Andy Rubin’s divisive first Essential Phone clearly didn’t set the world on fire with either sales through its exclusive US carrier partner or apparent overall demand. An arguably unpleasant screen cutout, objectively mediocre camera performance, painfully long waiting times and the absence of both water resistance and a headphone jack probably all contributed to what many are calling disappointing box-office numbers.
But if there’s one thing you can’t possibly dislike about the startup company, that’s definitely the way it’s been handling public relations of late. Every little software updating move and small Oreo progress was shared with users, and bi-weekly Reddit AMA sessions also provided information regarding next-gen devices and other Essential future plans.
Even bad news is often sweetened when communicated sincerely and in a timely fashion, which “Team Essential” is trying to do today. Although the Essential Phone already received three rounds of public Android 8.0 Oreo beta tests, “several stability issues” still stand.
Instead of prolonging the beta program, the American OEM has decided to skip to OS build 8.1, thus pushing the “public release of Oreo back a couple weeks.” Mind you, that doesn’t mean stable Oreo goodies will start to roll out in two weeks, but rather a couple of weeks later than previously planned.
In the meantime, an Oreo 8.1 beta is coming soon, likely as early as “late next week”, as Essential seeks to “continue fine-tuning the build with your valuable feedback.” And yes, Essential Phone owners appear to be taking the news of the delay surprisingly well, agreeing that it’s better to wait and receive a silky smooth update… eventually.