Android Co-Creator’s Essential Phone Now Available to Order
Pioneered by Android Co-Creator, Andy Rubin, hardware start-up Essential has finally announced its premium smartphone is now available to order.
The release follows several delays and comes over two months since the phone’s first unveiling.
The high-end device called the ‘Phone’ is only available in the US to start and will be stocked at Sprint, Best Buy and via its own website.
The Essential Phone is positioned as a premium smartphone designed to stand in the same category as flagship devices the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S8.
The smartphone includes a titanium and ceramic finish, ‘clean’ version of Android, display with fewer borders, and the usual suite of other top-of-the-range specifications. It is also created to support a range of “modular” accessories inclusive of a 360-degree camera.
Labelled with a $US699 outright price-tag, Spirit is also launching a promotion allowing customers to lease the phone for $US14.59 per month (18 month contract), though users will have to trade in the phone or buy it outright after that period is up.
Spirit states the device is anticipated to ship by August 28.
Customers who pre-registered to buy the Essential Phone state they began receiving emails from the company informing them that shipping of their device would commence ‘next week’. As such, the announcement that the device is available to order was not totally unexpected.
Consensus is that despite the company’s strong financial backing – securing at least $US300 million in funding – the Essential Phone is unlikely to be a serious threat to Samsung or Apple in the early interim.