Yesterday, Essential revealed three limited-edition colors of the Essential Phone — Ocean Depths, Stellar Gray, and Copper Black. And today the company has announced one final new version of its first smartphone: an Amazon-exclusive “Halo Gray” color that comes with the Alexa app preinstalled.
In case three new Essential Phone colors weren't enough, today we're unveiling Halo Gray, the first Essential Phone to come with Alexa built-in. Halo Gray is available for pre-order exclusively from Amazon starting today. https://t.co/hkwkBKGypr pic.twitter.com/lDad2xngBq— Essential (@essential) February 16, 2018
The Halo Gray model is pretty similar to the Stellar Gray version announced yesterday, with the same exact matte black ceramic but with the lighter titanium bumpers seen on the Pure White color (although with black plastic antenna lines, instead of white ones).
According to Essential, the Alexa app is able to be uninstalled, unlike most pre-included bloatware, with a company representative comparing it to how the Sprint app is preinstalled on Essential Phones sold through Sprint.
The partnership with Amazon also makes a certain amount of sense on a business level, seeing as Amazon has invested in the Andy Rubin-helmed startup through the company’s Alexa Fund.
The Halo Gray model is available for preorder on Amazon for $449.99, or $150 cheaper than that other new colors, or for $499.99 in a bundle with Essential’s 360-degree camera attachment, set to ship on February 21st. That price will go up $499.99 for just the phone starting on February 24th. And unlike the Stellar Gray model, this one isn’t a limited edition, so it’ll stick around even if the other model sells out.