The launch of Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone has been anything but smooth, with several issues plaguing the company since its May debut. Following multiple shipping delays, a major email security gaffe and less than stellar customer service, the PH-1 (as it’s called) is finally in the hands of consumers. While shipping issues continue to linger, such as Amazon changing dates many times until settling on a one to two month window, software updates have been the phone’s saving grace. They’ve been plentiful and genuinely helpful, fixing many of the camera’s shortcomings, increasing software stability and keeping security patches up to date. September’s security update is already onboard.
The company tweeted some more encouraging news yesterday that promised an upgrade to Android Oreo within the next couple of months. Given its solid track record so far, users are likely looking at a November time frame. While I’m often skeptical when it comes to Essential’s claims, there are a couple of factors that make this probable. First, the PH-1 runs stock Android. And I mean bone stock Android. It’s even more basic than Google’s own Pixel phones. With the absence of third party skins and superfluous software, there are few obstacles to holdup software updates. Second is Andy Rubin himself, as the “Father of Android” quite literally specializes in software. I can’t think of anyone who would be more motivated to update his own company’s device, not to mention that there’s not a portfolio of other phones to deal with as well.
Notwithstanding recent troubles, I’m a big fan of the PH-1. From the design, unusual materials and stock software, the potential for greatness is there. If they can keep the software updates coming, including a timely Android P next year, we just might (finally) have another major player in the game.
source: Essential (Twitter)