We have been fairly underwhelmed by the Essential Phone after we reviewed it again in September 2017. Its software program was naked — nearly to a fault — and its digicam didn’t even come near the competitors on the time.

Andy Rubin and his new smartphone firm didn’t take any of these criticisms mendacity down. Over the previous few months, the Important Telephone has acquired countless camera updates, new features, and stability enhancements to make this telephone what it was first meant to be.

I’m calling it proper now: this telephone wins our unofficial “Most Improved Smartphone Since Launch” award.

With that prestigious new title in thoughts, let’s see if the Important Telephone is definitely value shopping for in 2018, or if you happen to ought to maintain off for the Important Telephone 2.

Important Telephone in 2018: The dangerous

essential phone 2018

I’m going to start out off with all of the dangerous issues concerning the Important Telephone, as a result of truthfully there isn’t quite a bit to say right here.

Even after dozens of updates, the digicam continues to be by far the worst a part of this telephone. Photographs with the suitable lighting may be spectacular, however all the things else — particularly low-light pictures — are dangerous. They’re grainy and lack element. Taking a photograph in low mild continues to be very sluggish too, even after the recent update to handle this very concern.

Google Pixel 2
Google Pixel 2
Important Telephone

Essential Phone

The digicam app continues to be too naked bones for my liking too. If it have been in a position to take nice pictures in computerized mode just like the Pixel 2, I wouldn’t care. This digicam wants as a lot assist as it could possibly get on the software program aspect, and a scarcity of options within the digicam app actually isn’t serving to.

I get it. The telephone’s imagined to don’t have anything however “the necessities.” Delivery essentially the most bare-bones model of Android attainable is all nicely and good. Typically customers truly need options — particularly once they add an actual profit in on a regular basis use.

Google Pixel 2
Google Pixel 2
Important Telephone

Essential Phone

Lots of my gripes could be fastened with the Important Telephone 2, although. Head of Industrial Design at Important Linda Jiang recently admitted the telephone’s digicam wanted work:

Normally, one factor that we received hit onerous with was the standard of our digicam, and we’re actually trying ahead to bettering that with our next-gen, ensuring that we’re listening to our prospects and their ache factors. We’re going to make it higher for you.

essential phone 2018

I nonetheless run into a good quantity of performance- and touch-related points every day. The largest offender by far is contact latency, which I’m nonetheless experiencing even after Important’s promised repair with the Android 8.1 update. Whether or not scrolling via Twitter or just knocking down the notification shade, the telephone struggles to maintain up with my touches.

This doesn’t have something to do with the . The Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4GB of RAM is greater than sufficient energy to deal with multitasking and heavy gameplay, however sadly contact points nonetheless maintain the Important Telephone again from providing a seamless, clean expertise.

Important Telephone in 2018: The great

essential phone 2018

I like all the things else about this telephone.

What hasn’t modified over the previous eight months is the , and that’s a superb factor. The Important Telephone has a number of the finest on any smartphone so far, rivaling the likes of the Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20 Pro. It simply feels completely different from different telephones.

The Important Telephone has a number of the finest on any smartphone so far.

It’s a bit heavier than different telephones. It even weighs 10 grams greater than the Pixel 2 XL. That makes it really feel higher — nearly prefer it was machined out of a single chunk of titanium. I do know it wasn’t, but it surely feels prefer it.

The dearth of a three.5mm headphone jack continues to be annoying — and ironic, contemplating this telephone’s identify — however that’s one of many solely downsides to the PH-1’s .

Software program

essential phone 2018

When the Important Telephone first launched, it didn’t have many apps put in out of the field, nor did it include many additional options. No evening mode. No always-on show. There’s a case to be made for transport a naked model of Android, positive, however these two options have been changing into commonplace on most Android telephones.

Important has since added each options (nicely, it added an ambient show mode, not an always-on show mode), after which some. Bluetooth 5 support, new camera modes, and loads of helpful new options at the moment are baked into the PH-1’s software program suite, and you may guess the Important Telephone 2 may have these as nicely.

All through its time available on the market, Important has been clear about listening to its users, which is greater than we are able to say for some OEMs.


The Important Telephone receives fast updates. Like, actually fast. Important rolled out the May 2018 security patch minutes after Google posted the factory images. That’s just about been the case for the whole thing of the PH-1’s lifespan, and it has me longing for future telephones from the corporate.

In case you personal a Huawei or a Samsung telephone and are uninterested in not receiving software program updates, you need to try Important’s subsequent telephone.


That is the complete motive we’re re-reviewing this telephone.

The Important Telephone first went on sale for $700. It was not value $700. Its value has dropped considerably since then — now you can discover it on Amazon for less than $475.

Now that it prices lower than $500, it’s in the identical enjoying subject because the OnePlus 5T (which is able to quickly be succeeded by a more expensive smartphone), the Moto Z2 Play, and the Honor View 10. None of these different telephones really feel fairly like this one.

Do you have to purchase the Important Telephone in 2018? In case you’re out there for an Android telephone beneath $500 with a design that actually stands out, I’d don’t have any downside recommending the Important Telephone. Nonetheless, it’s been almost a full year because it was first introduced, so we could not have for much longer till the Important Telephone 2 (PH-2?) arrives. The brand new telephone will most likely price extra, have a greater digicam, and be an all-around higher gadget.

These trying to avoid wasting dough on an Android gadget may not need to overlook this telephone.


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