Update: Essential Phone now available at Sprint retail stores
Update (9/14): If you’ve been waiting to pick up an Essential Phone from a Sprint retail store, now’s your chance. As stated in the original article below, your can pick up the Essential Phone from Sprint for $0 down and $29.17 per month on an 18-month lease, or unlocked from the carrier for $699.99.
Of course, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to pick up one of these bad boys. You can also buy the device from Sprint.com, BestBuy.com, Amazon, and Essential.com.
Original post (9/13): Even though it is nice that you can now purchase Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone from a variety of places, the phone has only been available online. That is set to change this Thursday, when Sprint will have the Essential Phone available in its physical retail stores across the US.
The move to a physical retail presence will not change the Essential Phone’s pricing structure through the carrier. In other words, the phone will go for $14.58 a month for 18 months on the 18 Sprint Flex Lease payment plan. By the time you make all the payments, which are discounted for a limited amount of time, you will have coughed up a little over $260 less than if you bought the Essential Phone unlocked, the latter of which is a $700 endeavor.
The Essential Phone can take a lot of damage without missing a beat
Sprint will also sell Essential’s 360° Camera, which is a removable module that can record 360-degree video in 4K and take 360-degree pictures. The camera will sell for $200 outright or $16.67 per month for 12 months.
Quickly touching on the Essential Phone itself, the phone features a Quad HD 19:10 aspect ratio display that, were it not for the front-facing camera, earpiece, and chin, would cover the entirety of the front. Made out of titanium and ceramic, the Essential Phone features dual rear cameras and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and 4 GB of RAM.
Even with a striking design and powerful innards, however, we are torn over whether the Essential Phone is worth its asking price. Not only did the cameras deliver subpar images, but with no headphone jack and no-frills software, we are confused over whether the phone lives up to or outright ignores its namesake.
It also bears mentioning that the Essential Phone is in somewhat of a weird place right now. In between Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, LG’s V30, and Google’s upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL refreshes, the Essential Phone stands as the well-refined, but odd man out.
Even so, the phone is still worthy of consideration, particularly for those who like their phones with timely updates and a head-turning design that happens to be relatively rugged, even if it is absurdly difficult to fix on your own.