing program for the Essential Phone, it is time to check for a system update.  The first beta of the company’s Android Oreo 8.1 build has been released and testers will be receiving the update via an OTA download.  As you may recall, Essential pulled the Oreo 8.0 build last month, citing issue with stability in the build, and decided to scrap it to move straight to 8.1.

The build has the February Android Security Update patch included and also has a fix for a common problem for users of the Essential Phone:  Slow scroll jitter.  Users have complained that the phone has a lot of jitter when slowly scrolling up or down a patch.  This beta has a fix for it and appears to be working well.  All in, the OTA update is just over 500MB in size so WiFi downloading is a must.

Only 88,000 Essential Phone Units Shipped in 2017

In the six months that the Essential Phone was available in 2017, the startup company shipped only 88,000 units and shows that the company, despite its deep Android roots in Andy Rubin, has a long way to go to hit the mainstream.

The figures came from IDC researcher Francisco Jeronimo who posted it on Twitter.

The numbers certainly reflect on what was a difficult birthing process for the company’s first phone.

Essential Phone Camera App Update Brings Auto-HDR Feature

If there has been one criticism of the Essential Phone, it has been the camera and the camera app.  Frankly, it was a hot mess when the phone was released but the company has been making huge strides in updating both the firmware and software to improve photos from the phone.  Today, they are getting a little better.

There is an update to the Essential Camera app in the Play Store that brings a lot of fixes as well as Auto-HDR support.  The update is version and a lot of work has gone into it around HDR in general.

Essential Phone Update Brings the February Android Security Update Patch

The Essential Phone could be the first phone to get the February Android Security Update patch.  Those patches were released yesterday by Google and today, Essential has begun rolling out build NMK24B to the PH-1 which contains the patch.

While the Essential Phone got off to a rough start and still lacks its Android Oreo update (it will be getting 8.1 in a few weeks), the company is certainly making strides to keep the device updated from a security perspective.

Essential Scraps Its Android Oreo 8.0 Build Over Stability Issues – Moving to 8.1

In a somewhat surprising announcement on Twitter yesterday, Essential, makers of the Essential Phone, said that they were abandoning their current Android Oreo 8.0 build to start an 8.1 build for customers.  The 8.0 build has been in beta for a few weeks now and the company stated that stability issues where the driver behind the decision.

The decision means that any Oreo build for the Essential Phone is going to be delayed, in the company’s terms, “a couple of weeks”.

Essential Phone Camera App Update Brings Many Welcomed Improvements

The camera app for the Essential Phone has a new update rolling out in the Play Store that brings a lot of new features and improvements.  The company announced the new camera app build on Twitter a couple of days ago.

If you have an Essential Phone, the app update is now live in the Play Store.

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