A few days after the unlocked variant of the Essential Phone began receiving its latest update, now too is the Sprint enabled version of the PH-1. The update is the same as it was for the unlocked version of the phone, bringing the same updates and improvements to the only carrier locked version of the Essential Phone.
The update brings the April Android Security Update patch to the phone which, despite being a few days behind the unlocked variant, still makes it one of the first to get updated to the latest security patches. Also, the software to enabled Bluetooth 5.0 is in this update. The radios for 5.0 have been in the PH-1 all along but were not enabled via the software on the device. That now changes with this update.
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Essential has released a new update for the Essential Phone, bringing a handful of improvements to the flagship phone. The new build is OPM1.180104.141 and it is already rolling out to owners. With the roll out, the Essential Phone becomes one of the first phones to get the April Android Security Update patch outside of Google Pixel devices. As you may recall, this month’s security patch had a huge number of patches so it is good to see it already rolling out to non-Google branded devices. And, frankly, Essential is always great at getting these updates quickly.
Along with the security patch, Bluetooth 5.0 is finally supported on the PH-1. The hardware has been there all along but the software stack didn’t support it. Now it does so you will get all the benefits of that on your phone now too.
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Today’s Deal on the Essential Phone is pretty awesome all told. First, the phone itself which just got upgraded to Android Oreo, is down to $449. That’s the lowest price drop ever for the phone. But, for a limited time, you also get the Essential Ear Buds for free. That’s a $99 value itself so this deal is really good. The deal is over at Amazon and you can get it for either the Black Moon or Pure White colors of the phone.
The PH-1 as it is known got off to a rocky start with most people loving the design but not so much when it came to the camera and overall stability. That has changed, radically. Essential has been pumping out updates at a steady clip for the phone and it is now one of the best flagship device options out there. At this price, with the spendy ear buds included, it is a hard deal to pass up.
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After several weeks of beta testing, the Android Oreo 8.1 update for the Essential Phone has been released. The update, some 1.7GB in size, is available to everyone so you should be able to check for the update and download it.
The update comes after the announcement early this year that the company would be abandoning the 8.0 build of Oreo due to stability issues and would focus on 8.1. That process, fortunately, did not take long. In fact, the first beta of Oreo 8.1 for the Essential PH-1 was released just last month.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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