It’s only been about two months since the Essential PH-1 smartphone went on sale for $699. But Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s new company is already cutting the price by $200.
Now you can pick up an Essential Phone for $499.
Customers who already paid the higher price are eligible for a $200 credit that can be used to buy a phone for a friend or family member or to buy Essential’s 360-degree camera add-on, which is the first (and currently only) modular accessory that you can snap onto the back of the phone to add functionality.
At $699, the Essential PH-1 was kind of tough sell. While it has a striking design and gets decent reviews for specs and performance, it’s a phone from a startup that might or might not still be around in a few years. Buying from Samsung, LG, Motorola or even HTC (which has its own troubles) may seem like a safer bet.
But at $499, the Essential PH-1 is going up against phones like the similarly priced (but out of stock) OnePlus 5 in the enthusiast/niche category.
The Essential PH-1 features a 5.7 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display, slim bezels (plus an odd cutout in the screen for the front camera), 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and near stock Android software.
It costs significantly less than either of Google’s Pixel 2 series smartphones, and the phone could get better over time thanks to its support for modular add-ons. On the other hand, the Pixel phones are said to have much better cameras, so there’s that.
Anyway, a $200 price cut certainly makes the first phone from Essential look a lot more attractive, whether or not it’s a truly essential purchase.