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The Essential Phone is Seriously Underrated

The Essential Phone is Seriously Underrated

– Hey, guys, this is Austin. A few short months ago, one of the most hyped phones in years was announced. The Essential Phone promised
top notch build quality, a clean build of Android and
some seriously great cameras. However, things weren’t all
that they were cracked up to be. When it went on sale, there
were some serious issues. The camera was a borderline deal breaker. It was lacking both water resistance as well as a headphone jack,
and with a $700 price tag, the phone really just
didn’t get off the ground. Nothing shows this off better
than the sales figures, which were reportedly less than 90,000 over the first year of the
Essential Phone’s life. That my friends, that’s not
good, however, it’s 2018 and the Essential Phone has
actually gotten a lot better. The first and biggest change is the price. You can pick up the Essential Phone on Amazon right now for only $450. And that includes some other colors that weren’t available at launch,
including this pure white. Now, sure, when you look
at this as a $700 phone, there are some issues,
but at less than $500, nothing even comes close to
touching the build quality here. I’ll even go farther than that. This is one of the nicest
builds on any phone, period. So with that ceramic back,
especially when you put it side by side with a glass-backed
phone like the iPhone X, it really makes it look
dull in comparison. You do lose wireless
charging, but in return, you’re getting not only that look and feel but you’re also going to be getting the extra durability
of having that ceramic. It’s not going to be for
everyone, but personally, I absolutely love the
way this looks and feels. Come around to side of the phone and you’ll see that it
is made of titanium. Now that’s also something that you don’t really exactly
see on phones these days, and it gives it a nice feel in the hand. Now what’s interesting is, is
that while a lot of flagships these days are going for a very rounded, sort of curved design,
this is much more chunky, which I kind of like, you’re making the best use of space inside the phone. That same solid feel comes
around to the buttons, which have a nice tactile click, as well as the machining on things like the USB-C port, as
well as the speaker grill. No, it does not have
stereo speakers, and no, it doesn’t have the headphone jack, but there’s a lot to really
like about the hardware of this phone, and that’s not
even getting into the screen. Come around front, and you’ll
find that 5.7 inch display with some of the thinnest
bezels that we’ve seen yet. Now, keep in mind, this phone
has been out for a while. Even phones like the iPhone
X, as well as the Galaxy S9, can’t quite match that super thin bezel, but they also can’t match the notch. Yes, my friends, the Essential
Phone was actually first when it comes to the
notch, and personally, I actually like the way they do it here better than on the iPhone X. It’s just barely big enough to
fit that front-facing camera, and everything else has been crammed into the tiny little bar above
it, including the status LED, as well as your earpiece. To be fair, the IPS panel
on the Essential Phone can’t quite match up to
the awesome AMOLED displays on both the Galaxy S9 as well
as the S8 and the iPhone X. However, I’m really
nitpicking at this point. This is a very, very good display, especially when you consider the price. Sure, there’s some minor
things that I can nitpick. So the plastic that
surrounds the front glass on my unit is slightly imperfect. There are a couple little places where it’s not totally smoothed, and on the actual pixels
themselves they come around not only the notch but as well as the rounded edges on
the top of the display. You can actually see that
there are individual pixels that you can barely make out. But this is really nitpicking, when you consider that
this is a $450 phone, there’s nothing to complain about. Unless of course, you
want a headphone jack, in which case, sorry? Inside, you’re getting pretty
standard flagship specs. The Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, as well as 128GB of storage,
which is definitely helpful, considering that there’s
no microSD card slot. I should expect everything
is super snappy. Now, a lot of this is thanks to Essential constantly updating their phone. So I was pretty good
with it first came out, they’ve consistently
added updates to be able to smooth out things like
the touch response in this, as well as the scrolling speed. But as you would expect, it’s just as fast as pretty much any Android
flagship at this point. Now as far as the software
side of things go, it’s good but not perfect. The biggest issue is that it is still running Android 7.1 Nougat. Now, yes, Essential has said that they’re working on an Oreo update, and hopefully that comes out
soon, but as of right now, it’s a very clean build, they slightly older version of Android. The good thing though is that when I say a clean build of Android, I mean it. There’s exactly zero
bloatware of any kind. Now there are some minor
tweaks that Essential has done, mostly to actually support the notch, which is actually one of
the more impressive parts. It actually kind of
works pretty well here. Supported apps like Google Maps will flow around the front-facing
camera, essentially, giving you that full screen experience, and even other apps that aren’t
fully supported by the notch are still going to give you
access to your notifications, as well the system info, without
really getting in the way. It’s kind of like using
a normal phone like that. It’s not an OLED display, so
while the blacks are good, it doesn’t quite fully blend in, although she does a pretty good job, but it’s not that far off from
something like the iPhone X, as far as using an app
that is not supported. Now one thing that’s
actually been very impressive that Essential has done
is update the camera. This thing is so much
better than it used to be. With a pair of 12 megapixel
cameras around back, the hardware seems to be
there, but it launched, the Essential camera was
straight garbage town. Now, don’t get me wrong,
it’s not exactly going to rival the Pixel, but it has gotten so much better than before. Now, pretty much all that
is thanks to Essential constantly releasing updates
to improve the camera. In fact, literally the
day we’re shooting this, it got another update,
which not only improved a little bit of the
performance, but also added some additional options in the camera app. Provided that you had some decent light, the photos really aren’t too bad. Now the auto focus is still a
little bit on the slow side, and one of the things I
did notice is that while the image might not look
that great on the preview, once you actually take
a shot in this process, it typically does look a lot better, which is nice except that it’d be better to know exactly what your
shots going to look like before you hit the shutter button. The portrait mode is
also pretty decent now. I will say that the blur can
be a little strong sometimes, and like all the systems,
it’s not going to be perfect at cutting you out from the background, but it’s not that far behind something like the Galaxy S9 or
the iPhone X, and again, it is going to be much,
much less expensive. And that’s really where I come
down on the Essential Phone. When it first launched at $700, there were some legitimately really big problems. The lack of waterproofing,
the battery life, which is only okay, and the
camera were big problems. But now that a lot of these
things have been addressed, and it’s got a huge price cut,
I think a lot of people would be really happy with the Essential Phone. So, if you want to join
90,000 other people who have a phone that no
one else has ever heard of, the Essential Phone
really is worth a look. So I’m curious, what do you
guys think about the phone? Especially in 2018, I think
it’s gotten a lot better, but let me know what you
think in the comments below, and I will catch you in the next one.

