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Essential Phone User Reviews

9.7 Based on 12 Reviews

Overall user rating

The overall rating is the average of all user reviews, while the overall alternatives are the ones that has been listed most.

Call quality9.7/10
Battery8.9/10
Reception9.4/10
Display9.8/10
Build quality10/10
Text input9.3/10
Everyday usage9.8/10
UI speed9.8/10
Camera7.8/10
Multimedia9.9/10
Internet10/10

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Please note that each user review reflects the opinion of its respectful author and not of Phone Arena.

bbslimer
posted on 03 May 2018, 12:28 (Posts: 13; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)

10

really great for the money

bbslimer has owned it for less than month before publishing this review

I had a lot of concerns about the phone before buying it. I was pleasantly surprised!! It has blown away my expectations and at an incredible price. The camera works really well (although I did add googles app as well). It's just so easy to hold compared to past phones I have had... super good build quality.. I do wish it had a headphone jack... With all the updates that it got, I have not had any issues so far... I will say it may get slightly worse reception in general than my last phone (MotoX Pure) but haven't had any issues... If you have TOTALWIRELESS, you may need to turn off the enhanced 4G feature. I couldn't place calls at first but as soon as I turned that off it worked great...

Build quality 10/10
Reception 9/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 9/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 10/10

Pros

  • Easy to hold
  • great performance
  • Camera is Good
  • screen is large (but phone is small)

Cons

  • Not many case options
  • Could have better reception

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DocOc
posted on 18 Jan 2018, 12:24 (Posts: 143; Member since: 23 Apr 2014)

10

Better than flagships for half the price

DocOc has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review

I really don't know why people are so fussy about this phone's camera. I have not had one problem with the camera app the photos the phone produces have been the best I've ever seen. This is a phone camera, not a DSLR. No phone camera will ever be "professional" quality. The build is the best in the industry. Every phone attracts fingerprints. I'm not sure why people complain about this. I have a case on mine so it's not an issue. The look is unique enough but very classy. The screen is very bright and clear even on the dimmer side of the setting. Operation is very fast and smooth. Tons of storage and no bloat. Call quality and reception is excellent. I usually go about two days on a charge which is excellent and it charges very quickly. I only have one complaint and it is very minor, but the fingerprint scanner doesn't work when the phone is charging. There is probably a reason for that or maybe a setting I have not found yet. In conclusion, this phone is comparable to all the other flagships out there in terms of performance and build and even beats them in some categories. I highly recommend it...don't listen to all the nitpicky complaints. Most of them are imagined.

Build quality 10/10
Reception 10/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 9/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 10/10

Pros

  • Solid Build Quality
  • Fast/Smooth Performance
  • Storage
  • Class look

Cons

  • None

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cornerofthemoon
posted on 27 Oct 2017, 11:18 (Posts: 605; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)

10

Definitely worth the lower price point

cornerofthemoon has owned it for less than month before publishing this review

I took the plunge on the Essential Phone after the price was lowered to $500. Ergonomically the phone is perfect. After accidentally opening and closing apps and "butt dialing" on my Galaxy S8 repeatedly on account of the waterfall screen, the annoying Bixby button, and the awkward placement of the fingerprint scanner, I was looking for a replacement. The Essential is a beautiful phone and is built like a tank. If it weren't for the bad press it received regarding the camera it would have been a big hit. In particular I love the ceramic back. Even though it is a fingerprint magnet, the prints wipe off easier than a glass back.....

Regarding the camera, the latest software updates have improved it greatly. It's still not in Apple/Samsung/Google territory but it is at least competent now. Actually it does very well in outdoor and bright light and one can even get some decent low light photos if one plays with the HDR settings. If you don't care about mobile photography or water resistance then the Essential is definitely worth a try, especially at the lower price point.

Build quality 10/10
Reception 10/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 6/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 10/10

Pros

  • Everything except the camera

Cons

  • The Camera (though vastly improved lately)

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FerneyZan
posted on 01 Nov 2017, 01:54 (Posts: 104; Member since: 21 Jul 2010)

10

Much better than I expected!!

FerneyZan has owned it for less than month before publishing this review

Definitely not what I was expecting after seeing the horrible review by Phone Arena. And now that I own it, the only issue I have with it is the lack of memory expansion. This baby runs smooth and since I use Nova Launcher, the interface wasn't too much of an issue for me. Some of the updates since I got this phone, have made it even better..

Build quality 10/10
Reception 10/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 8/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 9/10
Battery 9/10

Pros

  • Runs amazingly smooth.
  • No unneeded software.
  • Quality and built is excellent.

Cons

  • Lacks memory expansion slot.

