Android’s co-creator Andy Rubin is back with a new smartphone called Essential. The Essential smartphone sports a premium design and look, and a price tag of $699. While Rubin’s blog post says they want to offer “premium materials and true craftsmanship,” and this should not be limited to a few people, the pricing of this phone clearly puts it in the league of the top-end smartphones of the world.
The Essential smartphone is a premium device with a Titanium body, an edge-to-edge bezel-less display, and the option of adding a 360-degree camera that will just snap onto the phone. How does the Essential smartphone stand against the two premium smartphones in the market, namely the Apple iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus?
Here’s a quick look at the detailed features.
Essential PH-1 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S8+: Display, Design
Now when it comes to display and design, Essential PH-1 smartphone has something new on the cards. Essential PH-1 smartphone sports a 5.71-inch full edge-to-edge display with “radiused corners,” and a resolution of 2560 x 1312 pixels, which is QHD and the aspect ratio is 19:10. This has a brightness of 500 nits.
Dimensions of the Essential smartphone are 141.5 mm (5.57-inches) x 71.1mm (2.79-inches) x 7.8mm (0.3-inches). Despite the big display, the phone is only 5.5-inches in size, thanks to the bezel-less screen.
The other interesting bit on the Essential PH-1 smartphone is that it sports a ‘Titanium’ body and not the regular aluminium body we see on devices like Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, or an all glass and metal one like the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus.
Essential PH-1 also doesn’t come with any case, because the company is so confident of the design. Oh, and there’s Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top of the display. Essential also has a “Click cordless connector” for wireless charging your phone, but this will have to be purchased separately and is not on sale yet.
Also, the Essential smartphone doesn’t have a headphone jack just like the Apple iPhone 7 series, but the company is providing for a Headphone Adapter (Type C to 3.5mm) in the box. The phone doesn’t have water or dust resistance support like the Apple iPhone 7 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S8+ either.
The fingerprint scanner is placed at the back, and there’s no home button on the front of this phone.
Samsung’s new Galaxy S8+ along with the Galaxy S8 come with an ‘Infinity Display’. There are no bezels on the side, but the phone has bezels on the top and bottom. Samsung has done away with the home button on the front, and placed the fingerprint scanner the back of the phone, right next to the camera module. However, this placement hasn’t found so much approval.
Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ also come with an Iris Scanner and Face Recognition feature for unlocking. In terms of specifications, Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ have much bigger displays at 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch respectively, but again the the bezel-less sides means the overall body size has not increase drastically. Both are 2K SAMOLED screens. The S8’s dimensions are 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm and while the Samsung Galaxy S8+ has 159.5mm x 73.4 x 8.1mm dimensions.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ also has IP68 rating, which means it is water and dust-resistant. The Galaxy S8+ still has a headphone jack for those who care, and the familiar glass and metal design, which does make this phone a bit more fragile.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus sports the following dimensions: 158.2 mm x 77.9 mm x 7.3 mm, and comes with an aluminium chassis. Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes with a 5.5-inch full HD resolution display, and there’s a Jet Black colour option as well. The iPhone doesn’t have a headphone jack, and there’s no space for a microSD slot either.
However, Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes with IP68 water and dust resistance. But with Apple iPhone 8, we could see the company introduce a bezel-less display just like these phones, though it will go for a glass design.
Essential PH-1 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S8+: Specifications, Battery
Essential PH-1 smartphone runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor coupled with 4GB RAM+ 128GB storage. There’s no microSD slot either. Essential PH-1 smartphone has a 3040 mAh battery with fast-charging support via USB-Type C as well as support for wireless charging. The phone also has a magnetic connector with wireless data transfer feature.
In the US, Samsung Galaxy S8+ runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, but in India this has the Exynos 8895 processor. Galaxy S8 series comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, which is expandable to 256GB via microSD. Samsung Galaxy S8+ comes with 3400 mAh battery, wireless charging support and fast charging supported.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes with A10 chip from the company, which is a quad-core one, and has three storage options: 32GB, 128GB and 256GB. Apple iPhone 7 Plus has 3GB RAM, but there’s no support for a microSD card.
Essential PH-1 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S8+: Camera
Essential has a 13MP dual camera setup; this includes an RGB and Mono camera sensor on the back. The True monochrome sensor has f/1.85 lens. The rear camera has Hybrid Auto Focus, PDAF, and IR Laser Assist Focus. It is capable of recording at 4K resolution at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120fps.
The front camera is 8MP with 16:9 ratio, and f/2.20 fixed hyperfocal lens. It can also record 4K videos at 30fps, 1080p videos at 60fps or 720p 120fps.
The other highlight of the Essential PH-1 is that it comes with support for a 360-degree, which the company claims can be clipped onto the phone, and is ready to shoot. The camera weighs under 35 grams, 4x microphones in 3D, and dual 12MP fisheye image sensors with f1.8 aperture and a 210-degree field of view on each sensor. The video resolution is 360-degree UHD (3840 x 1920) at 30fps.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ has a 12MP with Samsung’s Dual Pixel technology, and it is capable of delivering some stunning results, even in low-light. The front camera on the Galaxy S8+ is 8MP with auto-focus. Samsung has not introduced the dual rear camera in the S8 series.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus has a dual rear camera as well, which has so far proved to be the leading implementation of this setup. There’s a 12MP + 12 MP camera on the back, out of which one is a telephoto and the second is the wide angle lens. The iPhone 7 Plus has the option for ‘bokeh’ style Portrait mode, where the background gets blurred, and also has 2X optical and 10X digital zoom option. The front camera on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus is 7MP.
Essential PH-1 vs Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S8+: Price, Availability
Essential PH-1 smartphone is not cheap, and comes with a price of $699, and there’s a special bundled version as well with the 360-degree camera at $799. Now the phone is only available in the US, and it is currently up for pre-orders. It is unclear when this phone will be available in other parts of the world, and clearly this is not something everyone can afford.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ is priced at Rs 64,900, while the S8 is priced at Rs 56,990 in India. Apple iPhone 7 Plus starts at Rs 72,000 going up all the way to Rs 92,000, though currently the product is on discount on Flipkart.