The Essential Phone, announced back in May this year, is now up for pre-order from Amazon, Sprint, and Best Buy. So far, only the unlocked variant was available for pre-order at Best Buy. In the US, Sprint will be the only carrier selling the Essential Phone PH-1 thanks to an exclusive agreement between Essential and the carrier. If you wish to get the unlocked variant, you can now get one from Amazon as well.
Sprint being the exclusive US retail partner for the Essential Phone, it is the only carrier where you can walk in and experience the smartphone before making a final decision. For now, the Essential Phone can be pre-ordered on the Sprint website only in black. At a later date, the smartphone will also be available in white.
“Essential Products was created to realize our vision for a 21st century consumer technology company,” said Andy Rubin, founder of Essential. “Essential Phone and Essential 360° Camera are the first of many products designed around the consumer that embody our commitment to premium craftsmanship and cutting edge innovation. Live streaming Essential 360° video is the kind of unique experience and functionality that is a perfect use of Sprint’s national high speed data network.”
Sprint is offering a 50% discount on the Essential Phone for a limited time, which means you will only have to pay $14.58 each month with $0 down with 18 Sprint Flex Lease payments, saving you $260. That’s not all though. You can also get the Essential 360° camera, the world’s smallest 360° 4K camera, at just $199.99 or $16.67 per month for 12 months with Installment Billing.
The Essential Phone PH-1 features a 5.71” Quad HD display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and very slim bezels all around. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core SoC clocked at 2.45 GHz, paired with 4GB of RAM. The handset does not come with a microSD card slot, but the 128GB of onboard storage should be sufficient for all but the most demanding power users out there. It sports an impressive dual-camera setup at the rear with two 13MP resolution snappers. One of the sensors takes color photos while the other takes monochrome shots. On the front of the handset is an 8MP snapper for self-portraits and video calls. Connectivity features include 4G LTE Cat.16, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac dual-band, Bluetooth 5.0 Low Energy, GPS with A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. Some of the other key features include a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and a non-removable 3040mAh battery with fast charging. The smartphone will ship with the Android 7.1 Nougat operating system out of the box, with an update to Android O likely arriving before the end of the year.