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Essential Phone compared with Google Pixel XL

Author: Arvin Dingcheng
by Arvin Dingcheng
Posted: Sep 27, 2017

If you have more than a passing interest in the Android space, you're probably familiar with Google's Pixel series. It's only been in existence for one generation, but Google made a pretty big song and dance about it when it launched in late 2016 and it was the successor model to the firm's long-standing and well-established Nexus range, replacing that range with a new brand. The intent of the Pixel range was to be more consumer-facing and less developer focused (as the Nexus had been), essentially Google's shot at the iPhone. Whether that has worked is debatable, however, but again, it's sort of early days for the Pixel and Pixel XL as only one iteration has been released to date.

That's soon going to change though, with the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 just around the corner. The duo are expected to launch in early October with a whole heap of new tech and features onboard. The Pixel 2 series, however, has more competition than ever laying in wait for it - a brand new iPhone X on top of the iPhone 8 series, the new Nokia 8, the LG V30, OnePlus 5, and of course Samsung's Galaxy S8 series and recently launched Galaxy Note 8.

But there's another fresh-faced contender on the scene as well; the Essential Phone.

The Essential Phone, or rather the Essential PH-1 as it is officially called, is the brainchild of Andy Rubin, who was one of the co-creators of Android back in the day and is considered by many to be the true "father" of the platform even though Google now firmly holds the reins of its global success.

After helping launch Android and making millions in the process, Rubin left to pursue his own projects, eventually creating Essential. The PH-1 is the first mobile samsung galaxy s7 battery replacement from the company.

The Essential PH-1 is based on Android just like Google's own Pixel and Pixel XL.

The Essential Phone has begun shipping to pre-order customers, with the company confirming the fact in a Tweet. Essential began taking pre-orders just over a week ago and customers received notifications via email that their devices would be shipping within a week of those initial orders. The Tweet confirms Essential is following up on those plans.

"We're beginning to ship Essential Phone! Please look out for an email today with tracking info. We appreciate everyone's patience!"

I’m a big fan of the Pixel line of phones. I’ve used them for almost 12 months now and, while they’re not perfect, not by a long shot, they are very solid Android phones that perform in all the right areas – battery life, software, imaging and overall processing grunt.

They are duller than a sack of porridge, however, and this, in my opinion, is one area where Google has to really pull its finger out in 2017. The handsets don’t really have anything about them that stands out. This is one area where the Essential Phone excels; it looks amazing in the flesh – even more so when you place it next to the Pixel.

The Pixel 2 handsets will likely be the first to run Android Oreo as well, and with the update now official, a launch for the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 cannot be too far away – they could drop at any moment.

Up until about a week ago, I was convinced I’d be using the Pixel 2 throughout the remainder of 2017 and 2018. But then I saw the Essential Phone PH-1 and, well… I was kinda swayed by its good looks, styling, and pure approach to software.

New Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 phones are going to launch in Q4 2017, most likely October 5, but until they do the nearest competitors for the Essential PH-1 are the existing Pixel devices, the first-gen Pixel phones which launched around the same time in 2016.

Google has now begun rolling out Android Oreo to Pixel note 5 battery replacement in the UK. I know this because my Pixel XL received the update this morning, adding in a bunch of new features and software-design tweaks.

Verizon pushed the update out last week, and in doing so, managed to beat Google, which is very impressive given the networks sketchy past history with updates.

If you’re rocking an unlocked Google Pixel in the UK, Android Oreo should be with you very shortly.

Android 8.0, aka Android Oreo, is now rolling out to Google Pixel and Pixel XL handsets across the world. We've seen the software already rolling out to Verizon-based Pixel phones in the US, but now it's going global. It's also landing on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The update should be landing over-the-air, although you may have to go into your updates panel in the Settings menu and give it a little nudge. Google has also uploaded the factory image files and OTA files for those who want to manually update.

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Author: Arvin Dingcheng

Arvin Dingcheng

Member since: Aug 15, 2017
Published articles: 81

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