Essential launches Halo Gray phone with Amazon Alexa built in

Just one day after unveiling three fresh color variants of the Essential Phone, Essential today announced yet another new version of the handset. Called Halo Gray, the new model is unique because it comes with Amazon Alexa built in – thus offering an alternative to Google Assistant (the virtual assistant that’s already available on all other color variants of the Essential Phone).  
The Halo Gray Essential Phone – pictured above and below – doesn’t seem to be too different from the Stellar Gray model unveiled yesterday. According to Essential, the design …

The Essential Phone now has new (and more expensive) limited color editions

Essential just announced that it’s launching three new color versions of its very first smartphone – the Essential Phone. While we’ve already seen two of these colors (Stellar Gray and Ocean Depths), the third one – Copper Black – was never revealed before today.
All these are limited edition colors, only “a small batch of each” has been made, so they might not be available for long. Essential explains this by the fact that it’s difficult to develop custom colors for the ceramic back of its handset. 
Interestingly, …

Android 8.1 Oreo beta starts rolling out to the Essential Phone

Essential has just announced that Android 8.1 Oreo is now available for the Essential Phone in the beta form. The US company confirmed last month that it will update the flagship directly to Android 8.1 Oreo, thus skipping Android 8.0.

The first beta build of Android 8.l Oreo is being pushed OTA (over the air) to those who’ve been using beta builds of Android 8.0. Otherwise, you’ll have to download the file from Essential’s website and flash it manually on your smartphone.

We also have a complete changelog that contains all the new stuff added by Essential, such as smart text selection, …

Essential says "a new wave" is coming on February 15 – will we see a new phone?

Several months back, Essential confirmed that it was working on a next-generation handset, saying that this should be easier to repair than the original Essential Phone. Now, the company is getting ready to announce something on February 15 – that’s Thursday – and this might have something to do with a new smartphone. 
Essential took to Twitter to inform the world that “a new wave [of something] is coming” on February 15. The company also shared an image – seen above – showing what resembles the fingerprint scanner of the first Essential Phone. This could mean …

IDC: Pixel shipments surge, Essential phone lags in 2017

A couple of tweets from IDC”s research director Francisco Jeronimo, revealed that Google doubled the number of Pixel handsets it shipped last year to 3.9 million handsets. That is a strong performance on an annual basis, but the Pixel made up just a small percentage of the global market. In fact, it is less than 1%. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL didn’t launch until the fourth quarter of 2017 which means that much of the strong showing was due to sales of the original generation models.

The Pixel handsets have a way to go to compete with the likes of the iPhone and the Galaxy S line. Of course, …

Essential Phone now comes with free 4K 360-degree camera ($179 value)

The Essential Phone is one of the cheapest flagships you can buy in the United States at the moment. Moreover, the handset is not even one year old and its price has already been permanently cut by $200.

When Essential launched its first smartphone, it went on sale for $700, but possibly due to low customer interest it dropped the price down to just $500. The Essential Phone is available for this price at various US retailers, but Essential’s online store is selling it for $500 as well.

However, if you want a slightly better deal, you can have the Essential Phone along with a 360-degree …

Essential Camera update adds AutoHDR mode and new HDR algorithm

The Essential Phone may not be the perfect flagship, but the folks behind it are trying to make it better and better. One aspect that Essential needed to improved considerably, the camera is now getting another software update that should provide Essential Phone users with more options when taking pictures.

This isn’t the first nor the last update the Essential Camera app gets, but it’s definitely an important one since it brings a couple of new major features. Firstly, the update adds an AutoHDR mode and a new HDR algorithm that should improve performance, capture speed, and scene rendering.

These …

Essential Phone is among the first to receive the February security patch

Google released the February security patch yesterday, so supported Nexus and Pixel devices were the first to receive the update. Today, Essential announced its smartphone is getting a similar security update right now.

The software update is known as build NMK24B and, according to Essential, is being rolled out in OTA (over the air) as we speak. Despite the fact that Essential has been delaying the release of Android Oreo for weeks, the US company is keeping its customers up to date with the latest security improvements.

In case you missed it, Essential Phone won’t be getting an …

Essential Phone's Camera app improved with grid options in latest update

Ever since its commercial launch, the Essential Phone has received lots of criticism for its lackluster camera software. However, Andy Rubin & Co. have been hard at work trying to address these concerns, and we’re happy to say that the handset’s Camera app has been updated yet again.

The latest patch brings along grid options. As you might know, the camera grid divides the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically, which allows users to better compose their shots. Also included are various stability fixes. 

The …

Essential updates its Camera app with even more improvements

Although the Essential Phone has been criticized for its camera and software, Andy Rubin’s company has been hard at work trying to address these concerns since the smartphone was launched on the market.

Another step towards fixing all these issues with the Essential Phone has been made recently, as the Camera app of the handset received an update that further improves some of the existent features.

Firstly, Essential has added App shortcut support for mono, selfie and portrait modes. Also, the Camera Roll performance has been improved, along with the 360 image preview. Finally, many …