Are you using the new Essential Phone? Please share your experience.
The Essential Phone is expertly crafted using titanium and ceramic, with an edge-to-edge Full Display and captures stunning images (even in low light) with the world's thinnest dual camera system ever built for a phone.
I activated the Essential Phone with Oreo update yesterday. Works flawlessly. Hands down my favorite phone in a long time.
*** You have to take the phone (non-Sprint version) into a CORPORATE Verizon store to activate it. No problems. Otherwise, you have to jump through the hoops of activating another SIM card and all that mess. Just search on Verizon's site for store locations and make sure you click on the radio button to NOT INCLUDE AUTHORIZED DEALERS.
Have had the Essential PH-1 for two weeks now. Purchased directly from Essential using the student discount. Included USB-C 27W fast charging block, USB-C charging/data cable, USB-C/jack adapter, USB-C earphones, 360 camera and a 3 month trial of Tidal.
I fully charged the phone first. Next, simply inserted my SIM card from my previous phone (an LG V10 that finally developed the well known bootloop problem after 3 years of use). Turned the PH-1 on and voila it joined the Verizon network, and services started up for my same phone number. I checked MyVerizon and it had the new phone make and model, correct IMEI and ICCID.
Updated to Android 9 Pie using wifi and OTA.
Solid construction and hefty (partially made of titanium).
Battery has been very good, reminding me of the Motorola phone I used to have. Overall, very good performance in terms of using apps, mobile and wifi network.
Incredible sound using the EPHD1 earphones. Has USB DAC (IDK the codec name), AptX HD for Bluetooth audio. Supports MQA! Using the FiiO music app for Android.
I got the Incipio clear case, but there are many other choices and colors.
Installed Verizon Security & Privacy. Need to install the My Verizon app, but for now managing my account via web browser. Darn, not compatible with the NFL app 😞
Verizon Cloud is no longer free, so using the Android backup system for contacts, call history, photos, messages, etc. Android backup hard to control. Can trigger a backup through ADB commands, but a computer and USB connection required-- not convenient. Connected the PH-1 to a power source, enabled wifi then left the phone overnight to get it to do the first backup. Now backs up daily, at random times. Could not get SMS/MMS to backup to Google Drive though, so installed Verizon Message+. Message+ will archive SMS and MMS for three months. Allows restore of messages after loss/theft/damage/reset. Installed VZW Message+ on my Windows 10 PC, can send and receive without the phone being at hand or turned on.
Have not experienced the touch screen lags reported by others. I miss screen knock, like my old LG phone. Unable to install a screen knock app, the PH-1 screen is LCD.
Now about the signal. The phone initially ran at 3G. Got it to use 4GLTE by doing the following:
1) Settings --> Network & Internet --> Mobile network.
2) Enable Mobile data.
3) Tap on Advanced.
4) Enable Enhanced 4G LTE Mode.
5) Tap on Preferred network type.
6) Select 4G/LTE.
7) Back at the Mobile network screen, in the Network section, enable Automatically select network.
In dim gray should say Network Verizon Wireless.
😎 Tap on Access Point Names. Tap on Verizon VZWINTERNET. Should take you to a page named Edit access point, where all the info is in dim gray. Tap on the left arrow ( <-- ) to go back. The radio button for Verizon VZWINTERNET should be solid (filled in) now.
NOTE: I set preferred networks to Global after initializing the APN. My last phone used Global. Makes me feel worldly 🙂
9) Tap the left arrows until you are all the way out of settings.
Should now see LTE+ to the left of the signal icon.
Recommend rebooting for good measure.
The triangular signal icon has never been totally filled in. The value in SIM card status is about -108 dB. My experience with data speed and calls has been excellent. Downloads across mobile have been very fast, have yet to have a call drop. So perhaps the PH-1 components need to be calibrated?
There is a hidden screen that allows advanced access to network settings. Simply call *#*#4636#*#* to get to it. Careful, if something gets goofed up, you will have to a factory reset to remediate.
MyVerizon shows I have HD voice, but unable to find the menu for it on the PH-1. Also, my understanding is that the PH-1 does not support wifi calling. Have to use an app like Google Voice, which means using a different phone number.
The PH-1 for me is a good alternative to paying $1000 to get the latest Android OS. Nice simple out of the box. The end user can build up the phone apps and settings for personal preference. No bloatware!
Essential support is responsive, attentive, but not helpful. Essential is up for sale, and they are focusing on their Home product. They have canceled development of the PH-2. Bottom line, the PH-1 will be orphaned, but I am hopeful that a viable alternative will be available by 2020.