Huawei P20 Pro

Apple HomePod

Google Home Max 

Motorola Moto G6

Fitbit Versa

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset

Amazon Echo Spot

Apple iPad (2018)

Spectre x360 13 2-in-1

Samsung Galaxy S9

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset and Controller

ScoopFree Original Self Cleaning Litter Box

Kindle Oasis (2017) - The Perfect eBook reader

Azio's Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard

Google Pixel Buds

Jaybird Run wireless bluetooth headphones

BlackBerry Motion

Apple iPhone X

Microsoft Xbox One X

Miele Blizzard CX1 Hardfloor PowerLine

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Sonos One Smart Speaker

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Anki Overdrive - Fast and Furious Edition

Apple TV 4K

Google Home Mini

Fitbit Flyer

Fitbit Ionic

Huawei P10

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

2018 Toyota C-HR

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Nomad leather case for iPhone 8 Plus

Alcatel A50

Tile Pro Sport smart tracker

27-inch Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display

Anki Cozmo programmable robot

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Google Home

Sennheiser HD-1 in ear wireless headphones

Motorola Moto E4

Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

BlackBerry KEYone

Philips Hue Smart Lighting System

insta360 nano 360 camera for iPhone

2017 Cadillac CT6 Luxury

UAG Rugged Case for Surface Book

Motorola Moto G5

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

Linksys VELOP Whole Home Mesh Network

Fitbit Alta HR

2016 Range Rover


« Dyson engineers take on Global Rapid Development Challenge | Main | PayPal is now a payment option for Nintendo eShop accounts »

First Look at the Essential Phone

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Toronto-Media received a preview of the Essential Phone which is Android co-founder Andy Rubin's take on a modern premium handset. Revealed here at an event in Downtown Toronto, we got to check out this 5.7-inch smartphone and learn more about its construction and features.

Essential Phone PH-1 is the first smartphone made out of Titanium which is light like aliminum yet as stronger than stainless steel. Essential Phone has the widest edge-to-edge display with barely any bezels, it does have a small dimple for an 8 megapixel front facing camera, this one can shoot 4K video. The rear camera is also somewhat innovative with a 13-megapixel sensor with two lenses, an RGB and a Black and White. These two combine to create more detailed photos.

Other interesting facets of the Essential Phone is that it has no branding whatsoever. It also uses a ceramic backplate that is laminated and treated with zirconia and then buffed and polished to a mirror finish. It looks like glass, but it is apparently much more resistant to scratches. 

The Essential Phone has an accessory 360' camera, it is the smallest one we've seen in the market and connects via a magenetic pogo plug. What is surprising is that Essential offers no other accessories like cases or, more importantly, a VR headset to complete the offering.(GCS- The Phone's display is LCD, not AMOLED, which means it's not optimized for VR).

My initial impression of the Essential Phone is that it is truly a premium and almost bespoke device. Fit and finish are very high and quite impressive for an upstart manufacturer. As far as Android smartphones go, this one feels truly unique and with almost no derivative features or flourishes we've seen from other phones. The question is, is looking different enough to generate interest beyond basic curiosity?

The device is a bit blocky and rather chunky, it is also quite slippery with no grooves or protrusions. I wasn't able to test the speed or performance as the demo units were in airplane mode, nor was I able to test the camera's speed or performance as the software was not yet the final version.

All in all, the Essential Phone felt like a very impressive prototype of a forward thinking product that might have some loose ends to tie up before release.

The Essential Phone comes to TELUS exclusively in Canada. It will be sold with plans and also made available outright and unlocked. US customers will get it on Sprint. also sells the phone unlocked but don't expect it to ship anytime soon, customers are complaining their credit cards have been charged and still no response from Essentail after the 7 days the company promised.

An aspirational smartphone like the Essential Phone doesn't come along very often, you really need to see it first hand to appreciate the high degree of craftsmanship it showcases.

It might catch the eye of smartphone purists looking for something different. Personally, I'm apprehensive about buying the first model from a very new company that may not have the support infrastructure to tackle first generation issues. I don't trust TELUS to handle any technical issues or problems directly.

After seeing the Essential Phone, I was happy to see something fresh in the smartphone market. A product that passionate designers and engineers brought to life. Does it solve any of Android's existing problems? Not really. I also couldn't help but wonder why this phone is essential, and what it aims to provide that other similarly expensive Android flagships don't already offer. 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>