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Essential Phone Review Re-Do [November 2017]

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Essential Phone Review Re-Do [November 2017]

I normally like to wait at least a year to review a phone but essential changed everything when it slashed the price of its namesake flagship by $200 barely two months after launch transforming an overpriced smartphone with a terrible camera into a genuine bargain with a terrible camera let’s find out if the deep discount makes the picture more palatable in mr.

Mobile’s review redo of the essential phone brought to you by thrifter since I first reviewed the essential phone in August the company has swapped out my review unit for a final retail version there’s no detectable difference here this is the same hunk of ceramic and titanium pleasantly free of logos and quite heavy in the hand that’s a compliment that to say it feels expensive is an understatement it reminds me of those oversized poker plaques casinos reserved for the high stakes tables and because of its durable materials it seems likely to age a lot more gracefully than its aluminum and glass competition it’s sixteen by nine LCD is not very fashionable and doesn’t get nearly bright enough in sunlight but the rest of the phone makes up for it and just like with the iPhone 10 I love the knotch fight me I don’t love the myth that sprung up around this phone with regard to the camera though since literally the week of release people have been saying those camera problems are no more they got fixed by a software update now two essentials credit this phone has received a great many updates since launch and I’ll talk more about those in a second but the camera app is still sluggish and unreliable what’s worse is this app is the only way to control essentials 360 camera add-on which like the phone is an exquisite little piece of hardware brilliance it takes up almost no space in a pocket snaps on magnetically it even has a tiny internal fan to protect its insides from overheating but since it depends on that camera apt to work yes sometimes it won’t even take a photo on the first attempt and if you make the mistake of quitting back to the home screen before it’s done saving you lose the photo again it’s not the 360 cameras fault these are the same problems I experienced using the built-in camera alongside the old issue of turning the flash on for no reason when you turn HDR on and occasionally just saving a wall of green instead of the photo you took if this were the only camera app available I’d say pack it in right here because no amount of discount is worth this frustration but fortunately two things save this phone from the scrapheap first there’s nothing wrong with the camera hardware and second there are smart people on the Internet some of whom figured out how to run Google’s hdr+ camera app on the essential phone the results are night and day literally every picture I’ve taken with Google’s app has been superior to the essential apps it was so obvious after such a short time that I very quickly stopped taking side by side photos and began to rely exclusively on the Google camera app which you can map to a double click of the power button just like on other Android phones and remember this is a hack so it’s a little hinky and also the camera doesn’t have optical stabilization so your videos aren’t going to be as smooth that’s on better equipped phones but now that the essential phone isn’t priced the same as those high-end phones and now that I don’t have to use it’s terrible camera have these shortcomings are forgivable it’s no exaggeration to say that for me the Google camera app single-handedly saves this device I mentioned frequent updates before an essential really does deserve a lot of credit here since launch I’ve lost count of the number of OTAs I’ve gotten some of them have enabled features like using the fingerprint sensor as a notification trackpad while others have kept the phone up to date with the latest security fixes no sign of either android oreo or a proper night mode yet but essential maintains that it’s working on both for release in the coming weeks also I have noticed apps crashing on this phone more often than on others which is annoying even the excellent hardware isn’t immune to defects reddit has stories about some early fabrics speaker grilles popping out so essential is apparently fitting some units with metal mesh instead I’m more concerned with an issue I don’t often see in phones anymore weak reception my testing on t-mobile has shown that this phone is more likely to drop calls and less able to maintain a connection in fringe areas of my comparison devices where a moto x4 and an iPhone 10 I’m not really able to diagnose this problem very well but others have also reported it so if you live in a fringe area you might want to give this a pass also my unit has some electronic interference in the earpiece it’s very slight but once you notice it it’s annoying in a quiet room in my official review I said using this device felt like using a Kickstarter reward or a beta phone and that holds true today it’s no more a $700 experience today than it was back in August but now that you can get it for $500 or even 450 in the deal I’ll link to in a second well that changes everything for the same price a 1 plus 5 will still give you fewer headaches but if standout design is the thing that gets your ringtone singing the essential phone’s new price definitely puts it in the running you can snap up an essential phone for $450 by visiting today’s sponsor thrifter is a new way to save money on everything from gadgets to home goods by shopping based on value and not hype click the link in the description to get all the leaked ads and the best deals for Black Friday as well as that $450 essential phone and mint sim combo deal at thrifter com if you bought an essential phone or you’re thinking of buying one I want to hear your thoughts drop them in the comments and be sure to subscribe to the mr.

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