I use an Android Essential Phone PH-1 because I like to Think Different

I’ve used smartphones since before the iPhone first launched, and I think iPhones are great. But I like to switch back and forth between Android and iPhone so that I can have recent personal experience with both platforms.

There are many cool things about the Essential PH-1. One of the best selling points to me was that it comes with pure, unmodified Android. When Google has previously released new versions of Android, Essential made the new version available immediately; like Google smartphones, you don’t have to wait for months or years for the manufacturer or carrier to release the new version.

There is no crap-ware, just pure, latest and greatest Android. It also comes unlocked and with an unlocked bootloader, and it’s very easy to root it. It’s a very compelling phone for a developer.

Other interesting facts:

– Essential was founded by Android co-founder Andy Rubin

– The PH-1 has a titanium and ceramic body. Titanium!

– Edge-to-edge display protected by Gorilla Glass 5

– 360-degree camera that can be attached to the top of the device

– First mainstream smartphone to feature a “notch” around the front-facing camera

– USB-C connector

Other slightly less compelling details:

– They had Apple’s “courage” to remove the headphone jack when iPhone did

– The camera was initially a buggy, phone rebooting, slow-picture-taking disaster

– And they’re out of business. So no further support or updates.

I bought a used PH-1 when Essential announced that they were planning on winding down and would still provide support and updates. Same-as-new PH-1 phones were very cheap after the announcement.

I still like my Essential PH-1 quite a bit, though.

Here’s more about the titanium enclosure and drop test. Spoiler alert: The titanium enclosure is not all it’s “cracked up” to be, if you know what I mean.