Android co-founder Andy Rubin’s new company Essential Products’ first smartphone debuted earlier this year, generating a flurry of coverage from tech and mainstream media. However, this much-hyped smartphone doesn’t seem to be getting much love from the consumers.
According to BayStreet Research, the company has sold just 5,000 units of the phone so far in the United States. Essential PH-1 (aka Essential Phone) is currently offered in an unlocked version and via telecom operator Sprint.
While it is quite common for the startups to not sell millions of devices in their first attempt, but 5,000 is particularly dismal number.
What went wrong for Essential?
Although the critics lauded the Essential Phone’s design and build quality, they were left underwhelmed with the camera (mostly software issues), lack of headphone jack and absence of any stand-out features. Also, a release via Sprint, which is the smallest of the US’ four major telecom operators, hasn’t really helped the company.
The $699.99 price-tag for the unlocked version was always going to be too much for the consumers in US, who are used to buying phones cheap with contracts.
Additionally, the company had supply troubles and was forced to delay the shipments.
Clearly, Essential has a lot of work cut out if it wants to stay relevant in the insanely competitive smartphone market.
Essential Phone PH-1 full specifications
- Titanium body with ceramic back and Gorilla Glass 5 front
- 5.71-inch screen with 2560 x 1312 resolution, 500 nits brightness, and 19:10 aspect ratio
- 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor (64 bit) with Adreno 540 GPU
- 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, no microSD card slot
- 3040 mAh non-removable battery with fast charging support
- 10 finger multitouch, fingerprint sensor, barometer, USB Type-C port, GPS
- IP54 water and dust resistant
- NFC, 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b//n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0
- 13MP dual RGB + Mono camera on the back with f1.8 lens, Phase Detect and IR Laser Assist Focus
- 8MP selfie camera on the front with f2.2 hyperfocal lens