Technology

Dealmaster: The Essential Phone fire sale continues, now just $224 [Updated]

Update (20/08/2018 10:55 ET) : the discount seems to have expired at the moment; we will update this message as it returns.

Original Story : Essential really seems to want to get rid of phones that remain in stock. Last month, we brought out an agreement in which the first and only Android phone of the troubled start-up was reduced to $ 250 during Amazon Prime Day. On Monday, the device sells even less than that, as Amazon sells the "Halo Gray" edition of the handset for $ 224 .

The essential phone, sold for the first time at $ 699 when it was launched last summer and suffered some permanent price cuts after sales, would have been well below expectations . To be clear, the camera still has its share of problems : there is no waterproofing, no microSD slot, no headphone jack and some users have reported reception problems on T-Mobile. The life of the battery is correct, and even after several updates, the camera is not really competitive with other flagship phones from last year. The Essential Modular Accessory System has been a real headache.

But most of these reviews are not as bad in the case of a $ 220 phone. The phone still uses Snapdragon 835, the first SoC from last year, and still works properly. The ceramic back, as well as the thin bevels and notches around the screen, look and feel much more upscale than anything currently happening in this price range. It also comes with 128GB of default storage.

The agreement makes including the Essential Phone the least expensive way for Android 9 Pie. Essential delivered the recently released update on the day it was made available, a first for a device other than Google. The phone's user interface is a more or less stored version of Android in addition to that. The "Halo Gray" model is technically exclusive to Amazon, so it's built into the company's Alexa Assistant, but it's still possible to skip it and use the Google Assistant instead. The device is unlocked and works technically with one of the top four operators in the United States.

You continue to assume some risk: with the future of Essential, it's not certain that it will be able to provide the two years of software updates initially promised for the phone. Healthy companies generally do not reduce the price of their flagship product by $ 475 a year after launch. But the device has an unlockable bootloader for DIYers who would like to update the device by themselves, and the history of software updates in this price range is not usually excellent. As long as you understand that you do not really get a phone worth $ 699 here, it's a good deal for a little longer.

Note: Ars Technica may obtain compensation for sales made from links appearing on this article through affiliate programs .

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