Earlier this week I had a plan to write up a “what if” article regarding the Essential Phone 2. It was going to be all about modular designs, and how, maybe, Essential should consider dropping the idea for something a bit more straightforward. But then life got in the way so that article didn’t see the light of day.
In the meantime, a rumor popped up with some dire forecasts: Essential was up on the chopping block, a decision made by Andy Rubin, and, even worse, the company had decided against building the Essential Phone 2. If the rumors are true, then Essential is putting all of its cookies in a smart home product basket, and we should see what that looks like next year.
Smart speaker? A full-home connected security system? Who knows!
Whatever the company is working on, it doesn’t sound like an Essential Phone 2 is high on the priority list. Rubin has said that a mobile product is still a possibility at some point in the future, but from the sounds of it that smart home product might be the company’s most important product any time soon.
The Essential Phone was a great handset. Yes, it technically brought us the notch design first, but everything else was pretty solid for a first smartphone from a brand new startup. Essential had a huge hill to climb in trying to compete against, well, everyone else, but it doesn’t look like it achieved that goal.
So this is a sort of eulogy for the Essential Phone. Not so much the company right now, because we might see one more product from them. I had a good time with my time using the Essential Phone, as brief as it was. I think Essential was on to something, especially with the limited edition color schemes the company had tied with seasons. The design was fantastic, and while I was left wanting from the camera more often than not, it would definitely be fantastic for most people.
Essential had its work cut out for itself, and I know it might have even been impossible to really make an impact in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple. But I still want more than just a single year — and a single smartphone — out of the company. Like I said earlier, the Essential Phone is a great start and I was really hoping that whatever successor they came up with would really be pretty great.
But now we might never find out. How does that make you feel? Let me know!