The smartphone market can be cruel to newcomers, especially in the United States. It’s a place where big names matter most, and four major wireless carriers still hold all the keys to the kingdom. Devices that should change the market often fall flat or gain only niche followings. Andy Rubin’s high-end Essential Phone still has the bells and whistles of an $700 phone, but it’s price is half that.
Less than a year after it’s debut, Amazon has the phone for $350. If you’re hunting for a smartphone, you’ll be hard pressed to find another deal this good.
Despite a beautiful design and decent reviews from WIRED and other publications, the Essential Phone (PH-1), hasn’t been a huge hit. It’s only sold unlocked online or through Sprint. In a blog post on October 21, 2017, the company first lowered the price of the Essential Phone from $700 to $500. It later dropped to $400 and now $350.
We still like this device. There are a few issues with its camera, but it’s roughly on par with the best smartphones of 2017 (most of the hot 2018 phones aren’t even out yet), and at $350, it’s a far more attractive offer than it was at $700.
You can buy the Essential Phone on Amazon for $350 (Prime-eligible) or directly through its website for $500. The good thing about the Essential Phone is that it’s unlocked, so it will work on any of the major wireless carriers, including Verizon.
Update: We updated this post from late 2017 when the Essential Phone first hit $500. It’s now a much better deal.
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