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#4651599 - 01/30/18 09:40 PM Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone)
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 395
Loc: MN
I know there's probably not many here that care much about their phone. I typically run my phones on a 2 year cycle, I'm a heavy user and they're just tired at that point. I don't mind getting a new one every couple years, I almost never buy the "best and most expensive" but I do like having a flagship phone.

I'm coming from years of owning LG phones: first the G2, then the G3, lastly my G5. I loved all of them but wasn't thrilled with any of the current options. I have no interest in Apple, nor do I care for Samsung phones.

I do, however, love "quirky" things. This led me to the Essential phone. The PH-1 (PH-ONE, get it?) was created by Andy Rubin, one of the founders of Android. It has top of the line specs, simply unreal build quality and materials, and my favorite feature: an almost edge to edge display.

Since I'm a Sprint customer I was able to get it for $6/mo on promo, which is MORE than fair for something this good. It is available unlocked, normally $499 but I saw Amazon was running a sale recently. The company and the phone have had some growing pains, but it's developed almost a cult-like following since it's release.

Essential Website

Take a look, even if you just enjoy neat technology.
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#4651609 - 01/30/18 09:59 PM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4384
Loc: Taiwan
I just lost my phone, so if it doesn't turn up in a week or two I suppose I'll have to get another, which is why I looked at this post.

There is no way I would pay $500 for something that vulnerable. That's more than I normally expect to pay for a car.

I did buy my GF a new iPhone once and inside a week she'd accidentally gone kayaking with it. Never again.

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#4651619 - 01/30/18 10:19 PM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
dishdude Online   content


Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 8757
Loc: Phoenix
I remember thinking Apple stole the screen design for the iPhone X camera cutout from this phone.
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#4651623 - 01/30/18 10:24 PM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: Ducked]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 395
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: Ducked
I just lost my phone, so if it doesn't turn up in a week or two I suppose I'll have to get another, which is why I looked at this post.

There is no way I would pay $500 for something that vulnerable. That's more than I normally expect to pay for a car.

I did buy my GF a new iPhone once and inside a week she'd accidentally gone kayaking with it. Never again.


I totally understand. The biggest selling point of this phone was the lease deal. $6 a month was a risk I was willing to take on an unproven, basically unknown phone. I can turn it back in at the end of the year, and at worst I'm out $72 to basically "rent" the phone for a year.

That being said, for $435 on Amazon right now it's still a smoking deal considering the hardware.
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#4651627 - 01/30/18 10:27 PM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: dishdude]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 395
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: dishdude
I remember thinking Apple stole the screen design for the iPhone X camera cutout from this phone.


Forgot to multi-quote! You're right, except Apple had already gotten their design down I believe. I've used the X, and I don't care for it. I much prefer the single lens on the PH-1, granted it doesn't have all that fancy "face lock" nonsense, but who needs it. I also like the small bezel on the PH-1, versus the X. My fingers would accidentally trigger actions by bumping the bottom of the screen on the iPhone.
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#4651704 - 01/31/18 03:54 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
The Critic Online   crying


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 19809
Loc: CA
I love the look of this phone. But according to ifixit’s teardown, this phone is less repairable than most smartphones on the market today:

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Essential+Phone+Teardown/96764
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#4651794 - 01/31/18 08:25 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
geekster Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 225
Loc: where the wind blows....OK
I agree the build quality is the best I've seen. I purchased one and loved the feel of it. I am on T-Mobile and was unable to get it to stay locked on the cell towers. It would jump from service to no service constantly. Took it back to BestBuy and swapped it out. The same thing happened. I talked to Essential and went through all the setting and still couldn't get it to work for me. I was disapointed because I truly loved the device. Traded it for a Pixel 2 and I'm happy. Glad it works for you. I'm a little jealous.


Edited by geekster (01/31/18 08:25 AM)
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#4651871 - 01/31/18 09:32 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: The Critic]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 395
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: The Critic
I love the look of this phone. But according to ifixit’s teardown, this phone is less repairable than most smartphones on the market today:

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Essential+Phone+Teardown/96764


Essential responded to ifixit's teardown and explained that they had sent specific instructions on how to open the phone and repair it. Ifixit ignored them and ruined the phone in the process. Several videos have been made showing how to properly open the phone and it's actually quite repairable!
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#4651878 - 01/31/18 09:39 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
KrisZ Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 7473
Loc: Toronto, Canada
It's a pretty interesting device, but it was out of my price range. Also, I'm not exactly sure I would like the edges to edge display for everyday use. I played with the latest Galaxy and I kept making phantom inputs at the edge of the screen.
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#4651883 - 01/31/18 09:42 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 35885
Loc: Great Lakes
Looks nice, but I'm not ready to plunk down $400+ for it. Are there any deals going on? I'm on Verizon.
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#4651885 - 01/31/18 09:43 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: KrisZ]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 35885
Loc: Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
Also, I'm not exactly sure I would like the edges to edge display for everyday use. I played with the latest Galaxy and I kept making phantom inputs at the edge of the screen.

Good point. I wonder if there is a setting that can take care of this?
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#4651902 - 01/31/18 09:56 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 35885
Loc: Great Lakes
This review seems to be very critical of the phone's camera. Is it really that bad?

The camera on my Nexus 5X isn't particularly quick either. You take 2-3 pics in quick succession and you can't take any more because the camera seems to be busy doing HDR post-processing or something else...

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#4651968 - 01/31/18 11:03 AM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 395
Loc: MN
I have had zero issues with phantom inputs due to the edge to edge display. I had the same issue when I played with the Galaxy.

The camera certainly isn't perfect, but it's perfectly usable. Essential has already updated the camera app twice and it's improved significantly.
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#4652255 - 01/31/18 03:45 PM Re: Essential PH-1: Review (Cell Phone) [Re: 14Accent]
geekster Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 225
Loc: where the wind blows....OK
The camera has certainly gotten tons better since initial release. I honestly had no problems with it when I had it. Now my Pixel 2 (non XL) that camera is stellar.
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