Unlocked Essential Phone launches today, Sprint version goes on pre-order

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Announced at the end of May, the Essential Phone is now finally available to buy online - one day earlier than expected. For now, only the unlocked version of the handset can be bought right away, and you'll have to get it from Essential's own website - see the first source below.

Priced at $699, the new smartphone is compatible with all major US carriers. For a limited time, you can buy the Essential Phone with Essential's 360-degree camera module for $749 (normally, the two products would cost $898). Folks who had previously registered for the Essential Phone should expect to receive it in the coming days, too, after completing their purchase.

Best Buy is also getting ready to sell the Essential Phone. Right now, however, the retailer only says that the handset is "coming soon."

If you're a Sprint customer, you may be glad to find out that the Essential Phone is exclusively coming to your carrier. As of today, Sprint is taking pre-orders for the device, mentioning that "full retail availability in expected within a few weeks." For a limited time, Sprint lets you get the new handset for $14.58 per month and $0 down with 18 Sprint Flex Lease payments (though this means you're only leasing the phone, so you won't own it after 18 months). If you want to actually buy the Essential Phone from Sprint, its full price will be $699.

Essential is a company founded and led by Andy Rubin, known to many as the father of Android. The first Essential handset runs near stock Android 7 Nougat, and offers many high-end features, including a 5.7-inch near-bezel-less display with 1312 x 2560 pixels, a Snapdragon 835 CPU, a titanium and ceramic body, and 128 GB of storage space. Essential guarantees that the handset will receive "Android OS updates for 2 years" plus "monthly security updates for 3 years."

Do let us know if you're planning to purchase this very first Essential phone, will you?

sources: Essential, Essential Blog, Sprint, Best Buy
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