Essential Products may not have managed to ship its first smartphone in June, as promised. But it looks like the new company founded by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is inching closer to shipping the Essential PH-1 smartphone.
It showed up at the Best Buy website recently, where it’s available as either a carrier unlocked device or as a phone for use on Sprint’s network.
Prices start at $700… and you can’t actually by the phone yet. It’s described as “coming soon.”
Of course, you can also still reserve the phone from Essential.com for the same price. But at least Best Buy is throwing in an Insignia phone stand/holder with unlocked models models.
The Essential phone features a 5.7 inch QHD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, ,128GB of storage, a 3,040 mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, a 13MP rear camera, and an 8MP front-facing camera.
That front-facing camera is one of the weird things about the phone. Thanks to super-slim bezels, there’s no room in the top bezel for a camera… so Essential basically built a display that wraps around the camera (and allegedly heightened the Android status bar to take away any real advantage offered by the slim bezels).
Essential’s phone also supports modular accessories, including a 360-degree camera that snaps onto the back of the phone and… well, that’s the only accessory announced so far. So that’s pretty much it. We’ll have to see if Essential manages to sell enough devices to justify building out an ecosystem of products the way Motorola has with its Moto Z set of phones and their support for MotoMods.
Overall, the Essential Phone is an interesting-looking device with an excellent pedigree. Whether that’s enough to justify buying an expensive phone from a startup remains to be seen.
But at least now it looks like the Essential website won’t be the only place to buy one.
via Android Police