100 thoughts on “The Essential Phone is Seriously Underrated”

  1. For all of you reviewers who tried to sell this failure to unsuspecting viewers, you should be ashamed. All along I've said that this company is dead, that there will be no Essential 2 phone and Essential will not exist. Now Essential Phone 2 is canceled and what remains of the company is for sale. Nobody is going to buy it. There should be limits to how low you can go, and at least admit that this was a paid for promotion.

  2. Actually, lol, its $100 outright at my network, plus $120 on payoff, lol, that is INSAAANEEEEELY cheap!!!! I cannot state enough how cheap this is, for a TOP SPECED phone from few months ago!!!! shaiittt!!! Give me 10 please!!! I'm sticking to my G6 guns, upgrading to G7, but my fiance broke his G6, more like smashed it to pieces lol, so I wanna get him what he really wanted in the first place – he's an iPhone boy, he doesn't like all the extras Android offers, so I have to get him the iPhone X or upcoming X+, and ignore this vastly better device of which you can get 10 for the price of one gdamn iPhone X. YUCK!!!!

  3. …." we see that it is made of titanium" ???? ummm, see….how? how can we tell the difference with our eyes? LOL so much bad English….

  4. WOW they should have NEVER released the white one, what a FAIL, with the black chin at front…ugly ugly ugly!!!! Some phones look fantastic in black or white, but this one….should just stick to darker tones.

  5. love my ph-1 but it gets scratched up real easily. swirls on ceramic back and lines all over the sides.

  6. this phone is fantastic. yes it is seriously underrated. i gave my wife my iPhone X. i just use the essential phone. love the feel, quality, build, android is pure and runs flawlessly. camera is fine for me, updates are steady. call quality and videos are fine for me. great overlooked phone. It is a competitor and should be considered a "high-end" phone…imho

  7. I just purchased this device for $399. It is a great phone. Excellent build, excellent hardware AND PURE VANILLA ANDROID. Just an example, I also purchased the LG G7 and deleted or disabled 76 bloatware apps.
    The camera has been improved greatly.

  8. I have an essential and yes nobody knows what this phone is, personally I think that's great, other than a few bugs it's a great phone

  9. I love this device. its a conversation starter. Also running on very well on the current andriod P beta.

  10. see if it sold for $250 all the time like it is right now (thanks to prime day) it would be a super success

  11. $249 Right now on Amazon Prime day 7/17/2018 I bought it, so it is cheaper than some Chinese phones without any warranties.

  12. guy who created Android OS created (and owns) this phone after leaving google, knowing his attitude you could expect a lot from him in the coming years.

  13. Just received mine in the mail yesterday, purchased it on Prime day for the low low price of $249. I've been using the first generation Pixel since it launched in October 2017. Although I still love the pixel and have no plans to get rid of it I've been amazed with the quality feel and snappy response of the Essential Phone. Running 8.1.1 with the ability to run Android 9 beta, it seems that the future could be bright for this incredible device. Even though they are out of business I would love to see Google aquire them to be there device manufacturer. Im just saying a guy can dream. This is absolutely worth the money I spent on it and plan to use it as my daily driver for the foreseeable future. Thanks Austin for another great video oh BTW on the Essential website they have the 360 camera on sale for $19. Yeah mine is in the mail! Thanks again!

