The Essential Phone is reportedly coming to Japan, the UK, and other European countries

Photo by Asa Mathat / Recode

The Essential Phone may not have hit its June release date in the US, but Andy Rubin’s new smartphone company is already setting its sights beyond the States. Per a new report in the Financial Times, Essential executives are already working to launch the upcoming flagship phone internationally in Europe and Japan. More specifically Essential is said to already be in talks with several UK carriers, including EE, to finalize a launch date for the device.

And while the company is mostly remaining quiet on the missed US launch, Niccolo de Masi, chief operating officer of Essential, says that the release in the States is “imminent.” He didn’t elaborate on a specific date that preorder customers will actually receive their devices, however.

The Essential Phone is the latest project from Android creator Andy Rubin, who hopes his new device will shake up the entrenched upper end of the smartphone market. The device offers high-end specs, including an edge-to-edge display and modular attachments like a 360-degree camera. The phone was expected to ship sometime in June, but no formal release date beyond that has been announced.

Comments

The longer the delay without any actual information the more this sounds like a ‘the check’s in the mail’ situation.

It’s a nice phone, but still runs Android. I think that maybe if this guy (Rubin) could created a new OS it would be different, now it’s just a nice phone running Android and there are plenty of those now.

If it doesn’t run android then it doesn’t have adequate app support. We’ve seen several otherwise fantastic OSs (BB10) fail for just that reason. BB10 even ran android apps, albeit without google play services. Android is the only viable option.

Good point. Otherwise people would give a shit about Tizen.

Tizen is a mess even without a large application library.

Sure, for someone that it’s not considering the long term or don’t care much about software. Yes, Android is king, but they can’t do a lot to differentiate with it, they are just another OEM with different skin over Android. They have good hardware, it’s a lame they can’t optimize it to run a proprietary OS or even make something different and offer an iOS rival.

I kinda get your point. Nothing much is happening in the mobile industry, nothing new and exciting.

It’s nearly impossible to succeed nowadays without Android. Samsung’s Tizen, RIM’s BlackBerry OS, Nokia’s Symbian, Mozilla’s Firefox OS, Ubuntu OS and even Microsoft’s Windows Phone all tried and failed. To have a good OS you need to build a great app ecosystem and that would be an impossible task in this now mature market. Android was definitely the way to go.

Android has close to 90% worldwide market share. No other "new" OS is going to succeed. You need apps. Microsoft found out the hard way you aren’t going to break into the market, no matter how nice your phones. But Rubin could have make this a GREAT PHONE instead of an "OK" phone. It’s not even as good as the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy 8/8+ phones.

Why couldn’t Rubin make the Essential better — especially with the advantage of starting with a clean slate?
The Essential Android phone is a loser, especially in light of other 2017 Android phones:

* No 1440p
(Only 1312p which is ALMOST QHD. For the money they are charging, should be full 1440p. I’ve had 1440p AMOLED since 2014, and I’m not downgrading. Even Apple is finally going to 1440p this year.)

* No headset jack
You can have headset jack AND still use Bluetooth earbuds if you wish. It’s not either/or. Also LG and Samsung both proved you can have IP68 water/dust resistance and have 3.5mm headset jack. There’s no reason to omit this functionality.

* Battery way too small for the display size
(Don’t say use is "optimized". Give me a larger battery first, then optimize all you want to make it BETTER. Lesser spec phones this year have 4000 mAh, even 5000 mAh batteries. I have 3900 mAh on my 2014 5.2" 1440p AMOLED Moto XT1225, so it’s not hard for a competent manufacturer to do. Nobody is begging for credit card thin phones, while everyone wants a larger battery. Again, for the money, why are you skimping on a battery?)

* No front-facing stereo speakers

* No IP68 water resistance
(Nor any water resistance whatsoever, when this is becoming standard for top tier phones.)

* No Qi built-in wireless charging
(It has a ceramic back, in spite of the "titanium" claim. Even Apple is adding Qi wireless charging this year, LG has added it back, Samsung never dropped it. If I have to plug a mod in for some kind of wireless charging then that prevents other mods. BUILT IN Qi wireless charging.)

So, NO sale.

It’s not hard to include all those specs. Why won’t someone do it?

