Essential Phone is getting closer to meeting the grim reaper

Essential Phone is getting closer to meeting the grim reaper
Nearly two years ago, word first leaked that Andy Rubin, the man known for fathering Android, would be making a new flagship phone. This device was expected to have an edge-to-edge display, and would challenge the Apple iPhone and other high-end handsets. In August 2017, the Essential Phone was launched. And while it did feature an edge-to-edge display and a small notch, the phone never was able to compete with other flagship and high-end handsets.

Now, it appears as though the Essential Phone is on life support. As spotted by Droid Life, the phone is now listed as being out of stock on Essential's own website. Outside of some third party resellers, Amazon doesn't list the phone and Best Buy's website shows that the unlocked variant is no longer offered by the big box retailer. And at the Sprint website, the page for the phone comes up with no picture, no pricing and no information about the device (see image at the bottom of this article).

So what is next for Essential? Reportedly, the company is working on an AI powered handset with a small screen that uses voice commands to navigate. The device will book appointments, and answer emails and texts without requiring any help from the owner of the phone. There is some talk that Essential will demo this product out of public view at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month.

Related phones

  • Display 5.7" 1312 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 128GB
  • Battery 3040 mAh



1. libra89

Posts: 2335; Member since: Apr 15, 2016


11. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I don't quite understand why they are trying to kick Essential when they are down. It's not like they haven't improved the device, which they have, and have kept it up to date far better than Android One phones who were getting late security updates and whatnot.

18. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It's just the tech media these days only catering to the majors. Essential made a great device but failed at pricing it correctly. They gave up too early. Oneplus started with barely anything and they're pretty profitable now. Just a lack of vision and follow through.

21. Feanor

Posts: 1429; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

OnePlus -like many Chinese brands- have endless money. Also they are not really a startup, they are part of a big Chinese conglomerate.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 22773; Member since: May 28, 2014

Such a shame what's happening with the Essential Phone, but with it launching with its myriad of issues, high price and weak availability, they essentially shot themselves in the foot. They've taken many steps to correct these issues, but it was unfortunately too late. This could have been a great alternative to the Pixel line, otherwise.

4. matistight

Posts: 1054; Member since: May 13, 2009

Sprints site is trash anyways, so that part might be a coincidence. Their site doesn't work properly at night.

8. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Properly at night? Lol when does it ever work? They can't even get their network right.

6. p51d007

Posts: 705; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I bought one during the "fire sale" but couldn't really use it, because of the known weak signal reception in places I've never had such an issue. Other than that it was a pretty good phone, not in the closet as an emergency backup.

10. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Yeah T-Mobile network can be pretty spotty.

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 22773; Member since: May 28, 2014

Yeah, it has that documented issue of not being able to connect to T-Mobiles network properly. This is clearly an Essential Phone issue since other smartphones on T-Mobiles network don’t suffer from this. Wonder what’s different with the Essential Phone that prevents it from doing so?

24. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

It's like I said before, T-Mobile has documented issues with their network that some people are trying to dodge from admitting.

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 22773; Member since: May 28, 2014

It’s like I said before, this is a well documented issue on Essentials part that some people are trying to dodge from admitting.

7. ullokey

Posts: 185; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

It was a pretty good phone but with some kinks which should have been ironed out before release. But what essentially killed the phone was websites like PhoneArena which gave them vastly negative reviews and not the long rope that they give phones from Apple, Samsung etc

9. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. They unfairly trashed the Essential phone when it has been improved at lot since then.

12. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

It sucks to see the Essential phone not get the respect it deserves. It is a great alternative to the Pixel phones and Android One phones beating many of them to the Pie update and not withholding it for nefarious reasons along with MONTHLY security updates. Certainly has come a long way from the purported myriad of issues with a phone that is unlocked for ALL carriers with a stock interface.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22773; Member since: May 28, 2014

This could have been such a great phone, but between all of the issues I mentioned in my comment #2, along with the fact that speedy updates were often marred by more issues, greatness was not meant to be for the Essential Phone. I’ve always said that being first with updates doesn’t mean a thing if the updates keep bringing a set of fresh issues with them. There won’t be an Essential Phone 2 because the handling of these issues were too little too late, but here’s to hoping that Essential has learned from this for their next project (which unfortunately won’t be another smartphone).

19. perry1234

Posts: 654; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

I was sincerely hoping that Essential would put their failures and the knowledge gained, to another Essential flagship phone. I think they are giving up way too early and , assuming that this article is 100% accurate, I think their current road-map is going to cause them a lot of trouble down the road. "Reportedly, the company is working on an AI powered handset with a small screen that uses voice commands to navigate". Small screen and voice commands to navigate ? Unless you make something really mind-blowing, I think this is a recipe for disaster. As market trend shows, people are increasingly getting used to a larger screen, since screen to body ratio is on the rise and will be so for the foreseeable future. Plus , smartphone gaming needs a 5.5 + inch screen for a reasonably good experience, and this trend is getting a huge push with the advent of games like Fortnite and PUBG. Additionally, a small screen will affect other key aspects like media consumption too. Also, I don't remember anyone having problems using their fingers to navigate. Solving a problem that does not exist, can backfire horribly. Moreover, I am unsure of the reliability of this method. Even Google Assistant in all its glory misreads voice commands sometimes, and using voice for something essential (excuse the pun) like UI navigation , it better have 99.999% accuracy...I would like to be proven wrong by Essential, but I don't see how this could go well in most scenarios (except for differently-abled people who have lost the use for their fingers...) Essential seems to be repeating their key mistake again : Ignoring key gripes of smartphone consumers and doing something very new without sufficient experience or expertise.

20. Vogue1985 unregistered

Sad, it was way ahead of the pack design wise, almost no bezel teardrop camera, clean OS setup, solid build. Am very sad about this.

23. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

An iphone wanna be with a killer chin. Burn to the dead. This phone is anither andorid garbage.

25. Venom

Posts: 3966; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

It amazes me when people over exaggerate things with Essential that no longer are issues. That and the fake sincerity. It's so obvious from a mile away that a blindfolded blind man can see it. For the most part, Pie has been fairly smooth. The Essential phone isn't marred down by a paltry 32GB of storage and 3gb of RAM that leads to some lag and chugging on a stock interface. Essential phone did more things right as a newcomer than most other newcomer OEMs.

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 22773; Member since: May 28, 2014

It amazes me when some people can’t accept the fact an OEM’s product that they favor has suffered from a multitude of issues that are not over exaggerated. Then they get triggered when someone they don’t like shows sincerity towards Essential. That’s just ridiculous and absurd. It’s also been documented that Essential launched Pie with issues, despite what some people deflecting from this fact by listing a storage option will lead you to believe. Essential has unfortunately done too many things wrong (from buggy software to hardware issues to launching with a high price for a newcomer to weak availability), and it has had too negative an impact on them that they just couldn’t overcome, unlike other newcomers to the smartphone world that are now a top 10 smartphone OEM.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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