Essential Phone review

Essential is a new child on a retard nonetheless it’s corroborated by a unequivocally male who combined Android, Andy Rubin. The Essential Phone isn’t being sole on facilities or gimmicks, nonetheless rather an experience. In a flooded marketplace where even a large shots are struggling, can a visitor nonetheless any gimmicks to sell to a masses succeed?


Display: 5.71-inch 2,560 x 1,312 19:10 with dull corners
Processor: Snapdragon 835
Storage: 128GB UFS 2.1
Camera: Dual 13MP behind (RGB + monochrome), f/1.85 lens rear, 8MP front
Battery: 3,040mAh, 27W discerning charging
Operating system: Android 7.1.1 Nougat
Ports: USB Type-C
Other features: Fingerprint sensor, appendage pins, 4 mics
Dimensions: 141.5mm x 71.1mm x 7.8mm, 185g
Price: $699.00
Where to buy: Essential

The initial thing you’ll notice about a Essential Phone is a arrangement that takes adult a towering volume of a front. The tip corners are curved, giving a device fundamentally no bezels on 3 sides, while a fourth side is a bezel that’s smaller than most. The customarily thing during a tip is a camera that cuts into a screen. It’s a unequivocally singular nonetheless peculiar look. When a shade is off, all we see is a black slab.

Essential Phone 5

The behind is done out of ceramic, that creates a dim gray ideal counterpart finish on a black model. The twin camera lenses, twin flash, laser autofocus, and appendage pins lay during a tip nonetheless protruding. There is no camera mound here. Below them is a fingerprint sensor mounted in a normal location.

Essential Phone 2

The support of a device is done out of titanium that’s been discriminating to a counterpart finish. You’ll find a volume and energy buttons on a right side and a USB Type-C port, speaker, and SIM tray on a bottom. The deficiency of a 3.5mm jack a shame.

One of a best tools of a Essential Phone is a miss of logos. You won’t find a singular marking; no brands, no names, not even FCC info. Not customarily is this dauntless in terms of marketing, nonetheless it’s also dump passed gorgeous. I’m certain many of we know what we meant when we contend how outrageous of a understanding not carrying any logos on a device is. This phone is as aesthetically elementary as it gets and we can’t get adequate of how pleasing it is.

Build quality

As a flagship device with a flagship price, one of a initial things to notice is build quality. Construction, materials, and pattern all impact how a device feels in a hand. The Essential Phone feels positively unusual nonetheless a singular bit of exaggeration. It’s heavier than many inclination of a distance and feels impossibly solid. It feels like a brick. That doesn’t sound positive, nonetheless it unequivocally is.

The multiple of a titanium support and a ceramic behind gives it weight and a clever feeling. The block edges give it a feeling of piece and creates it feel thicker than it unequivocally is (it’s a sincerely slim phone). This means that it’s easy to hold, nonetheless a edges are all dull and don’t puncture into your hand. The tip of a support has some cosmetic molded to a unequivocally dilemma around a arrangement and this feels great, too. The buttons are plain and click unequivocally nicely. If any device conveyed primitive quality, this is it.

Holding it in a palm feels great. Having no bezels is a large regard for some, as some people tend to accidentally reason a shade on other devices. This isn’t an emanate with a Essential Phone. The block edges give we copiousness of aspect area to reason on and strengthen a edges of a shade from random touches. Despite being all screen, it’s as easy to reason and use as any other phone. It’s severely considerable that Essential’s pattern done carrying no bezels so easy.

The Essential Phone is being billed as a tough device as well. Compared to an aluminum frame, a titanium support is distant harder to dent. A dilemma of a support denting is a common means of a cracked shade rather than an impact on a aspect of a potion itself, and a titanium support protects from that. After dropping it 5 feet onto hardwood right onto a corner, it came divided nonetheless a singular mark.

The behind resists scratches unequivocally well, distant improved than even a Gorilla Glass 5 on a face of a device. After hard use, it still looks pristine. However, it is a bit sleazy on prosaic surfaces.


Essential Phone 6

Of course, a arrangement is a star of a device. Despite a Essential Phone’s tiny size, a arrangement is an considerable 5.71-inches in a 19:10 form factor. It has a fortitude of 2,560 x 1,312, creation it unequivocally sharp. It’s a pleasing panel, nonetheless it could use a tiny some-more brightness. You can’t see particular pixels whatsoever and a colors are colourful and accurate. Despite being an LCD panel, blacks sojourn unequivocally deep.

