Smartphone company Essential shuts down

Essential Phone

Essential Phone

The Essential Phone was praised for its design, but reviews found faults with the camera, the display, and other features, and it was never popular enough to compete with flagship smartphones from other companies.

The startup, founded by Android creator Andy Rubin (who had left Google after accusations of sexual misconduct detailed in The New York Times), hoped to take on established companies with a more sustainable option that used modular add-ons to change functionality over years - but reception for the Essential Phone was lukewarm at best. Back in October 2019 Essential provided a glimpse of Project GEM, but that too is part of the announcement and it will be canceled as well. The effect, unfortunately, is that the company will cease operations and shut down after April 30. It was neither the first complaint against him nor the first time his personal life made trouble for the company. The titanium and ceramic design remains one of my favorite smartphone designs ever and I still have the stunning Ocean Depths green and gold color device.

I also purchased a Nextbit Robin a year before the Essential Phone and as companies continue to discover (looking at you now Google), being successful in the smartphone space is hard.

Breaking: Essential is dead, and so are updates to Essential Phone It's Essentially over

The company says that thanks to the company shutting down, the February 3rd security update for the PH-1 will be its last. The Essential PH-1 received Android 10 on January 6th this year which shows how great they were with software updates.

Essential will no longer be providing updates for the Essential Phone, and while it will continue to work, there will be no future software refreshes or customer support available. In the meantime, Essential was trying to develop a platform for smart homes called Ambient OS.

If you are keen on smartphone tinkering, Essential will be posting a pre-build of its vendor image as well as anything else needed to hack the Essential Phone to GitHub. It looks like this idea will also die on the vine.

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