Long time readers of this site will know the emphasis I put on the importance of our smartphones and how, today, they can enhance our travels.

The PH-1 was created by Andy Rubin who co-created Android! His blueprint was straight forward, to produce a handset that was not bloated with unwanted features, have an open ecosystem so your handset worked well with other technologies and craft it from premium materials so it would stand the test of time!



Essential PH-1

With the above in mind, the end result is an incredibly sleek and minimalistic looking device that really has every box of a flagship device ticked, and even has some ‘must have’ accessories!




Immediately, the first thing to catch your eye is the finish.  The handset has done away with an aluminium body, used by most manufacturers, and instead opted for a mix of titanium and ceramic.  This results in a super smooth finish and gives it that minimalistic feel, which is further increased from the front.  With no home or physical buttons, the screen has been allowed to run from edge to edge with a near bezel-less frame!

The Dual camera system, Essential claim, is one of the thinnest on the market today.  Delivering a front facing 8MP and a rear 13MP camera, both can film in 4k at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps or 720p at 120fps!



The near full case display measures 5.71inches diagonally, which puts it right in between the iPhone 7plus (5.5″) and the Samsung S8+ (6.2″).  That is more than big enough to enjoy movies on or to edit your own media after making use of the powerful cameras.  Both of which are easily done thanks to the 128GB internal storage.

As you would expect, the PH-1 is a full-blooded Android handset and should further benefit from the new OS they announced this week, which we now know to be Oreo.




With every new handset that goes on the market, a flurry of 3rd party attachments usually follows, promising to enhance or improve an already good device.  Essential have decided to embrace this attitude, and as they believe this handset is one that should grow with you rather than be replaced after 12 months, this gamble with optional attachments might just work!



At launch there are two add-ons that make use of the magnetic connectors that have been expertly built-in to the rear of the phone.  A 360° camera and a charging dock, but it is the additional camera that will be the winner.  360 degree video is becoming very popular, and with content sharing on sites such as Facebook Live getting easier, attachments such as this make the PH-1, Essential!



Yet as one hand gives, the other takes away! There is no headphone jack and no water resistance on the PH-1.  Despite these two omissions, every spec and feature of this handset puts it up there with the Flagship devices of the brands.


To begin with, the PH-1 has gone on sale in North America only.  In the US from Sprint or direct from Essential for $699 and Telus for Canadian users on contract.  You can choose from Black Moon or Pure White colours, and expect Stellar Grey and Ocean Depths Blue to be released soon after.  There is currently no launch date for other countries but they are expected soon!

You can keep an eye out for any announcements on the Essential Twitter feed.