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

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5 replies on “Essential PH-1 smartphone ships this week for $699”

  1. $700 is a lot of money for a phone with no track record. IF the company survives, how will it be with updates? What about warranty issues? How easy will it be to get parts if you crack your screen? Better to wait and see and let others find out the answers to these questions.

    1. “IF the company survives,” well, I think they’ll be fine considering they’re worth $1.3 billion.

        1. Samsung still very much exists though. Not to mention were hit with a series of screw ups at the same time (Note 7, washing machines).

          1. Don’t be naff. Samsung is sitting on tens of billions of dollars in cash reserves. It can afford a LOT of screw-ups. This company is *valued*, i.e. on paper, at $1.3 billion. It does not have any such money in the bank. They’ll be lucky if they have reserves of $20 million. Which they could wipe out in half an hour if they need to do a recall on this phone for any reason. Hell, they could go out of business with an ill-judged marketing campaign. Or if they over-order stock. Or any other silly reason like that.

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