Essential Phone 3

The camera intruding into a tip of a arrangement is unequivocally controversial, nonetheless it probably disappears after a impulse of use. Despite such things customarily bugging me, a camera felt totally healthy in a center of a display.

Inside a Essential Phone you’ll find a Snapdragon 835 interconnected with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. This is flattering many on standard with other flagships and offers blazing discerning performance. Animations are buttery smooth, apps launch quickly, and there is no loiter to be found in normal use. Thanks to a batch software, there is no additional bloatware to delayed it down.

The miss of expandable storage might be a downside to some, nonetheless many phones start during 32GB while a Essential Phone gets we a whopping 128GB. That will be copiousness of space for many people.

The fingerprint sensor on a behind works great. It might not be as discerning as a sensors Huawei uses, nonetheless it’s discerning and accurate, and it performs better than Huawei’s sensors when it comes to soppy fingers. Failures to examination my finger are few and distant between. Unfortunately it does not underline a “swipe down for notifications” feature.

The device also facilities Bluetooth 5.0 LE, nonetheless batch Android still does not have a battery life indicator for connected Bluetooth devices.

Essential Phone 8

One large repudiation is a headphone jack. The Essential Phone is blank a 3.5mm port, definition you’re forced to possibly use Bluetooth headphones or a enclosed adapter. This might not be a large understanding to some, nonetheless it unequivocally does impact day to day use for me. we still cite connected earphones and carrying to remember to squeeze an adapter is a daily annoyance. But with how good Bluetooth earphones are these days, it shouldn’t be a outrageous understanding for most. Still, we figured a headphone jack is an essential!

However, a outlay of a Type-C adapter is utterly a bit louder than many phones. It can give a set of AKG K702 open behind headphones adequate extract for comparatively high volumes while other inclination struggle. The sound is also utterly good. I’m tender by this, nonetheless volume intervals for a reduce finish of a spectrum could be a bit finer.

At a tip is a slim container housing a presentation light and an earpiece. The LED is utterly splendid and easy to see from any angle. The earpiece is above normal and unequivocally loud. It sounds good in calls. The orator during a bottom is ridiculously loud. In fact, it’s so shrill we keep a ringer volume twin notches next full, that is a initial in my whole time owning smartphones. It’s not a tip peculiarity speaker, nonetheless it’s shrill and clear.

The quivering engine is comprehensive nonetheless accurate, something that can’t be pronounced for all devices. The haptic feedback feels unequivocally nice.

Essential Phone 9

Included in a unequivocally easily laid out box is a device, a SIM apparatus done like a Essential logo, a charger, a Type-C to Type-C cable, and a headphone adapter. The wire and headphone adapter are of a tip quality, with a black and gray braided cloaking and steel connectors. The USB Type-C wall horse is clearly done out of steel as well, during slightest around a edges. These are some of a nicest accessories I’ve ever seen, creation a whole device knowledge feel even some-more premium.


On this device you’ll find a batch chronicle of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It even facilities a Aug 5, 2017 confidence patch during a time of this review. There are a few tiny modifications, nonetheless it’s flattering many a batch Android that we know and love.

Things that Essential has altered are a standing bar behavior, a additional program for a modules, and a camera app. Everything else is primitive Google.

The standing bar is a indicate of seductiveness for everyone. If something needs to be fullscreen, like videos or games, a black bar surrounds a camera bump. This flattering many creates a 16:9 arrangement like you’re used to. Just like in batch Android, a standing bar will tone compare to whatever app it’s in. With a dull corners, this looks generally nice.

Essential Phone 7

While many apps would not take advantage of this bigger standing bar, some batch facilities do. The presentation shade facilities a date and time and settings symbol flanking a camera, while dire on a several toggles will uncover we information screens utilizing a whole tip of a display. The Essential camera app puts a settings toggles around a camera bump, that is a unequivocally fit use of space.

We wish that others apps will take advantage of a additional shade genuine estate if Essential allows it. For a many part, it acts like a unchanging phone nonetheless anything intruding into a display. But when something does take advantage of it, it looks fantastic.


The device facilities twin 13MP cameras on a rear, commissioned flush with a backside of a device. The setup is matching to what we’ve seen from Huawei. The twin sensors are identical, nonetheless one has had a tone filter removed. This creates it some-more supportive in low light, giving a Essential Phone better low light capabilities.

