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Essential Phone PH-1 vs Galaxy S8: Samsung should be afraid

by Brandon Russell | May 30, 2017May 30, 2017 10:30 am PDT

After plenty of teasing, Andy Rubin’s Essential on Tuesday unveiled its first smartphone, and it looks pretty fantastic. We knew it would be a high-end flagship even before it was announced, but the company still managed to surprise us. We can’t wait to see it in person.

On paper, the device shares a lot in common with the Galaxy S8. It features a Snapdragon 835 chip, 4GB of RAM, and the latest version of Android. But it also one-ups Samsung’s handset in a few key areas: It has a 3,040mAh battery and 128GB of built-in storage.

The Essential Phone’s biggest draw is its large 5.7-inch QHD display, which is G6-like in its execution. The bottom chin is a little bigger than the top, though it lacks any obnoxious branding unlike the G6. It also leaves a small cutout for an 8-megapixel camera, which can apparently record 4K selfie videos.

As for the back, the Essential Phone features a dual camera setup, making it a more tantalizing prospect for those who prioritize photos over raw power. The device features one 13-megapixel RGB sensor and a 13-megapixel monochrome sensor, which the company claims can capture 200-percent more light than traditional phone cameras.

There’s a lot to like about the Essential Phone, and it’s coming from a man who knows his stuff (Andy Rubin is the co-founder of Android). But just because it looks nice and sounds nice doesn’t mean it’s better than what’s already on the market. We have yet to use the device; it’ll have to walk the walk in order to earn the respect of consumers.

If we’re just comparing apples to apples, however, the Essential Phone is certainly providing the S8 with a lot of competition. Check out the table down below to see how they stack up on paper.

Essential PH-1 Gallery

Galaxy S8 Gallery

Essential - Essential PH-1 Samsung - Galaxy S8
Display Size 5.71-inch, 1312 x 2560 pixel display (504 ppi) 5.8-inch, 2960 x 1440 pixel display (568 ppi)
Resolution X 1312 2960
Resolution Y 2560 1440
Display Type CGS / LTPS Quad HD+
Operating System Android Android 7.0 (at launch)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage
  • 128GB
  • 64GB
External Storage No Yes
Main Camera (Back) 13MP 12MP
Secondary Camera (Front) 8MP 8MP
Networks
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A: 0, 1, 10
  • FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66
  • GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • TD-SCDMA: 34, 39
  • TDD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43
  • UMTS/HSPA+: 1, 2, 4, 5 6, 8
  • LTE Cat.16 (May differ by markets and mobile operators)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 LE Bluetooth 5.0
Battery 3040mAh 3000mAh
NFC Yes Yes
Connectivity
  • USB Type-C
  • USB Type-C
Sensors
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Magnetometer
  • Proximity
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Barometer
  • Fingerprint
  • Gyroscope
  • Geomagnetic
  • Hall
  • Heart rate
  • Iris
  • Pressure
  • Proximity
GPS
  • GLONASS
  • GPS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • Glonass
  • GPS
Height 141.5 mm (5.57 inches) 148.9 mm (5.86 inches)
Width 71.1 mm (2.80 inches) 68.1 mm (2.68 inches)
Depth 7.8 mm (0.31 inches) 8 mm (0.31 inches)
Weight 185 g (6.53 oz) 155 g (5.47 oz)
Colors Black, Grey, Ocean Depths, White Midnight Black, Orchard Grey, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold
Supported Audio Formats N/A MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, DSF, DFF
Supported Video Formats N/A MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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