Essential Phone release date, price, and availability: all we know so far

It was May 30 when the Essential Phone was officially announced. Its unveiling was a big deal – not only because we rarely see a new company entering the smartphone market, and not only because the phone itself was looking top notch, with premium, modern design, high-end hardware specs, and clean Android software to top it all off. The excitement around the young company and its first mobile product was also fueled by the fact that Andy Rubin, often referred to as the "father" of Android, is the man in charge of Essential. In other words, this phone had to be good if it was conceived by the man who brought to life the world's most popular mobile OS, right?

But then the hype started to fade. It has been 48 days since the Essential Phone's public unveiling, and news regarding its launch have been anything but scarce. So we decided to put everything we know about the Essential Phone release in once place. Here it goes.

Where is the Essential Phone going to be available?

Of course, the Essential Phone is launching in the US. It will be available through the company's website, and those who wish to buy one may pre-order it – unlocked and ready to work on any major US carrier. Alternatively, you will be able to buy an Essential Phone from Sprint when it is released, meaning that you will be able to actually see the phone at one of the carrier's retail stores prior to buying it. Best Buy will have the handset on sale as well, offered with service from the same carrier.

Folks in Canada will be able to grab an Essential Phone exclusively through TELUS. Pre-orders aren't accepted yet, but you may register to receive an email notification when the phone becomes available to order.

Earlier today it was announced that the Essential Phone is also coming to the UK. It will be available on EE, though other carriers are also expected to offer the device. The phone is also coming to Japan and markets in Western Europe. 

It is important to note that for now, orders placed through Essential's website will ship solely within the States. 

How much will the Essential Phone cost?

On its own, the Essential Phone currently costs $699 if ordered from the company's official web page. An extra $50 gets you a snap-on 360-degree camera. Sprint and Best Buy have not disclosed their pricing yet. Same goes for TELUS in Canada, EE in the UK, or any Japanese or European carrier expected to launch the handset. In any case, it isn't going to be cheap.

When is the Essential Phone going to launch?

That is the $50,000 question for tonight, folks! During an interview with Walt Mossberg back in May, Andy Rubin was asked the same thing, and he responded with a brief "soon." Then he added the following: "You can reserve it now, and I wouldn't take reservations if it wasn't going to ship in 30 days or so." It has been 48 days since Andy made this statement. 

As you can imagine, many are starting to wonder what's the hold-up with the Essential Phone, even though Rubin never committed to a specific release date. What we know officially is that the phone is coming this summer – probably sooner than later, as the Essential Phone release was called "imminent" by one of the company's executives. 

What's causing the delay? We aren't exactly sure, and Essential hasn't responded to any of our invitations to comment on the matter. One obstacle that comes to mind is that ceramic – the material that the Essential Phone's back is made of – can be difficult to manufacture to tolerances needed for such a product. Another is that soon after the phone's announcement, Essential was accused of trademark infringement by accessory maker Spigen, and that case could be taking longer to settle. Whatever the case is, we'd rather have Essential release its Phone late than never. 

Related phones

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



1. kiko007

Posts: 7518; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I can appreciate stock Android in a bezeless form factor, but that cutout is absurdly ugly. I'd rather have more bezel up top than that crap. Same with the iPhone 8, but at least that cutout is KINDA futuristic looking. This one just look awful.

7. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Both look like crap, there's no excuse for either. If they were going to put a giant status bar up there to cover it up, then why have screen there at all.

8. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Yeah, what's the point of left over screen, it's unusable.

16. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

I think it looks like the best implementation

9. kiko007

Posts: 7518; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I mean... the status bar was gonna be there anyways. On Android I think expanded desktop eliminates that to an extent. Not sure if iOS has a version of that.

14. jjface

Posts: 251; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

Yes would have looked so much better with more top bezel!

17. michaelny2001

Posts: 336; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

my issue is that for a newcomer 700 is tax. nah, i'll pass. He should have had an agressive price point like the nexus.

2. fyah_king unregistered

Can't wait to get one.

3. JasontheVeteran

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

You can't trademark the word Essential. It's a common use word. I suspect it's a design issue or a manufacturing issue. Spigen will find that out soon enough and have their trademark name for the Essential Case invalidated. Otherwise Apple would ban the sale of Apples at every grocery store, market, etc.

12. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"Essential Case" it isn't even a Case, Essential is name for Spigen's powerbank and wireless headphones.. and both product isn't even well known (tbh, I never know that spigen make powerbank or headphones before this "essential" naming problem)

4. iczer

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

This thing looks better than iPhone 8! Why manufacturers are so obsessed with bezels?? I don't like this trend!!

5. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

$699 i kinda steep pricing for a newcomer brand.

6. joey18

Posts: 668; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

Is beautyfull better then iphone 8 rumors

10. diggie32

Posts: 388; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

As soon as there were rumors of a bezelless iPhone, guess what copy cat Android does. "but Android did it first"

11. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

If you're going to troll, at least try to be funny.

13. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Vaporware so far

15. Greenmule

Posts: 129; Member since: Apr 24, 2017

"What's causing the delay? We aren't exactly sure," It's money. The "android flagship" space is way overcrowded and looks can only take you so far. As you can tell, not everyone likes the look of the Essential phone. Slow pre-orders, and Sprint as the "exclusive" carrier; if you were selling Andy Rubin phone component(s), would you want to know how/when you were going to get paid?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.