Essential

The new Essential phone may use AI to pretend to be you

The new Essential phone may use AI to pretend to be you

The next Essential phone may not be like anything you recognize as a smartphone, with Andy Rubin's Android startup reportedly looking closer to sci-fi movie "Her" for inspiration than anything else on carrier store shelves. Essential made headlines with Rubin's original concept, a smartphone that would use open software and modular hardware to last for longer than the typical handset.

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Essential PH-1 AMA: Here’s everything that was promised

Essential PH-1 AMA: Here’s everything that was promised

Andy Rubin’s Essential dared to be ambitious. It may not have been a runaway success, but the Essential PH-1 has definitely left a memorable mark in the Android market. While it may never have a successor, the good news is that the startup is still very much committed to supporting the device all the way to 2020. That’s the hope that Essential left fans with from its latest monthly Reddit AMA, though fans would have probably also hoped for any sign that there will still be a PH-2.

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Top premium Android smartphones of 2018: the story so far

Top premium Android smartphones of 2018: the story so far

IFA 2018 has all but wrapped up and disappointing as it may be for some, it’s not exactly unexpected that there weren’t that many shiny new smartphones announced during the week. Especially premium smartphones. Of course, we’ve had some of those land before IFA. While waiting for three and a half more such Android phones to come in the next month or so, we take a breather and try to check which smartphones deserve your hard-earned cash. Here are seven, in no particular order.

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Essential Phone PH-1 Toast custom-cut wood cover Review

Essential Phone PH-1 Toast custom-cut wood cover Review

The Essential Phone PH-1 is a victim of circumstance - it's not the most traditional phone on the block. Because the Essential Phone PH-1's creators didn't succeed the way they'd hoped with their first phone, the phone's future is in question. In its current state, the PH-1 isn't exactly the most likely candidate for custom-made or ready-made accessories or cases of any sort. The folks at TOAST seem to have tossed caution to the wind, because they've got a wood cover for the Essential Phone - one they've got available to custom-cut, too.

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Do you really need a new phone for security?

Do you really need a new phone for security?

Several phones plummeted in price over the weekend. To the uninitiated, a phone that once cost $700 now coming in at around $300 might not look like too bad a deal. But here in the summer of 2018, is buying a semi-old smartphone on discount a safe buy? Or should you always pick up the newest hardware to make sure you've got only the latest updates with the latest security in the mix?

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This $224 Essential Phone deal is perfect for Android 9 Pie [Updated]

This $224 Essential Phone deal is perfect for Android 9 Pie [Updated]

Smartphones may generally be getting bigger and bigger, but the Essential Phone bucked that trend - and now its price is getting smaller, too. The Android handset still packs a Quad HD display, dual cameras, and a not-insignificant 3,040 mAh battery, but does so in a relatively tiny package.

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Android Pie update OEM checklist: who’s in and who’s not

Android Pie update OEM checklist: who’s in and who’s not

It’s that time of year again. New Android version, new guessing and then waiting game for which phones will get the update and, just as importantly, when. Things have gotten better over the years, in no small part thanks to high-profile security scares and Apple gloating, but it’s far from being ideal. Ideally, that would be when lists like this will be superfluous. But until that glorious day, here are some of the smartphone makers who have gone public about their love for Pie and those that have been unsurprisingly yet annoyingly silent for the past weeks.

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Research discovers Android’s open nature leads to devices shipping with vulnerabilities

Research discovers Android’s open nature leads to devices shipping with vulnerabilities

The Android platform has a reputation for being less than secure, and, despite the system's advantages and improvements, the situation isn't getting any better at the rate it should be. New research from security firm Kryptowire has found that a number of Android devices include vulnerabilities right out of the box, including those shipped directly from wireless carriers. Unfortunately the cause of the problem stems from one of Android's biggest and oldest strong points: its open nature and ability to be modified.

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The Essential Phone gets served Android 9 Pie today

The Essential Phone gets served Android 9 Pie today

Android 9 Pie for the Essential Phone is rolling out today, an impressively timely release of the new OS that puts other smartphone-makers to shame. Google released its next big Android update today, with its own Pixel smartphones first in line to get the upgrade.

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Essential’s $200 camera now costs $19

Essential’s $200 camera now costs $19

Essential put its 4K 360 camera up for sale overnight on a massive discount - as if they were having a fire sale. OH MY GOD IT'S A FIRE... sale, if you know what I mean. This camera requires the assistance of the Essential Phone PH-1 to work, and does not do much of anything on its own. With the Essential Phone PH-1, this becomes one of the most interesting smartphone accessories on the market today.

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Essential Phone Headphone Jack: Now an Adapter

Essential Phone Headphone Jack: Now an Adapter

This week the folks at Essential decided to go the dongle route when it came to a headphone jack for PH-1. Their device already had the ability to administer sound through its USB-C port, but barring that or Bluetooth, there was no traditional way to plug in and jam. Now, with the Audio Adapter HD, there's a headphone jack again. It connects through the pogo-pins at the back of the PH-1 phone.

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Google should just buy Essential

Google should just buy Essential

I feel like it's inevitable that Google will acquire Essential, and all of its assets. They've got the cash, Essential is in a position where being acquired wouldn't be the end of the world, and they're two companies that'd benefit from one another. Plus, it would seem that Essential is already getting in Google's good graces with early inclusion in the Android P Beta - hitting Build 1 starting today.

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