TELUS handed me the new and mysterious Essential phone a few weeks ago to test out. I love testing out tech, and I often do so at my own expense just for the fun of it. I’ve used and tested almost every flagship phone on the market, and I currently have three phones on rotation. The Moto Z with the mods (I love the projector and the speaker mods), the Samsung S8+ for obvious reasons, but with all that bloatware, it can get annoying and now the very sleek Essential phone.
To brag a bit, I had the Essential phone 1-week before it came out here in Canada. It was the first time I had an embargo on a tech review. My cue was to wait for the famous Unbox Therapy to post his unboxing.
A bit of Background:
The Essential phone is lead by the genius tech entrepreneur that created the Android OS, Andy Rubin. Depending on he responds to some of the phone’s criticism; I have my money on him to be the next big tech hero we’ve all been waiting for. The company motto; “An entirely new type of company, creating solutions for the way people live in the 21st century.” Pretty cool Andy!
I was impressed the second I opened the box. There is no denying that the Essential phone is one of the nicest phones on the market, if not the nicest one. True to the name of the company, only the essentials are found in the box. A nice weaved type-c cable with the adapter, a type c dongle for your headphones a pin to remove the Sim card slot and of course the phone. No booklets, stickers or anything else at all. What was cool was that the phone itself had nothing printed on it. No logo, no fine print or anything – The Essential phone is clean. But I did notice two small pins on the backside for modular add-ons, like the Essential 360-degree camera. Check out Unbox Therapy‘s unboxing below:
At First Launch:
Starting it up for the first time is always fun! The minimal bezels really shine out once the screen is illuminated. You can see how amazing it is to hold a phone with very little wasted space. The Samsung S8+ has very small bezels too, but the more square form factor of the Essential phone gives it a very different feel. After you set up your fingerprint (which is super smooth by the way), the phone quickly starts up, and you notice how clean the OS is. I’ve never seen a phone with true stock Android upon start-up before. I even had to download some of the essential Google apps to get it all started. If you like your daily phone to be clean, quick and easy to use, this could be it.
After a Week:
It was a really fun week seeing if the Essential phone would keep up with my daily needs. With all the flagship specs, of course, it kept up. Snapdragon 835, 4 GB RAM, 13-MP camera, a decent 3,040 mAh battery and 128 GB storage! I loved how clean the phone was, and it was very easy to switch on and off with the fingerprint sensor being at a reasonable spot in the back and not next to the camera like the Samsung models.
The feel of the phone is very premium (thanks to the titanium and ceramic materials used to build it instead of plastic/aluminium and glass), and I loved holding it. A bit heavier than some of the other phones but I appreciated that in my larger hands. I felt like I had something of value!
The phone comes with dual 13-MP cameras for two modes, one in colour (RGB) and the other in black and white (monochrome). I’m not a big black and white photo taker, but after seeing how fantastic it was, I was taking a lot of monochrome photos. If you’re one to take pics and edit them to be monochrome, I will consider this phone for this functionality.
In The End:
The Essential phone, which can be exclusively found in Canada at TELUS is a pretty great phone with a lot of potentials. The phone was released with an update that improved a lot of the basic features like the camera and with the smallest 360 camera in the world that attaches to the phone, taking pics is going to be a lot of fun with the Essential. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a clean Android phone that feels amazing and works all time.
Some images from the Essential that I shared on my Instagram: