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Sprint Product Ambassadors: First Look at The Essential Phone

Sprint Product Ambassador




It’s not every day that a new phone company is born, not even every year.  Any Rubin invented the Android operating system, then sold it to Google in 2005.  Google appointed Rubin the Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content.  Android was finally revealed to the public in 2007, exactly one decade ago.  Rubin left Google in 2014 and founded Essential Products in 2015.




According to Rubin the core reasons for making a new kind of phone are as follows:

  • Devices are your personal property. We won’t force you to have anything on them you don’t want to have.
  • We will always play well with others. Closed ecosystems are divisive and outdated.
  • Premium materials and true craftsmanship shouldn’t be just for the few.
  • Devices shouldn’t become outdated every year. They should evolve with you.
  • Technology should assist you so that you can get on with enjoying your life.
  • Simple is always better.

What does all this really mean?  Well first of all, this phone is using Android OS. But there isn’t any bloatware on this phone.  There aren’t any apps that don’t need to be there.  As an example, the phone uses Android's calendar, not one cooked up by Essential.  This is the case with almost all of the apps, it’s just a really clean implementation of the Google Android OS, which is really nice.  It’s clean and uncluttered.  Everything you need is there, and noting is there that you don’t need.Essential Phone black_collage_1000x1000.png


The build quality of this phone is incredible.  Nobody has ever made a phone that looks and feels this nice before, and I mean nobody, not even the large orchard in Northern California.  The phone has the latest version of Gorilla glass, which is cool, but not unusual.  It has metal sides and internal structure, but what’s unusual about this is the choice of metal: titanium.  Titanium is stronger and stiffer than aluminum, the usual metal used for phones, which means that they can use less of it, which makes it lighter, while still being stronger.  The back of the phone is ceramic and it is beautiful.  You might not even realize what the material is at first.  I have the black one, I think they call it Moon Black, and it is deep, dark, black and almost entirely friction-less.  The thing about ceramic is that you have to bake it like clay.  And when clay or ceramic bakes, it shrinks.  Essential had one of their employees traverse the globe for months looking for someone who could bake the ceramic with predictable shrinkage so that every piece fit precisely. After it is baked, it is highly polished, creating the friction-less surface.


The phone has one camera on the front, and two on the back.  This is another unique thing about this phone.  One of the rear cameras has a color sensorEssential Phone 1.jpg, Essential Phone 2.jpgand the other has a black and white sensor.  If you take a color photo, the camera actually takes a color and monochrome photo and blends them.  Naturally, you can take a black and white only photo, and the results are stunning and very contrasty.


Also on the back are two metal dots.  These serve as the interface for modules, for which there is currently a 360 degree camera that attaches to the camera via strong magnets, and uses the metal dots for power.


Brilliantly, the power button and both volume buttons are on the right side and are easily reached via the thumb of your choice.


The size of the device is just right; not to large, not too small.  The screen looks great, and the battery lasts all day. The weight of the phone is surprising.  It feels dense, expensive and premium, and really like nothing else out there.


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