It took a few months, longer than Essential certainly wanted, but the company’s first smartphone, the Essential Phone, finally made it to market. Thanks in part to a carrier agreement with Sprint, the smartphone that drastically reduces bezels and aims to connect a ton of smart products, especially in the home, is out there in the real world.
Welcome a new challenger and all that.
A recent report outlined that Essential has sold only 5,000 units since launch. That isn’t a lot of phones, but honestly when it comes to a startup (even one led by Andy Rubin), and one that has to go up against brand new phones from Samsung, LG, and Apple, well, that’s 5,000 sales that won’t go to the competition at least. Is it good enough for Essential? Probably not. But the company will probably not shutter its doors immediately. Hopefully we get one more flagship from the company, and maybe we can see how their connected universe pans out.
The other element of the Essential Phone that I can't help but have questions about, is its modular-friendly design. Right now that just consists of a 360-degree camera, which, like all the other accessories that will eventually see the light of day, connect at the top-right corner of the phone.
The only commercial that I've seen for the Essential Phone (I'm honestly a little surprised that I've seen even one commercial for the phone) has the 360-degree camera the main focus of the ad. The phone obviously plays a part, but the fact that you can quickly show off the entire area around you, just with the attachable camera, was really the primary element. I honestly don't even remember if the ad shows off the phone in any meaningful capacity, which seems like a strange thing to do when selling a phone.
Is the modular design a primary focus for owners out there? I don't think it's as big a deal as, say, Motorola, considering it has its whole Moto Mods endeavor going on. But Essential does have a plan for that design choice, and so I'm wondering if customers are already buying into it.
Either way, I’m rooting for them. But I want to hear from the folks who bought an Essential Phone. I want to know if the phone held up to any hype you might have thought it had. If it matched your own excitement, even. Is this a phone that has made you a lifelong fan of Essential?
More than that, though, I want to hear if the Essential Phone is a device you kept. After how ever many days you owned one, and used one, did it check mark all the boxes you needed it to? If you did keep it, do you think you will for a full year? Let me know!