Not so Essential phone
Maxim Leonovich

Same situation here — I have the Nexus 6P and was rather excited with the prospect of another stock option through a premium quality build, but am very disappointed. The phone feels great in your hand — very solid build, but the LED screen and poor camera performance are very real drawbacks that I can’t rationalize my way around. I did a lot of side by side tests between the two phones’ cameras and the Nexus 6P was consistently the clear winner on a number of levels. Though, I will say the monochrome camera on the PH-1 is nice — it performs better by itself than when combined with the color camera and I will actually miss it being an option for me. That being said, I think I’d be better served buying a stand alone camera with a B&W sensor for $700 and keep the Nexus.

The screen, in my opinion, is dull and the blacks feel washed out. It’s also difficult to see in direct sunlight. After spending time on the PH-1, then picking up my Nexus 6P, the contrast is always startling — the Nexus screen is rich, sharp and bright.

The lack of a headphone jack did cause me some inconvenience. I can’t charge my phone and listen to music in my car at the same time w/o buying another adapter (still connect to my stereo via 1/8" cable — if I forget the adapter, I’m out of luck) and when I went to work out, my bluetooth headphones ran out of batteries so I had to go without as I couldn’t use any of my plug-in backups. Bluetooth’s sound quality is still not as robust as a direct line-in connection — especially with lossless files — you lose a lot of bass and the sound can be tinny. So, the lack of headphone jack is definitely a strike against for me in regard to the devices versatility for not only my personal lifestyle (and investment in premium earbuds), but for adaptability to changing situations.

I’ve yet to receive the 360 camera. Hopefully, I’ll receive it prior to my 15 day return window so I can try it out. Otherwise, I do feel the Essential line has potential and I’ll keep an eye on it. As of now, they’ve created a nice phone, but not a device that can compete yet.

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