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The Essential Phone is being upgraded to Android 9 Pie on the same day as Google’s Pixels

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A struggling company is doing better at Android updates than tech’s giants

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The Essential Phone is getting Android 9.0 Pie on day one — just like Google’s own Pixel smartphones. Essential is rolling out the major OS update today. The company has routinely been releasing the last few Android 9 betas just hours after Google made them available, and now its one and only smartphone is getting Pie’s features months before you’ll find them on devices from Samsung, LG, Motorola, and the rest. This is a thing that just doesn’t happen nowadays. The quick rollout is due in part to Google’s work on Project Treble in Android Oreo, but clearly the Essential team has made speedy updates a priority.

For a company that looks to be struggling to survive, this is pretty commendable. Essential continues to regularly deliver software improvements and optimizations to its PH-1, which can now often be purchased for between $300 and $400. No, it didn’t turn out to be the mainstream iPhone and Galaxy foe that Andy Rubin might’ve once envisioned. A too-high price at launch and camera quality detailed this device’s potential with consumers. But if you bought the Essential Phone for the right price, news like this goes to show you didn’t make a bad choice.