Essential’s first smartphone is set to ship this week to customers who had already placed a pre-order from the Essential website. But now there are a few more ways to get your hands on the new phone from Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s new company.
The list price is $699. But Spring allows customers to pre-order to lease the phone for $14.58 per month and/or upgrade to a different phone after 12 making 12 monthly payments.
While Sprint is the only US wireless carrier selling the phone, you can also buy an unlocked model and use it with AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon.
The phone’s standout features include a screen that covers nearly all of the front of the device (with the notable exception of a cutaway for the front camera), and support for modules like a 360 degree camera that snap onto the back of the phone. Essential is also hoping to build an ecosystem of hardware and software eventually: the company’s next device will be a smart home hub/speaker called Essential Home.
The Essential PH-1 smartphone has a 5.7 inch quad HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 3,040 mAh battery, a 13.1MP rear camera, a USB Type-C port (and headphone adapter in lieu of a dedicated headphone jack).
Rubin also says the phone will get OS updates for at least two years, and monthly security updates for three, which is pretty much what you get be when you buy a Google Nexus or Pixel phone, but not something offered by many other Android device makers.