Essential Phone latest news: release date, price and features

Will Andy Rubin’s company Essential compete with other flagship Android phones this summer? Read the latest news about the Essential Phone specs, price and release date.

Android creator unveils flagship-spec new Essential Phone

By | 28 mins ago

It looks as though there could be a new smartphone competitor in town for high-end Android phones[2]. Andy Rubin is the creator of the Android operating system and now runs his own company.

He’s just announced[3] the brand new Essential Phone by his company, ahem, Essential. Also announced was the Essential Home, a smart home device[4]. The device’s true name is the PH-1, which isn’t as catchy (or as grandiose).

As you can see from the images, it’s a near-bezel-free design that looks like a cross between the Xiaomi Mi Mix[5], Google Pixel[6] and LG G6[7].

When is the Essential phone release date?

Previously, reports had pointed to a spring 2017 launch, but the loss of a £100 million investment[8] doesn’t seem to have held back the company as it announced the Phone on 30 May 2017. The phone is up for pre-order in the US[9] only, but it’s not clear when they will ship.

How much will the Essential phone cost?

As a high-end phone, it’s priced at the same level as the iPhone 7, Galaxy S8[10] and Google Pixel[11]. It’s available in the US to pre-order for £699[12], with an optional 360 camera for £50 rather than £199 if you pre-order.

What features will the Essential Phone have?

Early reports appear to have been correct: the phone has an ‘edge-to-edge’ screen and the thin bezels can be seen on the prototype that Rubin tweeted at the end of March.

Of course, it’s not the only phone to have such as screen and will have to compete with the Galaxy S8 and – if the rumours are correct – the iPhone 8[13] in September. The Phone will run Android, its maker’s other major invention, and has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor like the HTC U11. It is made from titanium and ceramic which is unusual, and its QHD display has a resolution of 2560×1312.

Dual cameras also make an appearance, with one colour and one monochrome similar to the Huawei P10[14]. Essential also claims that it will usher in a truly modular way of thinking about phones. Take a look at the connector dots on the rear that the 360 camera accessory attaches to below.

After the failed LG G5[15] and Google’s Project Ara, we remain skeptical about it succeeding. Then again, this is surely a phone for Android enthusiasts, for now at least. What else will mark out the phone, though, other than the garish green of one of the colour options?

The screen is unusually interrupted by a selfie camera which won’t be to everyone’s tastes, though it won’t obscure anything, while the 7.8mm thickness is nothing out of the ordinary. The cameras are one colour and one monochrome sensor like on the Huawei P10, and the rear mounted fingerprint sensor confirms to what we’d expect from a 2017 flagship, much like the USB-C port. We’re still excited to get our hands on it though, even if the design is odd.

Here are the full specs:

  • Android Nougat
  • 19:10 5.71in 2560×1312 QHD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 540 graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • Dual 13Mp rear cameras, video at 4K 30fps
  • 8Mp front camera, video at 4K 30fps
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 4G LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • NFC
  • USB-C
  • 3040mAh non-removable battery
  • 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8mm
  • 185g


  1. ^ (
  2. ^ Android phones (
  3. ^ Essential Phone (
  4. ^ Essential Home, a smart home device (
  5. ^ Xiaomi Mi Mix review (
  6. ^ Google Pixel review (
  7. ^ LG G6 review (
  8. ^ loss of a £100 million investment (
  9. ^ Essential Phone (
  10. ^ Galaxy S8 (
  11. ^ Google Pixel (
  12. ^ Order Essential Phone (
  13. ^ iPhone 8 (
  14. ^ Huawei P10 review (
  15. ^ LG G5 review (

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