The company quietly updated its page devoted to beta builds to allow for the latest image featuring Android 8.1 to either be sideloaded or sent over the air. With the option to flash, the files are distributed immediately and can be put into the PH-1 through ADB. Those who opt for an OTA will get the update will need to wait up to 72 hours before the update gets pushed. Beta users can also use the form to get an OTA to revert to the public, stable build.
Essential opted to skip out on upgrading its debut phone with Android 8.0 Oreo and is spending a few extra weeks to bring a potentially more stable, but certainly more up-to-date Android 8.1 experience.