After more than a year of marketing, the Essential Phone has definitely arrived out of stock and will not be replenished. The opportunity to take stock of the best smartphone of 2017 while waiting for the next "mobile product" of the manufacturer.
The announcement came late Friday night through a statement: Essential, the start-up of Android co-founder Andy Rubin, announced that the latest copies of Essential Phone had been sold and that the smartphone does not would not be replenished. An announcement that marks the end of the Essential PH-1, but also the first day of the rest of Essential's life.
"We are out of stock of Essential and will not add new ones to our inventory. We are working hard on our next mobile product and will continue to sell accessories and offer quick updates and customer service to our existing community, "said Essential in a statement to the Droid Life website.
A unique smartphone on the market
Released in August 2017, the Essential Phone proposed a very atypical design with its large screen with a single wide bottom edge and a very fine notch, which will eventually be taken over by competing manufacturers a year later. At the time, the iPhone X was not out yet and Essential could boast of being the first manufacturer to offer a design of this type, moreover without affecting the software experience.
In my case, I gave up for the smartphone in the fall of 2017 and it is still the one I use and to which I come back with pleasure as soon as I finished testing a new model for FrAndroid.
Read on FrAndroid: Essential Phone Test (PH-1), the smartphone of the founder of Android
Admittedly, the Essential Phone still suffers, more than a year after its release, touch screen problems that react poorly or a photo quality far from being at the height of a high-end smartphone. Nevertheless, it is still the ideal smartphone for me for two reasons: its compactness and its almost borderless format. Today, high-end smartphones less than 145 mm tall count on the fingers of one hand. This is the case of the Google Pixel 3, the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact or the Essential Phone.
However, unlike the first two, the Essential smartphone has the advantage of offering a comfortable, borderless display. Because after all, what I ask for a smartphone is a screen. I do not need curbs that are mostly a waste of space for me. In this, the Essential Phone was a perfect smartphone: compact for comfortable one-handed use, and design with a good display surface. Today, if I had to change, I would not know which smartphone to turn to find these two assets.
Updates faster than on Android One
Another benefit of the Essential Phone was the speed of updates. Essential's software development team was particularly responsive. I still remember August 6, the evening of the official presentation of Android 9.0 Pie. As soon as the Google announcement was made official, Essential split a note that the update was available.
After going into the parameters to check, I could see that it was indeed the case. The Essential Phone was the first smartphone to benefit from the latest version of Android, along with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL and even before all Android One smartphones, even though the program is supposed to facilitate deployment . Admittedly, offering only one smartphone makes it easy to deploy updates, but at this point I did not expect it.
A mysterious "mobile product"
It is still unclear what the future of Essential will be. In May, Bloomberg announced that the company was for sale and that the second smartphone project had been abandoned. However, in early October, the same agency reported that the manufacturer had finally started the development of a new device centered around artificial intelligence, with a small screen and whose interactions would be done mostly to the voice. At the last day of 2018, we still do not know what it will be, the release of the manufacturer speaking only of a "mobile product" which could be a real smartphone as an accessory like the last phone of Palm.
Still, with his first smartphone, Essential was able to mark the spirits, at least mine, and I dare to imagine that such a promising company, stops in the right way for lack of resources and recognition from the General public. But I can be wrong. After all, before Essential, I was a fanboy of HTC.