The Essential Phone 2 will be a kick-ass phone
No, there’s no official confirmation yet, but it would make all the sense in the world for the Essential PH-1 to have an Essential PH-2 follow up. That is unless the company wants to be remembered as a “one hit wonder”, and, frankly, the PH-1 was lacking a couple of things to become a “hit”.
I was a fan of Sony’s design back in the Xperia Z days. Needless to say, because of the similarities, I am a fan of the PH-1’s design as well. I am used to glass back slabs, even though this is ceramic, with the slimy, slippery feel, and the certainty that it will never stay where I place it. It always slides, moves, falls…
The notch doesn’t bother me at all; what does is the fact that the screen is not AMOLED, exactly because of the notch. What also bothers me is that it is inconsistent in using the top part of the screen, to the left and right of the camera. Some apps fill the space, some don’t.
The speaker (only one, bottom firing), is mediocre to say at best. It is loud enough, but sounds like a tin can, with no dynamic range whatsoever. Sure, you can get used to it, but at $499 ($699 at launch) you’d not only expect, but demand decent audio.
And you know what else you’d demand? A decent camera! If you care about your mobile photography, look elsewhere. Images are mediocre at best, the camera app is lacking features, and, overall, seems poor and unfinished. Resulting images seem like they were taken with a phone launched years ago.
Performance is top notch, though. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, the simplest vanilla version of Android (Nougat, for now, but 8.1 is around the corner), and no third party apps whatsoever, you couldn’t expect less. And battery life is on par as well! Heck, some people even complained that the user experience is too vanilla, minimalistic, simple…
If you haven’t bought the PH-1 at launch, and you skipped it when it was discounted as well, do yourself a favor and wait. That is if you care about your multimedia.
Everything the company has to do with the Essential Phone 2 is to fix the problems of its predecessor. …and keep the price decent. An AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 845, 4- or 6GB of RAM, good front firing dual speakers, an improved camera, and Wireless Charging capabilities will make the PH-2 a desirable phone. Maybe reduce the bottom bezel just a bit, but don’t touch the overall design: it looks good! It looks different.
However, in order for the price to remain decent, some corners might need to be cut. Replacing ceramic with glass could reduce the costs; reduction of costs and profit which could very well be countered by wider availability and focus on higher volumes, rather than just the US and Canada. Essential knows better what to do to improve on the PH-1. Or, at least I hope so, not only for the company’s sake, but for ours as well. The Essential Phone 2 will be a kick-ass phone, if the company doesn’t mess it up.
That being said, what would you change on the PH-1 in order for the Essential Phone 2 (PH-2) to become desirable?