After pre-order customers were notified yesterday that shipping would happen within a week, the Essential PH-1 is now available from Sprint, Best Buy and Amazon to purchase. The unlocked variant of the phone is $699 through the Essentials site. You can also purchase it through Amazon for the same price but orders placed at the online retailer won’t ship until September 1st.
Carriers are in the mix too. Sprint is offering the PH-1 at a substantial discount, some $250 off, if you purchase it through them and sign up for service. For those looking for payment options, if you order it through the carrier now, the price is a mere $15 per month for 18 months on the phone.
The Essential PH-1 has a titanium body with a ceramic back, a 5.7″ 2560 x 1320 Quad-HD display, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage built-in. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. This octa-core processor has four cores running at 2.45GHz and the remaining four clocked at 1.9GHz.
The camera configuration on the back of the PH-1 is becoming somewhat of the standard. It is a dual-camera setup with a 13MP RGB camera coupled with a 13MP monochrome camera. It is has a f/1.85 aperture and hybrid autofocus (laser and phase detection). It is capable of shooting up to 4K video. The front facing 8MP camera is a fixed focus f/2.2 shooter that can also shoot 4K video.
Since the phone will be sold unlocked from Essential and Amazon, the frequencies supported by the antenna array and chipset are critical and, as you would expect, the PH-1 has it covered. Here is a rundown of the various supported channels & frequencies:
- UMTS/HSPA+: 1, 2, 4, 5 6, 8
- GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
- CDMA EV-DO Rev. A: 0, 1, 10
- FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66
- TDD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43
- TD-SCDMA: 34, 39
The PH-1 runs Android Nougat via their Essential Ambient OS. This is the same platform that Essential is using for the IoT platform, including a new Google Home competitor. The company is being very direct in their approach to making sure that this flavor of Android solves the problem of lagging updates and other core updates. They have designed it to be future proof although the details are still not 100% clear.