Android creator Andy Rubin has a new Essential Phone in the market and even though this handset won’t be available outside the U.S. – at least for now – it’s worthy pitting it against the best of the best – the Google Pixel.
Since its 2016 release, the Google Pixel has retained its position as one of the best, if not the best phone on the market. However, with the clock not on its side, there are a bunch of new phones that have been popping up lately with some impressive specs and features on board – and the new Essential Phone is just one of them. So, how exactly does the new Essential PH-1 compare against the Google Pixel phone? Let’s take a closer look.
Design and display
The Google Pixel is the smaller and more compact model (compared to the Pixel XL) that features a 5-inch display screen, measures 143.8×69.5×8.5mm and weighs 143g. While the Essential Phone is slightly shorter and thinner at 141.5mm and 7.8mm, respectively, it’s a bit wider at 71.1mm. Interestingly, this small frame houses a bigger 5.71-inch display screen and weighs heavier at 185g. The design of the display panel is also different, where the Essential handset has a near bezel-less design that resembles the Xiaomi Mi MIX, only leaving a small bezel on the bottom end.
The Essential Phone also comes with a sleeker titanium and ceramic design that brushes the Google Pixel aside with its glass and metal chassis. Although robust enough, this body might not be as sturdy as the Essential PH-1. The resolution on the Essential Phone is QHD while the Pixel phone has a Full HD resolution, which translates to better quality on the former compared to the latter.
There’s no physical button on either phone, instead, both companies have capacitive buttons with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. You’d want to be careful with either phone when around water as none of them has some form of waterproofing, but the Google Pixel comes out on top when it comes to ports, where you find the traditional 3.5mm audio jack intact as opposed to the USB-C port of the Essential Phone.
Like the Moto Z series, the Essential Phone has some form of modularity thanks to a magnetic connector on the back for attaching modules such as a 360-degree camera, among others. As for the Google Pixel, well, forget about modularity. Andy Rubin’s phone will be sold in four color variants of Black Moon, Ocean Depths, Pure White and Stellar Grey whereas the Pixel can be picked up in Black or Silver color variants.
The Essential Phone has just been announced and given that it’s targeting the same market as the Google Pixel, it has newer hardware specs that match other 2017 flagship phones. The phone packs the powerful Snapdragon 835 SoC that is paired with a decent 4GB RAM, same as the Google Pixel, but the latter has an older Snapdragon 821 SoC on board. There’s no doubt that the SD835 is more powerful than the SD821, but in terms of real world performance, you might struggle to notice the difference between the two.
The Pixel has a base storage of 32GB and a high-end variant of 128GB, however, the Essential PH-1 only ships with one storage option – 128GB. Both phones have no microSD card slot. As far as photography, the Pixel has a proven record, but looking at what the Essential Phone brings on paper, it shouldn’t disappoint in any way. The phone has a dual 13MP setup on the back, with one sensor working as the monochrome lens, while the front has an 8MP lens. The story is the same as far as the Pixel’s selfie is concerned, but the back has a single 12.3MP shooter.
On the battery end, the Essential Phone has a decent 3040mAh unit on board, slightly bigger than the 2770mAh unit used on the Google Pixel. There’s support for fast charging technology on either model, but no wireless charging.
Software and pricing
As you know, Android is a product of Andy Rubin, the man behind the new Essential Phone. As a result, the phone is powered by his darling, same version as what is found on the Google Pixel phone. There are no funny customizations around the software used on the Essential Phone, just like the Pixels, meaning updates will possibly come in at the same time as the rest of Google’s phones.
For the pricing, the Pixel starts at $649 for the base model and goes all the way to $749 for the 128GB variant. For the price of a 128GB Pixel phone, Andy Rubin wants you to have the Essential Phone plus the modular 360-degree camera, otherwise, the phone alone costs $699.