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dragon76
posted on 14 Sep 2017, 10:59 (Posts: 31; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)

9

Essential Ph-1 not the greatest but....

dragon76 has owned it for less than month before publishing this review

I have had it for a few days now and I will say that if you like Samsung, LG or HTC user interfaces this is NOT the phone for you. I will say that if you are into something unique and "vanilla flavored" Android just maybe the Essential is for you. Build quality and materials used are second to none it feels like a heavy duty phone but it does have some short comings that may turn people away. LCD screen isn't going to have the high contrasts of a OLED screen but it is still an awesome screen. the bottom firing speaker isn't "Boom Sound" but it sounds pretty decent.

The camera has some issues, I believe that it has a lot to do with the software because the stock app vs the Google Camera app, the photo quality with GCam is a good bit better

Build quality 10/10
Reception 8/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 5/10
UI speed 9/10
Everyday usage 9/10
Text input 9/10
Display 9/10
Battery 9/10

Pros

  • display size
  • build quality
  • build materials

Cons

  • camera app
  • LCD instead of a OLED

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didcrywolf
posted on 05 Jun 2018, 14:22 (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Jun 2018)

8

Another start-up that really missed its launch window

didcrywolf has owned it for less than year before publishing this review

When the inventor of Android decided to launch a new company Essential he had lofty goals of building modular products on an Android phone that promised to be the most stable Android phone available. That was mission accomplished but everything else was a complete disaster.
Unfortunately the team failed on so many counts, it is amazing the private equity backers didn't see all this going down at the design team level.
Making a phone is a really complicated business because the design philosophy like most technological products is based on Specifications and performance using engineers who have no mandate to produce products with ease of manufacturing in mind. Generations after generations of engineers are trained to build stuff knowing nobody is interested at looking at the innards of a phone. It is pure publish or perish mentality, A recurrent sickness since the dawn of the industrial age. That is why when you open a cell phone there are 43 screws, tape, flex modules, cables and so much crap in there, it is nothing but sinful. it is surprising how focused these companies are on making products that won't last two years. If you play this game at the onset as a start-up, you are surely going to get eaten alive by established players like Samsung, LG, Apple and their minions. Qualcomm and Foxconn who know who pays the bills will not send their newest products samples to an unproven upstart.
What Essential should have done is build a set of attachable modular products FIRST: Revolutionary...  

Build quality 10/10 Very solid titanium build
Reception 9/10 Works very well in GSM environment, LTE
Call quality 8/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 5/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 9/10
Text input 3/10
Display 10/10
Battery 5/10

Pros

  • Solid build
  • great screen for viewing
  • Most stable Android OS phone

Cons

  • Camera really sucks
  • No image stabilisation in video
  • Awful IP 54 rating sucesptible to humid air
  • difficult to type ( many typos)
  • 7 hours of usage ( needs late afternoon recharge)
  • Charging red light issue
  • Bad customer support

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bigsal42
posted on 09 May 2018, 22:54 (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Feb 2014)

10

Monumental Smartphone

bigsal42 has owned it for less than year before publishing this review

This smartphone is iconic and amazing. I have owned almost every major Android phone ever made and this one has eclipsed them all. I am a power user and a developer, and essential has checked all the boxes to make me happy. I have even bought 2 for my wife and step daughter. They both agree that this phone has exceeded any other they have ever owned and they are average users. From having stock Android, fast updates, strong processor, good memory and plenty of built in storage the specs and function of this phone is phenomenal. The design and build are unmatched by any phone ever. This design should be carried on by essential with very little change until the the smartphone is replaced by biointegrated technology. The size, weight, fit and finish are exquisite. This phone is it

Build quality 10/10
Reception 10/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 10/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 9/10

Pros

  • Iconic design an perfect finish
  • Battery charges by power delivery
  • Screen to body ratio
  • Excellent Processor
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Accessory power conection
  • Incredibly Tough phone
  • Perfect size
  • Essential pays attention to it's users and implements changes quiçkly
  • Lots of built in storage

Cons

  • Battery can be drained very quickly by heavy use
  • Not enough accessory options
  • Too many biased mediocre reviews
  • Battery is drained incredibly fast by the 360 camera

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1bobolender
posted on 06 Feb 2018, 16:23 (Posts: 0; Member since: 06 Feb 2018)

10

Can't figure out why people are complaining.

1bobolender has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review

I recently had a problem with my phone I could not get LTE to work. I contacted my mobile carrier T-Mobile and they said there is a possibility I had a bad sim card. I went to the T-Mobile store and they replace the SIM card and the problem remained.

I immediately became concerned and reached out to essential. I first called the technical support phone number and was asked to leave a message and since it was Sunday I did. I then figured I could follow up my voicemail with an email which I did.
Within a half an hour I had an email and a phone call from essential to different people. The first person who contacted me via the phone walk me through check my settings and immediately figured out what was wrong corrected the setting and everything works fine. When I was finished with the phone call I checked my email and they gave me the same information.