ALL we want is a an UPDATED "regular" sized 2014 Moto Nexus 6 (1440p AMOLED, front-facing speakers, Qi wireless charging, headset jack) — but with a BIGGER battery, like the 2014 5.2" 1440p AMOLED Moto Quark which has a 3900 mAh battery. (Yeah, Motorola gave the smaller 2014 phone the BIGGER battery.) "Budget" phones with much lesser specs this year have 4000 (Moto C Plus) or even 5000 mAh batteries (Moto E Plus). It’s not hard. Throw in IP68 water resistance. Done.

The Moto Nexus 6 was too big, but otherwise a perfect phone. Just needs to be updated with IP68 water resistance, smaller bezels, more RAM, current Snapdragon chipset, and larger battery (4,000 mAh minimum). With front-facing stereo speakers, and built-in large battery + Qi wireless charging, THAT fantastic phone would eclipse the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 and make obsolete almost all the silly Moto mods (most of which are battery/speaker related).

I was pretty excited for this phone and was still going to preorder it, even though I was slightly underwhelmed by the release info. At this point though, hydrogen one won me over and I pre-ordered that.

Will review units ship after customer orders?

Shouldn’t the headline include the US as one of the countries where the phone is "reportedly" being released?

That it’s launching in the US wasn’t news, that was a known quantity.

It was supposed to have been released already.
It has not, the manufacturer will not say when it is shipping.
Therefore, it is reportedly being released.

Given how absurdly priced smartphones are here in Japan, I can’t even begin to imagine how much this will cost. The Nexus 5X, for example, cost around $870 when it was released. The Galaxy S8 Plus is around $1000.

Curious, how much is the Sony XZ? Are Sony (and other Japanese phones) cheaper to eliminate foreign competition, or are they also very expensive?

Why couldn’t Rubin make the Essential better — especially with the advantage of starting with a clean slate?
The Essential Android phone is a loser, especially in light of other 2017 Android phones:

* No 1440p
(Only 1312p which is ALMOST QHD. For the money they are charging, should be full 1440p. I’ve had 1440p AMOLED since 2014, and I’m not downgrading. Even Apple is finally going to 1440p this year.)

* No headset jack
You can have headset jack AND still use Bluetooth earbuds if you wish. It’s not either/or. Also LG and Samsung both proved you can have IP68 water/dust resistance and have 3.5mm headset jack. There’s no reason to omit this functionality.

* Battery way too small for the display size
(Don’t say use is "optimized". Give me a larger battery first, then optimize all you want to make it BETTER. Lesser spec phones this year have 4000 mAh, even 5000 mAh batteries. I have 3900 mAh on my 2014 5.2" 1440p AMOLED Moto XT1225, so it’s not hard for a competent manufacturer to do. Nobody is begging for credit card thin phones, while everyone wants a larger battery. Again, for the money, why are you skimping on a battery?)

* No front-facing stereo speakers

* No IP68 water resistance
(Nor any water resistance whatsoever, when this is becoming standard for top tier phones.)

* No Qi built-in wireless charging
(It has a ceramic back, in spite of the "titanium" claim. Even Apple is adding Qi wireless charging this year, LG has added it back, Samsung never dropped it. If I have to plug a mod in for some kind of wireless charging then that prevents other mods. BUILT IN Qi wireless charging.)

So, NO sale.

It’s not hard to include all those specs. Why won’t someone do it?

ALL we want is a an UPDATED "regular" sized 2014 Moto Nexus 6 (1440p AMOLED, front-facing speakers, Qi wireless charging, headset jack) — but with a BIGGER battery, like the 2014 5.2" 1440p AMOLED Moto Quark which has a 3900 mAh battery. (Yeah, Motorola gave the smaller 2014 phone the BIGGER battery.) Phones with lesser specs this year have 4000 or even 5000 mAh batteries. It’s not hard. Throw in IP68 water resistance. Done.

The Moto Nexus 6 was too big, but otherwise a perfect phone. Just needs to be updated with IP68 water resistance, smaller bezels, more RAM, current Snapdragon chipset, and larger battery (4,000 mAh minimum). With front-facing stereo speakers, and built-in large battery + Qi wireless charging, THAT fantastic phone would eclipse the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 and make obsolete almost all the silly Moto mods (most of which are battery/speaker related).

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