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Essential Camera Review

Sprint Product Ambassador

When the Essential phone first launched there was a lot of feedback on the phone quality. The three common concerns were

  1. The camera is slow and often freezes.
  2. The camera takes good pictures in well-lit areas, but in low light settings it is very grainy.
  3. There are not a lot of bells and whistles with the camera.

Impressively, Essential took the feedback and quickly pushed some software updates to the devices to improve the camera settings. So what did they do? According to the Essential website, they have:

  • Boosted capture speed in regular and low light to below 1 second (over 40% faster)
  • Improved brightness and performance in low-light
  • Spatial sound when shooting in 360 (supported on device, Facebook and YouTube)
  • Use volume up/down keys as shutter buttons in 360 mode
  • Countdown timer when in 360 camera mode
  • Bug fixes and overall reliability improvements

Now that the camera updates have gone into effect, how does it work now?

  1. Slow and often freezes: After the update, I have not experienced any freezing or lag time with my camera. Even in low light settings it is responsive and performs as I expect it to. Essential has done a great job fixing this issue.
  2. Poor low-light pictures: After the update I have experienced a drastic improvement in the quality of my low-light images. Here are a few late-night images taken with the software update… What do you think?
  3. IMG_20171114_221832.jpgUtah State UniversityIMG_20171114_221855.jpgUtah State UniversityIMG_20171114_222545.jpgUtah State UniversityIMG_20171114_223651.jpgLogan LDS TempleIMG_20171114_223706.jpgLogan LDS Temple


  4. Bells and whistles: This last update focused on fixing what they had instead of adding more filters and functionality. The main functionality still consists of three settings: Auto, Mono, and Slow-Mo. Essential is working on including animated 360 stills, Pro Mode, Portrait Mode, and live 360 streaming in the near future.

Overall I am very impressed with the quick enhancements Essential was able to make with their last software push. They have fixed the issue with the camera freezing and have found a way to improve the camera’s ability to take low light images through a software update. The camera is still lacking on filters and functionality, but as responsive as Essential has been, I’m sure that will be included shortly.


Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee