Essential Phone 2: A phone that calls and texts contacts on your behalf

Essential Phone PH-1

For a first-time smartphone vendor, the Essential Phone is a great piece of hardware. But to be more honest, the PH-1 is mostly a good phone with some annoying imperfections, more so on matters performance and photography, the latter of which has become an integral aspect for many smartphone buyers.

There’s no problem with slamming a $700 price tag on a phone, but the Essential Phone did not, in any case, justify this price tag. People mostly pay more for their phones if they have impeccable performance capabilities and good cameras, but the Essential Phone doesn’t have these two.

However, at under $500, which is the current price of the Essential Phone, it’s forgivable to have the PH-1’s camera. But bring the likes of OnePlus 6 and even the older OnePlus 5T to the table – which cost about the same as the PH-1 and have proven performance – and you’ll have no major reason to stick around Andy Rubin’s camp. But what if we told you Essential the California-based company has another take on what a phone should do?

Well, according to Bloomberg, there’s what is essentially the Essential Phone 2 in the works, but it won’t be a typical successor to the PH-1, rather, the company is working on a handset that will be able to do stuff for you through voice commands. So, what do we really know about this phone, which, as noted, we’ve tentatively nicknamed it Essential Phone 2?

Design and display

Like many other flagship phones, the material build of the PH-1 makes it a fingerprint magnet, but Essential says the company is looking into new coatings/textures that will make the PH-2 less slippery and prone to smudges. Even better is that the accessories you paid for to match the PH-1 will still be compatible with the PH-2, much like Motorola’s Moto Mods.

As for the display size, a Bloomberg report claims the device will rock a small screen because interacting with it will be done mainly through voice commands.

Performance specs

Essential hasn’t mentioned a thing about the phone’s expected specs and features or even the release date, but given the alleged Essential Phone 2 will be succeeding what is deemed to be a flagship phone, we expect the best hardware on board to ensure that the AI-backed software works optimally.

Apparently, the new phone will be tuned to make calls, book appointments, or respond to emails and texts from your contacts on its own with the help of the company’s AI software. In this way, Andy Rubin thinks he’ll be helping cure the rampant smartphone addiction by minimizing time spent on these hand-held gadgets.


Speaking to Business Insider with respect to photography qualities of its next product, Essential says that they’ve “heard you” and that they plan to “do it better” with the Essential Phone 2. Given that the PH-1 holds up well in certain key areas, the company will be directing more effort towards the camera department for its successor.

According to Linda Jiang, the head of industrial design at Essential, the company is:

Looking forward to improving [the camera] with our next-gen [Essential Phone 2], making sure that we’re listening to customers and their pain points.

Price and availability

Previous reports have suggested that the Essential Phone 2 will be unveiled before the end of 2018, but a separate report says otherwise – that given the new direction Essential has taken, a prototype of the said AI-based phone will be ready to showcase at the CES 2019, much like it happened with the PH-1, where the company first talked about it at the same event in early 2017.

Are you looking forward to the 2nd-gen Essential Phone now that it’s promised to be better than the inaugural model? Let us know in your comments below.

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