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The Essential Phone just started shipping to buyers

The Essential Phone just started shipping to buyers

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Vjeran Pavic

After a slight delay and subsequent missed targets, the Essential Phone is finally, actually, really, officially shipping to customers. Andy Rubin’s new company just tweeted that those who’ve been charged for the phone should be on the lookout for tracking information to arrive by email sometime today. “We appreciate everyone’s patience,” Essential added.

The $700 phone will be going it alone for now — Essential’s 360-degree camera module isn’t yet shipping — and is only available in the glossy black color for these early shipments. The white version is still marked as “coming soon,” and the matte Essential Phone isn’t even listed on the order page yet, so that must still be a ways off.

Customers who opted for the limited-time Essential Phone / 360 cam combo have been charged to reserve the camera, but Essential isn’t yet saying when that will also make it out the door so customers will actually have something to snap onto the phone. Andy Rubin has said Essential’s goal is to release at least one new wireless accessory for the phone each quarter; a docking station is already known to be in the works.

Our review of the Essential Phone found it to be a beautifully-crafted smartphone and impressive debut product from a new tech company, but the camera doesn’t yet quite match the best we’ve seen from other flagship smartphones. Essential has already released numerous software updates to improve camera performance, and it’s likely that the company will continue trying to optimize this critical piece of its first phone. There’s no complaining about that screen, though.