My initial review/thoughts

neil74

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Mar 12, 2016
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I’m still waiting for my non-scratched replacement to arrive but have been using the Essential now for almost a week so thought I would post my thoughts for those who are interested.

Firstly I think it is a shame that there will be no essential phone 2 as I think they are really onto something. Maybe restricting it to the US for so long was a bad move and it may have been easier to get this traction in the UK or Europe where carrier support is not always so crucial?

Onto the phone though and here are my thoughts in no particular order:

+ Really nice feel in the hand, the build quality is excellent.

+ Screen size may be perfect. Unlike the say the S9 that feels narrow and small, the essential with it’s different aspect ratio may just hit a nice sweet spot as the LG V30 and G7 do

+ It is mostly smooth and Android P is nice. In some ways it almost feels like an alternative Pixel (with better build quality but a worse camera!)

+ Zero bloat!

+ Very good battery life especially standby

In terms of negatives it still feels like a work in progress with lots of little niggles that ruin the overall experience:

- Raise to wake works probably 50% of the time

- Music often just stops playing (Spotify and Amazon music)

- Slow Wi-Fi

- Camera is not great at all. I see some people recommending the google apk unsure if it is the hardware that is bad or just the software?

- No always on display. I have grown to love this feature and LG has proved it can be done well on an LCD. I tried the 3rd party glance app but whilst ok the battery hit is significant.

I really like it and maybe some of the negatives will resolve themselves in my replacement device of in future updates? Given that I got it for a decent price (and I am a phone junkie) I will probably keep it, overall though there are just too many niggles for it to be my daily phone.

I give essential huge credit for keeping the updates coming but with no essential 2 coming I wonder how focussed they will be on properly supporting a phone that is effectively in ‘run-off’ now, it is a real shame as I said above I think they were really onto something and if I knew there was a pipeline I’d maybe think differently.
 

Andrew_404

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Jan 13, 2016
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I’m still waiting for my non-scratched replacement to arrive but have been using the Essential now for almost a week so thought I would post my thoughts for those who are interested.

Firstly I think it is a shame that there will be no essential phone 2 as I think they are really onto something. Maybe restricting it to the US for so long was a bad move and it may have been easier to get this traction in the UK or Europe where carrier support is not always so crucial?

Onto the phone though and here are my thoughts in no particular order:

+ Really nice feel in the hand, the build quality is excellent.

+ Screen size may be perfect. Unlike the say the S9 that feels narrow and small, the essential with it’s different aspect ratio may just hit a nice sweet spot as the LG V30 and G7 do

+ It is mostly smooth and Android P is nice. In some ways it almost feels like an alternative Pixel (with better build quality but a worse camera!)

+ Zero bloat!

+ Very good battery life especially standby

In terms of negatives it still feels like a work in progress with lots of little niggles that ruin the overall experience:

- Raise to wake works probably 50% of the time

- Music often just stops playing (Spotify and Amazon music)

- Slow Wi-Fi

- Camera is not great at all. I see some people recommending the google apk unsure if it is the hardware that is bad or just the software?

- No always on display. I have grown to love this feature and LG has proved it can be done well on an LCD. I tried the 3rd party glance app but whilst ok the battery hit is significant.

I really like it and maybe some of the negatives will resolve themselves in my replacement device of in future updates? Given that I got it for a decent price (and I am a phone junkie) I will probably keep it, overall though there are just too many niggles for it to be my daily phone.

I give essential huge credit for keeping the updates coming but with no essential 2 coming I wonder how focussed they will be on properly supporting a phone that is effectively in ‘run-off’ now, it is a real shame as I said above I think they were really onto something and if I knew there was a pipeline I’d maybe think differently.

Thanks for sharing. Who knows, maybe at some point, they will get a buyer and launch a PH-2. Either way, I'm planning on using the phone until it breaks and or it becomes obsolete due to lack of updates.
 

neil74

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Mar 12, 2016
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The thing that strikes me is just how nice it feels in the hand, the only phone that feels better imo is the iPhone X and the ceramic just feels very premium. My replacement is coming today so I put my sim back in my S9 plus last night and whilst the Samsung is a nice device it just does not feel as nice as the Essential.



I may have solved the music bug myself and I think it is maybe down to how efficient the phone is with background processes, in addition to playback just stopping often I also had issues with the controls on my BT headphones where the volume worked fine but the skip track function was hit and miss. Unrestricting Spotify and Amazon music in settings solved this. I’d also add touch response to my list of issues, it is hard to pin point but sometimes I’m sure touches do not register and I have to press again, not obvious just a feeling and hard to explain.



I am definitely keeping the replacement assuming it is ok when it arrives and it would be great if essential got the further investment necessary to push on with #2 . Let’s face it they were never going to crack this thing on the first go but I guess they just expected more? Oneplus has proven that there is a niche in the market if you do things right but it took them some time to gain real traction, here’s hoping…..