Essential Phone – also known as PH-1 – was surrounded by a lot of expectations before its release. However, it failed to live up to its hype and went quickly into oblivion after its release. Since then, the company has been raining down discounts on the smartphone to boost its otherwise dreary sales. Now, with news of the next-generation Essential Phone 2 already doing the rounds, the company has decided to reduce the price even further to $399.
Those wanting to buying the PH-1, but thought the price was too high, now is a good time to grab one. The new deal on Amazon has been spotted for the 128GB Unlocked Titanium and Ceramic phone models, and could help in infusing some life in the otherwise dead sales.
Hardly three weeks ago, the price of the phone on Amazon was dropped from $499 to $449.99 hinting a follow-up model or bad sales. Smartphone manufacturers usually start discount drills on the predecessor months before the next flagship.
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A couple of months back, a report suggested that the PH-1 has been a disaster with only 88,000 units sold last year following the device’s launch in July last year. Inexorable software updates and price cuts have done only a little to save the embarrassment for the company. In late September, it was reported that just 5,000 units were sold. This sales number was before the $499 price cut, suggesting that most of the people did not think that the price was justifiable.
Nothing much has changed from late last year to early this year with the company still grappling with poor sales, and continuous price cuts seem to be the most viable idea. Meanwhile, the second-generation Essential Phone 2 is also rumored to arrive. On the failure of the smartphone, the company’s design Lead Linda Jiang told Business Insider previously, “In general, one thing that we got hit hard with was the quality of our camera.” Talking of the Essential Phone 2, she said, “We can say, we heard you and we’re going to do it better on the second-gen for sure.”
Andy Rubin’s brainchild PH-1 was clearly a more sophisticated version of the high-end device based on Android. However, it failed to impress with the camera lacking some of the most basic features such as HDR and low-light performance. Reviewers were disappointed, with almost everyone having the same concerns. As a result, the company had to trim the prices despite the support from the U.S. carriers such as Sprint. Apart from the lack of basic features, the Essential Phone could not create an ecosystem of modules like a snap-on 360-degree camera and a home speaker.
Other than the camera, the phone had an exasperating combination of flawed software and touch latency problems ever since its release. Though Essential assured the owners that it fixed the issues, latency issues were never really fixed. At times, the phone failed to recognize the touch. Also, it could not really differentiate between the touch and the scroll like other phones. Whatever it is, Essential needs to fix it in the next flagship Essential Phone 2.
Nevertheless, the PH-1 does deserve some praise as well. Barring the few camera issues, everything seemed to be in line with today’s trends. That is a big reason why many think that the PH-1 needs only a few changes to become the phone of the year. Design has always been a plus for the PH-1, and it is using one of the best hardware in the business. Materials like Titanium and Ceramic give the elite feeling to the phone unlike the fragile-like feeling of the Galaxy S9 or the plastic feel of the Pixel 2XL, notes Droidlife.
Essential cleverly kept the overall size of the phone smaller even though the display size is about the same as the S9 phones. Clubbed with the super fast charging and universal carrier support, PH-1 ticks most of the checkboxes right. Another striking feature of the phone was its modular expansion system, the Click Connector. New accessories can stick to the back of the phone with magnetic power rendering new functionality to the phone. One such accessory is the Essential 360 Degree Camera.
Essential hasn’t given any indication when its next-generation Essential Phone 2 will be coming out. However, it could be as soon as this summer if Essential takes cues from other premium smartphone manufacturers that release new phones annually. The company is yet to reveal the arrival time of the phone, but Jiang did tell BI that they are working on the coatings or textures, which would render a black version of the phone less slippery and sensitive to fingerprints. Also, those who already spent $200 for the 360 camera would be able to enjoy it on the Essential Phone 2 and future models.
“Once you spend money on accessories, you’ll be able to use them on future phones,” Jiang said.