For all of Essential’s problems, they no longer have a communication one. The company has consistently taken to Reddit for bi-weekly AMAs and the latest round answers questions about upcoming colors, the lack of waterproofing, cases and more. Let’s take a look at the biggest disclosures.
ETA for the next color?
“New colors are still coming soon… we know that answer sucks, but it’s the transparent truth. I actually just left a meeting reviewing the lastest Ocean Depths samples out of Japan and it’s getting so. close. But there are still lingering issues (e.g. 30 micron specks) that don’t meet our standards. Stellar Gray (matte black) is the next one to drop.”
Are 3rd party cases and skins coming soon? Will they accommodate the 360 camera and future modules?
“We are such a small team that we decided to hyper-focus on products where our crew can create truly unique devices that express genuine technological fortitude and push the envelope. In that context, making plastic bumpers is not where we generate the most impact in the world of consumer electronics.”
“What we’ve chosen to do instead is to be super open with 3rd parties. I’ve been working closely with companies Incipio (and others) to ensure they have all the data they need to build a nice product. They operate independently from us, but they’re fully Essential-empowered to build good stuff for y’all. So while we have encouraged those 3rd parties to build accessory-ready designs, that’s up to them.”
Why doesn’t the Essential Phone have a water or dust resistance rating (IP67 or IP68)?
“To achieve IP67 or IP68 on this device, unfortunately, would have required some significant design trade-offs that were unpalatable for our first device: larger display borders, a thicker product, much larger receiver opening, to name a few. To make a phone more waterproof + repairable takes space for sealing solutions. IP67 has been a resounding request from our customers.”
iFixit found it almost impossible to repair the Essential Phone. Is there a better way to do it?
“We use a fairly standard hot-melt glue to bond the display glass to the chassis of the phone. By heating up the perimeter of the display to ~85C the glue softens and the display can easily be pulled off (using a suction cup) and the glue removed, ready for a new display to be installed. It’s important to only heat up the perimeter and not the center of the display to prevent damage to the LCD panel. The battery is also pretty easy to remove and replace if done properly … We currently don’t sell parts to consumers but do offer a competitive extended warranty plan.”
Why is the 360 camera scratching the ceramic back around the modular pins?
“We do use an AFP coating on this product but it scratches off the ceramic a little too easily. It’s usually the coating that scratches first, rather than the base ceramic. The scratches around the pins are probably indicative of damage to the fingerprint coating. We studied just ditching the AFP but, shockingly, no coating parts are just astonishingly fingerprinty. Thus slightly damageable AFP seemed like a reasonable call.”
That covers the main topics from their latest AMA. Be sure to visit the source to see everything they had to say. Essential does this every two weeks, so if you have questions for them, they could be answered soon.