1. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    DISCLAIMER: The contents of this post is solely the personal thoughts and initial impressions of the writer, and do not reflect the overall views of the moderator team, the AC Forums Trusted Members team and Android Central/Mobile Nations as a whole.
    [OPINION] I'm currently not big on the Essential PH-1-img_6149.png
    So, Andy Rubin's new company, Essential, recently unveiled their smartphone, the Essential PH-1, and its response was......rather mixed. Tech outlets seem to like what it is while others don't seem to think so.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of it, for reasons which may seem obvious if you've followed me throughout the Android Central comments for the past few hours, but also another reason why I haven't made clear.

    Now, there are some reasons why I like this phone, but first, I need to make it clear why I'm not big on it.

    The first reason is actually quite obvious; The display, or rather, a weird oddity that actually sticks out.
    [OPINION] I'm currently not big on the Essential PH-1-img_6148.jpg
    You've probably heard it over and over again, which is probably because that's the first thing that comes out at you. Perhaps in the pursuit of a bezel-less design, someone thought to have a cut-out in the display so that it looks as if it's going around the front camera. Honestly, I think that's silly. I don't see the practical benefit of a design like this and I have a bad feeling that once you keep looking at it, it's very hard to unsee it, especially at night, where the display looks as if it lost a tooth.

    The Essential PH-1 also lacks some stuff which may or may not ruffle some feathers, although some may argue that for a $700 phone, there's no excuse to why it isn't there. These include;
    • Lack of rated water and dust-resistance. The phone may have some degree of resistance to both, but it has not been rated.
    • Lack of a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, although the phone ships with an included adapter.


    Depending on which side of the fence you're on, you either find those a real bummer or a minor annoyance, but for the former, it's somewhat ironic that a phone created by a company called "Essential" is missing a few features which may be considered essential for a premium flagship.
    [OPINION] I'm currently not big on the Essential PH-1-fdagkp0.jpg
    Of course, it's not all bad. Andy's phone actually has a number of high points, some of which include;
    • A ceramic back with a titanium frame should make for a phone that's hard to scratch and also one that is more resilient to drops, provided that it's dropped on its corner.
    • The dual camera array is pretty nifty, utilizing what Huawei does on the P10 and Mate 9, featuring a primary RGB sensor complemented by a secondary monochrome-only sensor without a Bayer RGB filter, resulting in increased sensitivity to light as well as lower noise and better dynamic range.
    • The modular design seems pretty nifty for small accessories like the 360-degree camera along with other accessories.
    • That 360-degree camera also looks nifty, being small enough to snap onto the phone's back while also giving the full perspective of a 360-degree cam.
    • The Ocean Depths color actually looks slick
    • It packs the usual high-end internals you'd expect from a premier device
    • It runs a build of Android that's probably one of the closest to what Google ships on the Nexus/Pixel.

    [OPINION] I'm currently not big on the Essential PH-1-img_6152.jpg
    However, let me rephrase that last point, and this is probably the biggest reason why I'm not currently sold on the PH-1 until sometime later down the road; Support. Essential is a new company, and it remains to be seen how their approach to software updates and customer support should issues arise are handled like. It's understandable to be optimistic as the company is founded by none other than the father of the Android platform, but it's probably best to remain cautiously optimistic as the old saying of past experience is not indicative of future performance has to be understood first, especially since as of the time of writing, Essential's support page looks like this;
    [OPINION] I'm currently not big on the Essential PH-1-img_6151.jpg
    Of course, I hope it is indeed updated once the phone has a firm release date and is actually shipping towards customers.
    [OPINION] I'm currently not big on the Essential PH-1-img_6153.jpg
    So what does this all mean? Do I hate the PH-1? Absolutely not. These are just my initial impressions and reactions ("Eugh, what the heck happened to that display" was pretty much mine at first glance, by the way) on the PH-1. Overall, I'm rather mixed on Andy's new baby as of right now. It has a lot of high points but also mixes those highs with some weird design oddities and decisions along with some unknowns which should be answered as the device nears consumer release. I hope the device does find some success in the enthusiast world so that perhaps Andy and his team can get feedback from those people and perhaps implement them in the PH-2.
    Aquila, libra89, Ry and 2 others like this.
    05-30-2017 07:44 PM
  2. Aquila's Avatar
    Agree with some of this, I'm reserving judgement until we know more than just high level specs.
    05-30-2017 07:48 PM
  3. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    Agree with some of this, I'm reserving judgement until we know more than just high level specs.
    Support is the biggest question on my mind right now.

    At $700, this is properly in premium territory. It needs to be adequately supported for at least 2 years for OS upgrades and 3 years for security patches.

    Ideally, we would expect more, since this is the father of Android we're talking about, but until Essential can prove something, I'm expecting no more than what Google already does.
    Aquila likes this.
    05-30-2017 07:58 PM
  4. Ry's Avatar
    Unless it takes photos significantly better than the Pixel, S8, or iPhone 7 Plus, there's nothing truly compelling about this phone for me.
    05-30-2017 09:59 PM
  5. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    Unless it takes photos significantly better than the Pixel, S8, or iPhone 7 Plus, there's nothing truly compelling about this phone for me.
    Camera performance is a relative unknown at this point.

    Essential's staff seem to have talent, but I haven't seen that talent show just yet.

    Will have to wait until probably the end of June if the interview date holds up.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    05-30-2017 11:18 PM
  6. Matty's Avatar
    I do agree with a couple points you made and one of them is regarding the water resistance. I think, in 2017, if we are purchasing a $700 device. There should be some sort of water resistance. It doesn't have to be IP68 but at least splash resistance.

    The headphone jack I'm 50/50 on. That seems to be a small trend at the moment with certain OEMs. It wouldn't be a deal breaker for me but on a device that's fairly 'thick' I'm sure they could have found space somewhere? Maybe the screen tech took up all the space? 😃

    Also interested learn more about these modular attachments. I like the idea of the 360 degree camera but all we need is support. There is potential.
    05-31-2017 11:21 AM
  7. mxmarcus's Avatar
    Good point, I signed up for both the phone and camera but not sold on the phone yet.
    05-31-2017 02:47 PM
  8. ZayMoney's Avatar
    i trust andy. alot of people trusted the pete lau and carl pei. i mean this guy did CREATE ANDROID and work for google so i believe he knows what he is doing. that interview with walt was awful he asked horrible questions and kept cutting him off. im buying it just because im a phone fanatic
    bhatech likes this.
    06-01-2017 10:13 AM
  9. DominionRoofs's Avatar
    I just think it's very cool that an American company is releasing a brand new phone. Even though it probably assembled in China..it just doesn't happen!
    The front Camara cut out is kind of a silly thing to harp on imo considering how beautiful the near bezeles display is and it's unlike any other. I'm with you on the lack of ip rating. That the one thing that bothers my. Could care less about a 3.5 mm headphone jack that all major phones will be without soon
    06-03-2017 07:12 AM

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