Essential is today releasing the first ever build of Android 8.0 (Oreo) for the Essential PH-1 today. Essential announced the Android 8.0 release for the PH-1 back in September, and the company is releasing the first beta of Android 8.0 for the PH-1 today, allowing users to try out all the new Android 8.0 enhancements and features on your device.
Installing Android 8.0 on the Essential PH-1 isn’t particularly easy, especially if you aren’t too familiar with ADB tools. Essential is offering a recovery build for the PH-1 as well, so if you find any critical bug on the Android 8.0 update or fail to install it properly, you can use that to go back to Android 7.0.
Essential is one of the few Android manufacturers who don’t tweak much of the feel and look of pure Android. That’s mostly a good thing for the most part, as it allows the company to deliver major Android updates more quickly while offering a bloat-free experience, which is rare on Android flagships nowadays. It’s important to note that Google’s Pixel devices already have the Android 8.0 update, but the majority of Android phones are yet to get the new features — including Samsung’s line of Galaxy phones. Although Samsung has also started testing Android 8.0 with Samsung Experience 9.0 (previously TouchWiz), it’s still a month or so away from the official public rollout.
With Android 8.0, the PH-1 looks like a pretty decent mid-range option if you are planning to get a new Android phone. The device initially launched with a high price of $699 and a poor camera, but Essential later introduced a permanent discount of $200 for the device after reportedly selling only 5,000 units. At $499, the Essential PH-1 is a solid looking Android flagship, as long as you can live with the sub-par camera.