Essential Phone, which garnered headlines for its attractive bezel-less design, was unveiled in June earlier this year and today, the company's founder and Android co-creator Andy Rubin has announced that the handset is now available for purchase on the company's own website, Sprint, and Amazon. The unlocked model of the smartphone is available for purchase at $699 (roughly Rs. 44,800) from the company's own website.
In order to impart confidence to the Essential Phone buyers, Andy Rubin has also written a blog post where he has announced that the new smartphone will get guaranteed Android OS updates for 2 years and will get monthly security updates for 3 years. This brings the Essential Phone at par with Google Pixel in terms of software support and also ensures that the handset remains secure and is updated with latest features.
Rubin has also announced that the company is also planning to introduce new wireless accessories (like the snap-on 360-degree Camera) every few months. "That schedule ensures that the latest technology will always be in the palm of your hand without having to replace your phone. These accessories will also work with other products like Essential Home," Rubin said in his post. Notably, for a limited time, the company is offering Essential Phone and Essential 360 Camera as a bundle for $749 (roughly Rs. 48,000).
Interestingly, the Essential Phone doesn't come with any branding on it and Rubin says this is because the company belongs to the user and not to the company. "And once you turn it on, you'll find that there are a limited number of preloaded apps and no duplicative services," Rubin said.
He has also said that the 100-person team at Essential is not a weakness but rather strength as Essential will be able to focus on "customer-first experience" that takes a back seat to profit in larger companies. We will have to wait and see if the Essential Phone will be a successful first product or the company will have to struggle to find its feet in the market.
In terms of specifications, Essential Phone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat and sports a 5.7-inch edge-to-edge QHD (1312x2560 pixels) display with unique 19:10 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is powered by the 64-bit Snapdragon 835 octa-core (2.45GHz quad + 1.9GHz quad) processor with Adreno 540 GPU and 4GB RAM. Internal storage option is at 128GB.
In terms of optics, it has a 13-megapixel dual camera setup at the back with RGB and monochrome capabilities in each lens, with hybrid autofocus, phase detect, IR Laser Assist Focus, and 4K video support. At the front there is an 8-megapixel selfie sensor with f/2.2 aperture, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 4K video support here as well. The battery is at 3040mAh with fast charging support. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Bluetooth v5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, GPS, USB Type-C port, Nano-SIM support, and GLONASS. The dimensions of the Essential Phone are at 141.5x72.2x7.8mm, and the smartphone weighs less than 185 grams.