Just an hour after Google released Beta 4 of Android P for the Pixel lineup of devices, Essential has released their own Beta 3 for the Essential Phone, which is this latest beta from Google. The update is build is PPR1.180610.066 for those keeping score at home. If you have an Essential Phone registered in the company’s Android P beta program, you should be getting the update today if you don’t have it already through the Beta app from Essential.
Essential, like OnePlus, Oppo, and Sony to name a few, generally runs a few days or weeks behind Google on these releases. Of all the partners, Essential is by far the quickest in getting these updates out but today’s one hour gap, even for them, is fast.
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While the future of the company may be in question, there is no question that Essential is on top of their game when it comes to updates. The same day that Google released the July Android Security Update, yesterday, the California company has released their update with the security patches for the Essential Phone.
The new build is OPM1.180104.267 and it is already rolling out to PH-1 owners, bringing the security patch as well as stability improvements for Android Auto. If you have an Essential Phone, you can manually check for the update in Settings as it should be ready to roll for everyone.
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While the future of Essential is a bit in doubt right now, the company has confirmed their commitment to their first phone, the Essential Phone, for at least 3 years. The company took to Twitter and clarified that support for the PH-1 will continue with major Android release updates for two years while Android Security Updates will be supported for three years.
Doing the math from the August 2017 release of the PH-1, that means that Android P is likely the last major version of Android for the device while you can expect security patch updates through August 2019.
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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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Last week at Mobile World Congress, a concept video of the Vivo Apex caught a lot of attention. The concept phone had a lot of cool tricks, including a pop-up selfie camera. By building the camera into the chassis like this, it allows for a completely bezel-less design yet also eliminates the much loved or hated “Notch”. Now it seems we have a bit more clarity on this design from a patent perspective thanks to Essential’s Andy Rubin.
In a Tweet over the weekend, Mr. Rubin pointed to a patent that is in his name, along with others, that is held by Essential. That patent points out the pop-up selfie camera design and the patent for it was granted on August 15, 2017.
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