The tradition camera app is lackluster, charity few facilities and common design. You can daub to focus, nonetheless we can't adjust exposure. You can capacitate HDR, switch to monochrome mode, and fire delayed suit video. There are no facilities like abyss of field, grid, or panorama. Honestly, a app could use a lot of work. Exposure control is critical.

Using a opposite camera app like Google Camera solves many of these problems (hint hint, a ported HDR+ app works on this device).

Photo peculiarity is mostly fantastic, but don’t let that “mostly” worry you. There is a large china backing to consider.

The photos are generally unequivocally nice, nonetheless post estimate can spasmodic act out. In plenty light, it can take some pleasing photos. The batch app produces colourful colors and pleasing tighten ups. Oversharpening is a problem, as is a miss of visual picture stabilization. This repudiation unequivocally takes divided from a flagship standing of a camera.

In low light, a photos tend to be a tiny noisy, and when they’re not they tend to be soft. Low light opening isn’t bad, nonetheless it’s not good either.

In mono mode, print peculiarity is positively stunning. Adding a black and white filter is zero like holding loyal black and white photos with a monochrome sensor. The contrast, depth, and cocktail is beautiful. Some of a photos a device has taken demeanour distant above what a smartphone is customarily able of, and this is nonetheless any editing.

The china backing we mentioned progressing is that consistent updates have been improving a camera experience, and some of a changes have been drastic. Overall print peculiarity has positively skyrocketed, creation a normal print beautiful. And a device is still constantly removing camera updates.

Unfortunately, this also means that many of a photos we took progressing in my time with a device are significantly worse than a photos it takes now. The photos in this examination aren’t utterly deputy of a images it can take now and in a future.

The front-facing camera is an 8MP sensor with a bound lens. It’s able of sharpened 4K video, that is flattering cool. It’s not a best selfie camera, nonetheless it’s flattering good in plenty lighting conditions. Unfortunately, photos from this sensor tend to come out rather becloud in low light.

Though a stream camera conditions is excellent, it’s customarily going to get better. we trust that a camera hardware is unequivocally capable, and a program is removing there too.

Essential Phone Photo Samples

Battery life

The battery is customarily 3,040mAh, that is on a smaller side for a flagship. It’s unequivocally not tiny for a distance of a device (the physique is smaller than a Samsung Galaxy S8). However, a device lasts a full day with ease. There have been a few days where we forgot to block in my horse and it roughly lasted twin full work days with over 4 hours of shade on time. That’s flattering considerable for a battery size.

In box that’s not enough, a discerning charging will take caring of you. The enclosed horse puts out 27W of juice, which should take caring of a low battery conditions unequivocally quick. we was saying a charge of about 30% each 30 minutes.

Other features

A large offered indicate of a Essential Phone is its accessory pins on a back. These pins are for modules like a announced 360-degree camera. There’s a magnet inside to keep a accessories attached. More accessories will be expelled down a road, like a charging dock, so this is only a beginning.

Unlike Moto Mods, a Essential Phone modules don’t cover a whole behind of a device. This means they’re compress and easy to lift around. This also keeps destiny device styling open, as they won’t have to be a same distance and figure to keep procedure compatibility.

The 360-degree camera is some-more than twin 4K sensors in a housing; it indeed has estimate hardware inside to make certain your images and videos are ocular instantly. The slots around a globe are vents for a inner fan. Unfortunately, we haven’t had some-more than a impulse to use this accessory.

If good accessories are released, this is certain to be some-more useful than Moto Mods. Hopefully third-party accessories will also be authorised so it can benefit some traction. A integrate accessories aren’t going to do many for a device.

Essential Phone 4

The Essential Phone doesn’t container each underline of complicated flagships, nonetheless it doesn’t need to. It’s a fresh, singular take on a flagship that puts a concentration on knowledge rather than features.

With high-end specs and batch Android, a speed and usability is fantastic. The twin camera setup performs unequivocally well. The battery life is above average. The shade is beautiful. And best of all, it looks and feels special.

The phone stands out in a stream market, that bodes good for a newcomer. People ask what it is when they see it; even strangers commend that it’s not a common smartphone we see each day.

I wish this pushes a attention serve in this direction. Give us purify software, replace a large logos, and try something new. Despite a flaws, a Essential Phone is an comprehensive fun to use and we can’t assistance nonetheless wholeheartedly suggest it.

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