Revisiting a Essential Phone w/ Android Pie – A adore minute to my favorite underdog

In Android’s history, there’s unequivocally usually been one place to go for solid program updates, and that’s Google’s possess hardware. Whether underneath a Nexus or a Pixel brand, Google was a usually place we could unequivocally go for reliable, discerning updates to Android.

Fast brazen to 2017 and Andy Rubin, a father of Android, launched a Essential Phone with a guarantee of timely updates, and oh child did they deliver…

The best gifts for Android users

The Essential Phone, or PH-1, launched in 2017 to unequivocally churned reviews. Pretty many everyone, myself included, favourite a phone in a lot of ways, nonetheless a camera and issues with altogether opening finished it a unequivocally tough device to suggest for a strange $799 cost tag.

Now, all has changed. The Essential Phone has ceaselessly gotten upgrades to fix opening issues, improve a camera, and it now costs usually $499, if not significantly less. Now that Android Pie has arrived, we suspicion it would be good to take another demeanour during a phone and see how things are during this point.


When we reviewed a Essential Phone for a initial time, we couldn’t stop praising a hardware, and that continues today. The ceramic/titanium build is still among a best a Android marketplace has to offer.

It’s a compress pattern with a vast screen, a beautiful design, and some cold cultured variants. The customary black is nice, we adore a white option, and a recently launched Halo Gray is overtly one of a sleekest colorways I’ve seen on a device. Of course, the “Ocean Depths” color is still my comprehensive favorite, nonetheless that was usually a singular book run, unfortunately.

The arrangement has also hold adult good over time. While a PH-1 hasn’t been my daily driver, scratches on a arrangement are fundamentally non-existent, and it doesn’t ever feel like a hillside relocating to this arrangement from other devices. Sure, we still wish it was OLED, nonetheless it’s excellent during a finish of a day, and as distant as a nick is concerned, we still consider Essential has a best take.


Where things unequivocally gleam on a Essential Phone is in a software. When this phone initial launched, that program was a bit of a mess. It had a lot of hold latency issues, tons of janky scrolling, and it usually did not feel like a phone with a specifications it did have.

Over time, Essential has finished a lot to repair those issues, and with Android 8.1 Oreo, many have been resolved. Now with Android Pie, a Essential Phone feels flattering damn good. The knowledge carries over usually about all a Pixel has, including a new navigation gestures that feel right during home on this hardware, as good as all of a new pattern changes.

Performance still doesn’t feel utterly as good as a Pixel or a Galaxy when it comes to scrolling, and a program does bug out from time to time, nonetheless overall, it’s about as good as any other phone we would buy today.

What’s critical here, though, is what comes with that software. There’s a clean, near-stock build of Android here, and Essential has finished an extraordinary pursuit in gripping all adult to date.

Essential gets it, updates are important

I’ve pronounced it several times during this point, nonetheless we can’t praise Essential adequate on how it has been doing updates. The PH-1 has been removing a monthly confidence updates not usually consistently any month, nonetheless generally within a day or even an hour of a Pixel. This is something everybody should be doing, nonetheless Essential is a usually association removing it right, and they’ve committed to a same refurbish process as Google.

Most impressively, a Essential Phone got Android Pie on a same day as Google’s Pixel devices, with a OTA alighting before some Pixel owners even conduct to download it. This has never happened in a story of Android, with Motorola’s Moto X being a closest with a limited KitKat rollout that kick a Nexus 4 behind in 2013.

This right here is because we can’t assistance nonetheless suggest a Essential Phone each time someone asks me for a phone. If we know they’re on a parsimonious budget, and generally if they’re on Verizon, it’s a phone that’s high on my list. we recently picked one adult to give to my poignant other, and now even my younger kin has purchased one for himself.


When we initial reviewed a Essential Phone, we wasn’t too tender with a battery life. After a year of updates, things haven’t gotten much better. we can still final a full day on this phone, nonetheless that’s about it. Charging over USB-C Power Delivery is also still usually as quick, and Pie didn’t seem to mangle anything there like it did with a strange Pixel.

What we will say, though, is that in a time I’ve spent regulating a Essential Phone on Android Pie, we have beheld that battery life seems to be removing improved slowly. This is thanks to Adaptive Battery, that seems to be operative in full force on a PH-1. The disproportion isn’t thespian so far, nonetheless I’ve unequivocally beheld myself finale a day with a bit some-more battery than usual. Of course, that’s usually formed on a integrate of days value of usage, nonetheless copiousness of Essential owners on Reddit has been stating identical results.


What would a contention about a Essential Phone be nonetheless articulate about a camera?

The dual-camera on a PH-1 was rabble when a phone launched, nonetheless over time it’s gotten many better. At this point, including each refurbish that has arrived heading adult to Android Pie, this camera still isn’t incredible, nonetheless it’s also not that bad. I’d never review it to a Pixel, nonetheless when we review it to any other phone around $500, it’s during slightest on a same personification margin in terms of quality.

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I’ve reviewed a Essential Phone, and afterwards I’ve re-reviewed it when a cost forsaken and updates arrived. Over a march of a year, we consider I’ve reiterated that we unequivocally adore this phone utterly a few times, and now I’m here observant a same thing, again.

The PH-1 is my favorite underdog, even nonetheless it doesn’t merit to be an loser during all. Essential finished a lot of missteps during launch, and it may be profitable for those in a outrageous approach that we usually haven’t seen yet, nonetheless right here, right now, a Essential Phone is a standout in a Android marketplace to me.

Not usually is it a good understanding even during $500, nonetheless when it goes on sale (which again is utterly often), it becomes a initial phone I’d suggest to anyone. You can go to OnePlus for improved performance in a identical cost tag, Google or Samsung for improved cameras, or even Motorola if we wish a bit of both, nonetheless there’s not another place we can go currently to get a code new phone that gets updated this good for this cost tag, and we consider that’s value giving some additional courtesy to…

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