Andy Rubin’s long-awaited Essential phone will allegedly ship to the first customers within the week. At least, that’s according to an email that Essential sent to customers who signed up to buy the device back in June.
“Great news, your phone has been built!” the email reads. (I signed up to purchase the device.) “We now just need your payment details and we will ship within 7 days.” The email message also notes that those who reserved an Essential 360 Camera will receive a separate email as soon as it’s ready to be shipped.
I had apparently reserved an Essential Phone in Black Moon at a cost of $699 (or $29.13 per month). I can add Essential Extra care for $99. This is described as:
Hassle-free protection for your Essential Phone is just a click away. Enjoy 2 years of coverage for breakdowns and accidental damage when you add an Essential Extended Care plan to your purchase. And when the unexpected happens, you will receive your replacement Essential Phone, typically as soon as the next business day with our signature Express Service.
As you may recall, Essential announced the PH-1 Phone, its 360 Camera peripheral, and a Home appliance back in late May. At the time, the firm was vague on both pricing and availability, but it made Phone and the 360 Camera available for pre-order in June. And then said in July that the devices would ship in a few weeks.
Over a month later, the Phone is apparently ready to ship. But I’m going to hold off on this for now: I’m quite intrigued by Essential, not just the phone, but by Andy Rubin’s broader strategy of bringing together what is now a lot of disparate smart home technologies into a centralized, open platform. But I can’t afford this thing, and given my move situation, this isn’t the ideal time for such a purchase. This fall, after we know what’s up with the Samsung Note 8 and the Pixel XL 2, I’ll make my next Android move.
<blockquote><a href="#167102"><em>In reply to PeteB:</em></a></blockquote><p>Valuation numbers aren't meaningful for high-profile startups in recent years. At this point all Essential has is investors.</p>
<p>Only someone in Paul's position (a tech blogger) should consider spending <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">$699 for a phone from a company that has no track record.</span></p>
<blockquote><a href="#167101"><em>In reply to PeteB:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'm quite aware of Rubin's experience and the fact that it doesn't particularly qualify him to oversee the design and manufacturing of phones. The pre-Google Android wasn't even touch-based and bears little resemblance to the Android of recent years. The fundamental point is that creating a significant software product doesn't necessarily qualify you to design and manufacture hardware.</p>