The Essential Phone has been improving in steps since its launch, most recently with its jump to Android Oreo 8.1. Now, Essential has made the company's first phone and accessories even more accessible, with a commercial release to customers in Canada, France, Japan and the UK via the Essential.com site.
The Essential Phone will sell with prices starting at $499 USD. The amount customers pay will depend on their local exchange rates, so UK customers would pay about £361, and they'll pay for shipping, duties and tax. If those extra fees don't add up too high, it will enter these new markets as a great mid-range offering with high-end credentials.
Early on, the Essential Phone had much more limited availability, with only Sprint offering it in retail locations, despite working on other GSM networks, like AT&T and T-Mobile. Since then, Amazon has begun offering an unlocked Essential Phone with Alexa. This latest step makes it much more available, and according to an Essential spokeswoman, there are further international expansion plans in the works.
Though the Essential Phone is trailing behind competitors that have released or debuted flagships running the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset, it still has plenty of life in it. Its design holds up, with a notch that beat Apple to the party and offers more screen real estate than other notch-equipped phone. And the Snapdragon 835 chipset inside is still a competent performer.
- The Essential Phone is in our list of the best Android phones