I am a former professional photographer and do not find the camera to be too awful it does the job for what it's intended this is not an SLR. I have other phones and yes the cameras maybe a little bit better but if you work at your photography with your essential it'll work just fine.

Based on the service that I've received and quality of the phone I think this is a winner and anybody who says different maybe being paid from other phone manufacturers not to rate this phone and fear of losing customers to essential.

What I am saying is there service is great their product is fantastic and I can't wait for the pH 2 I'll get...  

Build quality 10/10
Reception 10/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 8/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 9/10

Pros

  • Great service

Cons

  • Camera needs a little help

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Kademo
posted on 28 Jan 2018, 09:12 (Posts: 0; Member since: 28 Jan 2018)

10

A great Phone

Kademo has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review

A great phone for the price
But it has 4 main problems:
1- Good Camera but not near the high-end phones
2- Only IP54 water resistance rating which is not enough compared to other phones
3- No SD card Slot but it's not a big deal because of the 128gb capacity
4- No Headphone Jack :'(
Everything else is great

Build quality 10/10
Reception 10/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 9/10
Camera 8/10
UI speed 9/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 9/10
Battery 9/10

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nevetsesor
posted on 14 Dec 2017, 10:26 (Posts: 0; Member since: 14 Dec 2017)

10

I love this phone

nevetsesor has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review

I love this phone I have had it for a little while now and you get used to it very quickly and don't want to go back. Some other people say the interface is "vanilla" but I personally like that this doesn't have some other ui built on the stock Android and even if you did these phones are easy to sideload to. The design is amazing and I feel too many people knocked it due to the camera reviews but seriously with all the updates it has came a long way and they just keep on improving it. Also who can beat the fact that these phones after Google's own phones are typically the fastest to receive updates. Highly recommend and where else are you going to get a 128/4 gb full screen phone thats basically QHD for 450???

Build quality 10/10
Reception 10/10
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 9/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 10/10

Pros

  • Feels Great
  • Screen Is Amazing
  • Calls are quick and amazing quality
  • Camera is a lot better thanks to updates
  • Frequent bug fixes

Cons

  • Not a lot of case support atm if you want a 2 layer protective case have only found Incipio
  • Camera isn't on par with LG V30 or iPhone X yet it gets the job done amazingly

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Armaneno
posted on 04 Nov 2017, 14:47 (Posts: 0; Member since: 04 Nov 2017)

9

Great choice with the lower price tag

Armaneno has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review

I have had this phone for over a month now. I switched from iPhone to android just to try this phone after 7 years and I do not regret it even a little bit. Initially the price of the phone was outrageous specially considering the fact that the UI was just stock android (some really enjoy that though). At 499$, this is an exceptionally great phone. It is beautiful, well built and just a joy in hand.

Build quality 10/10
Reception 8/10
Call quality 8/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 9/10
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 7/10

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Great screen to body ratio
  • Smooth UI
  • Exceptional built quality

Cons

  • Not as tough as advertised

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sheepdogconcept
posted on 24 Oct 2017, 11:51 (Posts: 0; Member since: 24 Oct 2017)

10

A perfect phone for some users.

sheepdogconcept has owned it for less than 3 months before publishing this review

A 5.7 inch screen on a body smaller than the 5 inch pixel 2. Build quality that can be felt immediately. The ceramic and titanium truly feel premium and it's a unique feeling. Battery makes it through the day with above average use with no problem. The camera is behind flagship competitors, no doubt. My title alludes to users that won't tell the difference. It's still an incredibly high quality camera that takes great photos. Did you really think the photos from flagships a few years ago were so bad? Of course not, these photos are the same or better. Also, the unbranded USB-C port wall charger and braided USB-C to USB-C cable included are a nice premium touch.

Build quality 10/10
Reception 9/10 I've had a few situations that have shown slightly less reception than a few other phones I have.
Call quality 10/10
Internet 10/10
Multimedia 10/10
Camera 8/10 While it's not the best, the picture quality is more than adequate for a casual user, like myself.
UI speed 10/10
Everyday usage 10/10
Text input 10/10
Display 10/10
Battery 10/10 The battery is listed as a "con" in some reviews, but it seems more than adequate for me, I make it through the day with ease, even more so than my old S8.

Pros

  • Speedy stock android
  • Incredible solid build, very premium.
  • Shocking amount of screen fit in this phone.
  • Notification light! Nice to have back.

Cons

  • Camera is sub-par, but perfectly fine for me (and most I suspect).
  • True of most phones, but I do miss my headphone jack.

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