The first smartphone from Essential Products is set to start shipping within the next 7 days. Customers who reserved an Essential PH-1 smartphone are receiving emails letting them know that they can now order the phone for $699 and expect it to ship within a week… at least if they want the “Black Moon” color option.
A different note is going out to customers who reserved a “Pure White” model, letting them know that the white version won’t ship for “a couple of weeks,” and asking if they’d like to change their order and get a black version of the phone.
If you didn’t sign up in advance to reserve the phone, you’ll likely have to wait a little longer to place an order, although you can still reserve one, and the Essential PH-1 is expected to hit retailers including Best Buy soon.
The Essential Phone features a 5.7 inch QHD display that covers most of the front of the device. The bottom bezel is pretty small, and the top and side bezels are even slimmer. One weird feature is that the screen wraps around the front-facing camera, which means that while there’s not much bezel on the top, there’s also not that much usable screen space: basically the status bar wraps around the camera, but you can probably expect to see a black bar when watching full-screen videos or playing games.
As you’d expect from a $700(ish) smartphone, the device has premium specs including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. But it also has another unusual feature: support for modular add-ons thanks to a special connector on the back of the phone.
At launch, the only add-on available is a 360-degree camera. But if the Essential Phone is a success then the company may deliver additional modules with different features.
But honestly, the main reason this Android phone has been getting so much attention since it was first unveiled a few months ago is its pedigree: Essential founder Andy Rubin was also co-founder of Android, the company that developed the earliest versions of the operating system that now powers most of the world’s smartphones. Android was eventually acquired by Google, where Rubin worked until 2014.
via Droid Life