Essential – A True Consumers Phone?

Essential – A True Consumers Phone?
By Reggie U.
May 31, 2017

You’re probably wondering by now what all the fuss was over the internet revolving around the beautifully designed phone with a bold peculiar name. The Essential phone unveiling barnstormed our social media feeds and left a longing impression amongst fellow smartphone geeks and the tech community. Let’s take a look at the specs and some first impressions on Andy Rubin’s Essential PH-1.

For those of you that missed it, here’s the spec sheet rundown courtesy of Essential.com:

Model Name
Essential PH-1

Materials
Titanium body
Ceramic back
Corning Gorilla Glass 5 cover glass

Dimensions
Height: 141.5mm
Width: 71.1mm
Thickness: 7.8mm
Weight: < 185 grams Display Resolution: 2560 x 1312 QHD Aspect Ratio: 19:10 Diagonal Size: 5.71” with radiused corners Brightness: 500 nits (typical) Contrast Ratio: > 1:1000 (typical)

Technology: CGS / LTPS
Human Input + Sensors
10 finger multitouch; palm and water-error rejection
Fingerprint reader: fastest available technology
Proximity / Ambient light sensor
Volume buttons, Power button
Environmental pressure sensor (barometer)
Accelerometer, Magnetometer and Gyroscope

Audio
Microphone: 4x microphones with noise cancellation and beam forming
Low Audio (earpiece)
High Audio: (loudspeaker)

Rear Camera
13MP Dual RGB + Mono camera with image fusion technology
13MP True Monochrome mode
f/1.85 lens
Hybrid Auto Focus combing Contrast, Phase Detect and IR Laser Assist Focus
Video at 4K 30fps, 1080p 60fps or 720p 120fps

Front Camera
8MP resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio
f/2.20 fixed hyperfocal lens
Video at 4K 30fps, 1080p 60fps or 720p 120fps

Battery
3040mAh.
Fast charging via USB
Memory & Storage
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB UFS 2.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth: 5.0 LE
WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO
NFC: yes
Positioning: GPS and GLONASS
Network / Bands
UMTS/HSPA+: 1, 2, 4, 5 6, 8
GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
CDMA EV-DO Rev. A: 0, 1, 10
FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66
TDD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43
TD-SCDMA: 34, 39

System Architecture / OS
Android
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835
CPU: Kryo 280 Octa-core (2.45GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10nm processor
GPU: Adreno 540, 710MHz, 64bit

Ports
USB Type-C
60GHz, 6 Gbps Wireless Accessory Connector
2x accessory power pins
NanoSIM tray with pin eject

Display:
With a 2k LCD display, the display is not lacking. The aspect ratio ditches the initial wave of tall, slender displays in favor of a traditional aspect ratio and this is refreshing. We will see how bright and vibrant the display is when the device is released. The screen is nearly bezel-less and is reminiscent of the Xiaomi Mi Mix, but keeps the front facing camera front and center enveloped on all sides by the screen. It’s really different, and I’m curious to see how well it will work in practice with notifications and watching videos.

Build:
Made out of titanium and ceramic, this is the first device to use titanium and I’m excited that there is a company stepping out of the glass and aluminum norm to bring to the market something that is very durable and looks great. Let’s see what the drop tests look like. Will this be the first phone that we won’t have to cover up with a case?

Camera:
The dual camera set up is similar to the Huawei approach with an RGB and monochrome lens. With an aperture of of f/1.85 I am anticipating that low light performance, as well as depth of field (bokeh) will prove to rival the top smartphone shooters on the market today and I’m excited about this prospect. One feature to really look out for is the dual front cameras that shoot in 4k. No other device can shoot in 4k front facing which can make the PH-1 the vlogging tool of choice.

Features:
Outside of the camera features, the Essential phone has a dual prong set up for additional modules. The first featured mod being a 360 camera and wireless charging dock. While this is cool and others have tried (see LG G5 and Moto Z) I’m skeptical on how useful this will be and if the mods will become a popular hit considering its predecessors.

Weighing in at $699, I think that although the price is high, the flagship level specs make it a fair and compelling price. Unlike current flagships that offer waterproofing, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and expandable SD card slot, the Essential phone does not come with these features. Considering that the LG G6 does and slots at a lower price point gives me pause for a brief moment on the true value. Your usage and need for these may vary may not be a necessity in your smartphone experience. I did not mention battery life as this is so subjective and varies with each individuals usage. We will see how the battery holds up after the release.

To conclude, I think that the Essential phone is a compelling piece of hardware. It’s sleek, durable, and has some unique features. I’m eagerly awaiting the release and am excited for the the startup has to offer.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave your comments down below – we would love to hear what you think! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to PhoneTechAtWork on YouTube for the latest on smartphone content.

About the Author:
Reggie U. is a civil engineer (structural) by day and a tech nerd at heart. Happily married and father of one baby girl who keeps him busy. Big time foodie, avid car enthusiast, super amateur photographer, and part-time gamer. Follow him on his social media at:
Twitter – @rurbizto
Instagram – @reginaldou
Google+ – +ReggieU

2 Comments

  1. Good job, Reggie. We took very different approaches to an Essential article, which I think is great. Looking forward to reading more.

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