Essential PH-1 review
My Essential PH-1 review finds a smartphone that is just a revolutionary as Samsung’s Galaxy S8+, with its curved Infinity Display.
The Essential Phone has been created by the Co-creator of Android, Andy Rubin. There is no guarantee that it will go on sale outside of the US but if it does, then it will be a massive UK success.
This really is a mobile phone review that early tech adopters will not want to miss.
The edge-to-edge Full Display goes far past just meeting the sides of the phone. With the Essential PH-1 the Full Display extends upwards to the top edge of the phone, where just a small notch has been taken out, for the camera lens to poke through.
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The display is protected behind Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and measures 5.71” diagonally. QHD resolution of 2560 x 1312 pixels is presented in a 19:10 aspect ratio. The brightness can be increased to 500 nits, simply meaning that outdoor readability will not be an issue.
Titanium and Ceramic
The Essential PH-1 has a titanium body and this metal has been used because it doesn’t scratch, dent or bend like aluminium might. Titanium is harder, stronger and more resilient than aluminium and to prove its worth, durability testing included dropping it onto concrete.
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You can see the results of the drop testing, next to results of a couple of popular aluminium phones, in our photo gallery.
The design of the Essential PH-1 extends its premium credentials further through the inclusion of a ceramic back. There are no brand logos ruining the overall look and the phone is available in Black Moon, Pure White, Stellar Grey and Ocean Depths.
The Essential Phone is 7.8mm thick and weighs in at 185g, which is at the heavier end of phones that we see manufactured today.
The Essential PH-1 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 2.45GHz octa-core processor with 4GB RAM. This processor has been used in most flagship smartphones this year, so performance will be on par with those.
The design includes four microphones for excellent call or recording quality and stereo speakers give an excellent media and gaming experience.
Phone Set Up
Security and transferring content
The Essential PH-1 has a fingerprint reader located on the back, for securing the phone.
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You can transfer content over from an old iPhone or smartphone and Essential has been pretty generous in giving the PH-1 a 128GB internal memory.
Essential are making a big deal about its connectivity and just like on the Moto Z2 Play, there are magnetic connectors with wireless data transfer, for future-proof connectivity of accessories. You can buy a 360-degrees camera or connect dongles, chargers and other accessories to the phone in this way.
In the box there is a USB Type-C to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter and the Essential PH-1 runs Google’s Android 7.1 Nougat OS, so apps and game downloads are readily available.
Camera & Video
World’s thinnest dual camera system
The Essential PH-1 has the world’s thinnest dual camera system, built for a phone. The dual cameras both have a 13MP resolution, with one being a colour RGB (Red, Green, Blue) camera and the other being a monochrome camera.
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These cameras capture 200% more light than traditional cameras on a phone. Image fusion technology works to take the best detail from each to make one photograph and there is also a 13MP True Monochrome shooting mode.
The camera on the PH-1 is optimised for low light performance and better focus is achieved with depth tracking. The Hybrid Autofocus uses Phase Detect, Contrast and IR Laser Assist Focus.
The main camera and 8MP selfie camera can both shoot 4K video, so this really is a top notch offering for landscape and portrait photography.