Essential is a unique case in the smartphone world. It was a startup smartphone company started by one of the founders of Android: Andy Rubin. The company went on to become a unicorn startup: a company whose valuation broke $1 billion even before it made any revenue.
Initial reception of the company’s first phone last summer was mostly positive. The phone’s hardware was uniquely made of a titanium frame with a ceramic back plate. It was also the first company to “notch” the display even before Apple’s infamous ‘screen horns’ on the iPhone X. For the record, Essential’s notch was the least intrusive implementation of the front-facing camera and necessary sensors.
As the reviews came out, there was a common theme: the camera did not perform well. Since its launch, the company has been working hard to update the PH-1’s software to the latest version and currently sits on Android 8.1. A host of improvements to the camera have also been made, but they weren’t enough to bring the Essential phone’s camera up to par with other 2017 flagship cameras like the Galaxy S8, LG V30, or the Pixel 2.
Essential told Business Insider that the company has heard the complaints about the camera loud and clear and is working towards a better camera.
In general, one thing that we got hit hard with was the quality of our camera, and we’re really looking forward to improving that with our next-gen, making sure that we’re listening to our customers and their pain points… We’re going to make it better for you. – Linda Jiang, head of industrial design at Essential
Essential didn’t say anything more about the PH-1’s successor. It also didn’t say if we can expect another summertime launch – Essential has only released one phone and we don’t know if it will be an annual affair or if the company has some other time frame in mind. Otherwise, Essential is looking to develop new coatings and textures of the ceramic plate to make the phone less slippery and less fingerprint-y.
I do want them to improve the camera but I think the primary focus should be on something else. I could be wrong but I doubt they have the resources of Samsung, Apple, Google, Sony (on their latest flagship), Huawei (on the P20, and P20 pro), an...
I bought an Essential after the price drops, and I'm extremely happy with it. The camera could be better, and I would've liked waterproofing and a headphone jack, but for the price nothing comes close. The look and feel in person makes other phones...