The Essential Phone will be updated directly to Android 8.1 Oreo (instead of 8.0 Oreo)
If you own an Essential Phone, we have important news to share with you - both good, and bad. The good news is that Essential is updating its smartphone from Android 7.1 Nougat directly to Android 8.1 Oreo, thus skipping on the initially-promised update to the older version of Oreo (8.0). The bad news is that this is delaying the public release of the update "by a couple of weeks."
Essential Phone owners will be able to download Android 8.1 Oreo, but this should happen sometime in February anyway.
Meanwhile, Essential is fine-tuning Android 8.1, and will launch a beta build for interested users to test it and provide feedback. Hopefully, everything goes as planned, and the final Oreo update will be available to everyone soon.
source: Essential (Twitter)