  14. I am a proud owner of the Essential Phone. It's literally the perfect phone for me. I switched from iPhone to get this phone. It charges within about 45 minutes, and lasts over 8 hours of video playback, at full brightness, a little less with Bluetooth headphones connected. No I don't use Bluetooth because there's no headphone jack, it's just more convenient to not have cords for me. It also comes with a free dongle for using headphones and it's very well made. It's a great braded 0.5" cable. And also the camera's video and photo quality looks better than an $1,100 Canon DSLR. No joke, I worked with one before, I'd rather use this phone.

  15. I wanna say first that I love your vids and there's no hate from me. BUT pleasestoptalkinglikethisitmakesitveryhardtounderstandyou

  16. I grabbed one at Amazon Prime Day, what a beast !
    Everything so smooth and buttery. Best phone ever for 250

  17. I don't understand all the moaning about a lack of a headphone jack, it's shipped with a usb-c to phono converter so just keep that permenantly attached to your headphones and your ready to rock. If you have more than one set of wired headphones then just buy another converter, they're only a few bucks.

  18. And now it's only about $350 and is running Android 9.0 Pie already.

    The only bad thing is that the company isn't doing too great, and there have been rumors they might sell it. But they said they plan on continuing to support the phone.

  19. Android Pie 9.0 just released on this phone. It is now $329 on Amazon. Wicked deal on a pretty sweet little phone.

  20. Too bad that no Essential Phone 2 is coming !!!

    Google Pixel and Essential Phone would be a dream couple !!! …design material by Essential Phone and technical by Google Pixel…………..

  21. For all the demerits i'd give it for a $700, I'd give none if it was $399 as it is right now on Amazon as i am commenting, of course, i'm going to wait a year or two until it drops down to $290 or $300 to consider it, since i don't really find it as my best option for a $400 or under phone with the no-bezel style. (Neither am i saying it's bad or the best, i'm just saying, personally, I wouldn't get it RIGHT NOW. )

  22. I have been using the Essential phone since August 2017. I switched from the iPhone 6 and thought I would always be an apple user, but this phone has changed my view on Android phones and doubt will switch back. It is too bad that there will not be an Essential2, I was looking forward to seeing the changes they make. Love your videos, keep it up!

  23. I'm coming off having an Essential for just under a year. I went swimming with it in my pocket last week, and found myself needing a new phone. I ended up with a G7 SlimQ, which is a much nicer phone. Issues I had with Essential: 1) Bluetooth did not support messaging, so no text messages in my MKZ. My old G4 and new G7 support this out of the box. 2) The camera is not very good, even with the updates. 3) No headphone jack, so can't listen to music and charge at the same time unless you have BT headphones 4) Not waterproof!

    It's all smooth and pretty, and Android 9 is a plus, but many other phones do much more. It should be called "Minimally Essential Features PH-1"

  24. I actually just ordered this for 300 bucks, 400 after tax, insurance, a new case, and one day shipping. I gotta tell you, I can’t wait for it arrive tomorrow.

  25. The pricing is obnoxious. Some people paid around $700, around $400, $300, and all the way down to $220 on sale. Just mark the damn thing at $250-300 and leave it alone; instead of screwing so many people.

  26. after having this phone for a few months already i actually really love it. The 360 cam is so so with connectivity but i dont use it a whole lot anyways. Theres rumors of them releasing another module thats a dedicated DAC headphones jack. All in all, i still love it, it runs pi now, its a great phone especially for the price now.

  27. They went from $300 to $499 since i purchased mine. Aside from being by far the best phone i've ever owned, its also the only phone that's appreciated in value.

  28. Google fixed the PH-1-camera. ONE year later. 😉
    I tried the Google Cam-app (as an APK) and the camera is finally what it was supposed to be from the start.
    It's sad that there was no episode 2.

  29. Keep in mind too folks, that even with a relatively small battery at 3000mah, most people including myself get on average 5-7 hours of screen on time running Android Pie, depending on usage. Which in my opinion is incredible. Excellent phone indeed.

  30. everyone from apple to Umidigi copied this phone so yes it's top notch!! People are idiot's, this is the 1st phone they made from scratch, pixel 1,2,3 were made from Motorola phones, Moto z, g etc, then sold to Lenovo.
    People should wait for updates before doing a review, especially if it's a brand new design from scratch.
    I was comparing it to Umidigi S3 pro as an option to buy, went with Essential instead. Umidigi is nice, well built, but my A3 pro, phone was buggy and lagy and terrible camera, same issue as essential, software is not to spec for the lenses. mall phone makers, have harder time, keeping up with software. At least Essential worked hard to fix camera issues, Umidigi hardly tries, great specs, but crap software.

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