Remember how we questioned the positioning of Andy Rubin’s Essential and its Essential Phone as a premium Android smartphone with its US$699 price tag? Turns out that those on Telus have it pretty awful.

The Canadian network, which has exclusivity over the PH-1’s carriage, is now offering those who registered with Essential’s Canadian site a chance to pre-order the device in either its Black Moon or Pure White looks for CA$1,050 (US$825) outright. That’s an 18 percent premium.

The company is offering two tiers of financing through a service plan over two years:

  • $290 down with a minimum service plan price of $95 monthly ($2,570 over 24 months)
  • $490 down with a minimum service plan price of $85 monthly ($2,530 over 24 months)

To be fair, a lot of smartphones cost more in this country — Telus and Rogers have the standard iPhone 7 above CA$900 or US$707.

The product page states that units will begin shipping out in the next 3 to 4 weeks — some good news for those watching from the south, especially as Essential is due to announce a firmer shipment timeframe this week. Rubin tweeted that mass production, while way later than promised, is underway.

[alert variation=”alert-warning”]Update: The pricing on the two contract tiers has been clarified to reflect that service plan charges must start at the minimum amounts signified.[/alert]


Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.

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