I have used quite a few Android phones over the years and I can safely say that the Essential Phone is my favorite phone. Here are some of the qualities unique to the Essential Phone that make it a phenomenal device.

1. This is the only Essential phone

Essential Phone white model

Samsung, LG and HTC each release buckets of phones a year. Developers must prepare and test software for each device. It takes time and effort, which is one of the reasons many Android phones receive few, if any, updates.

Essential Phone is the only phone released by Essential. This means that the company can focus on one product. While other companies may not care how consumers feel about a particular model, the Essential Phone’s end user experience is one of the company’s top priorities.

2. Fast and long support cycle

When Google officially announced Android Pie the first phone to receive the update was not a Pixel. It was the main phone. Essential released an over-the-air update for devices on the same day as Google’s announcement.

Fast updates aren’t new to the Essential Phone, but it’s not just the speed of updates that matters here. Essential promised device support until August 2019.

Android Oreo and Pie both arrived in August. If Android Q (Quince Jam? Quiche? We don’t know yet) does the same, or even if it’s a few weeks later, Essential plans to deliver that update.

This would mean the Essential Phone launched with Android 7.0 Nougat and is expected to launch Android 10 by the end of its support cycle. In the Android world, this is, by essence, unprecedented.

3. Basic phone gets better with age

Many phones work fine, only over time. Comparing later reviews to those that appeared during the phone’s launch, the opposite was the case with the Essential Phone.

A small but dedicated team at Essential pushed out fixes to address early issues with the phone’s software. The camera app is faster and more stable. The apps have also had time to adjust to the notch on the front of the camera. This is all in addition to two major Android version upgrades.

This does not mean that the phone does not have problems. Some users have reported seeing more dropped Bluetooth connections. However, the consensus seems to be that the phone delivers a better experience than when it was new.

4. There is no branding

Main phone without logo

There is no giant logo on the back of the Essential Phone. Essential not only resisted the temptation to engrave its name anywhere, but you won’t find certification details or any other text either.

I find logos vibrant and a form of advertising that I don’t need in my life. I’m willing to risk damaging the device if I believe there’s a chance of removing the logo. In the past, I’ve been able to peel the bright red BoomSound branding off the bottom of my old HTC One without leaving any marks. But, unfortunately, there was no way to remove HTC’s own logo on the front and back of the device.

I like that this isn’t an issue with the Essential Phone. It’s great to see a company that not only shares this vision for logos (see marketing text in the image above), but is willing to put their money where their mouth is.

5. 128 GB storage per phone

Not so long ago, smartphones limited us to 16 GB or 32 GB of internal space. Now 64 GB is commonplace. But on the Essential Phone, you get 128GB.

Most phones that offer 128GB see this as a boost. For example, a 128GB Pixel 2 costs $100 more than its 64GB counterpart. With Essential Phone, one size fits all and that size is 128GB.

However, I would still like to see a microSD card slot.

6. It’s both comfortable and durable

Essential Phone Fingerprint Reader

The Essential Phone is one of the most elegant smartphones ever made. I don’t think that’s much of a controversial statement. However, I’m surprised at how useful this phone actually is.

Despite being about the same size as previous phones I’ve owned, the Essential Phone feels a lot less bulky in my hand. It doesn’t feel like a bigger phone, but it does have a larger screen than older devices of the same size. The metal frame feels solid and the ceramic back handles scratches very well.

I dropped the phone a few times and none of the components shattered (although I did scratch the screen after mindlessly putting the phone in the same pocket as my keys).

In short, the Essential Phone is not a petty handsome face. This design makes sense.

7. Photos are great

Differences between smartphone cameras and SLR cameras and cameras shrunken for years. Photos of my Essential Phone look great even on dense pixel displays like my Pixelbook In older phones, I could tell which camera I was using just by the difference in photo quality. Now I need to check the resolution of the image because the Essential Phone images look just as clear.

I still carry a DSLR with me when I go out for the express purpose of taking pictures, mostly because of the optical zoom. But when zooming isn’t an issue, I know that my Essential Phone captures the moment just fine.

8. It’s a clean slate

While I prefer Android over iOS, I’m not the biggest fan of Google. I only install a few apps and disable most of what Google provides. In fact, I don’t like having extra software on my phone, including Google Assistant or Samsung Bixby — I see them as unwanted distractions.

Essential Phone provides a clean version of Android similar to the one you get on the Google Pixel phone, but with even fewer extra features. Essential has developed its own camera app and that’s it. It suits my personality much more than the glut of apps and features you get from Samsung, LG, Huawei or HTC phones.

9. This is a 360 degree camera

The Essential phone has two magnetic connectors on the back for connecting accessories. So far, only one has hit the market. This is the main 360-degree camera.

Like the phone itself, Essential has reduced the price of the camera. So if you already have a phone, this add-on is an affordable way to try creating your own 360 videos.

What do you think of the main phone?

A year after the release of the Essential Phone, this device delivers a great experience. After the recent price drop, it’s hard to overestimate how much you get for your money.

But I’m not saying the Essential Phone is the best. If you consider 3.5mm jacks or microSD card slots essential (and I wouldn’t blame you), then this phone will disappoint you in both areas. Luckily, there are alternatives that still have headphone jacks. .

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