Essential recently released its third Android Oreo beta for the Essential Phone and said that a public Oreo update was "very close." Now it looks like Essential's plans have changed.
Essential has announced that it's opting instead to release Android 8.1 for the Essential Phone instead of Android 8.0, which its previous betas were based on. This means that the public release of Oreo for the Essential Phone will be delayed "a couple weeks."
As for why this decision was made, Essential says that it's found "several stability issues" in Android 8.0 that it thinks will be fixed in Android 8.1.
An Android 8.1 beta update will be released for the Essential Phone soon so that Essential can fine-tune Oreo before its released to the public.
This news is disappointing for Essential Phone owners, but it actually seems like it a smart move for Essential. Rather than pushing out an Android 8.0 update with known stability issues and then dealing with all that, it can wait a few weeks and push out an Android 8.1 update with those bugs squashed. Meanwhile, Essential Phone owners have to extend their wait a bit, but that means that they'll get a better update that also happens to be the newest version of Android.