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Essential smartphones: Availability, How to buy it in India? Key Features

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  • 6 min read

Andy Rubin’s brainchild, Essential smartphones, was recently updated with Android 9 Pie earlier this month. Here we’re going to talk about the countries where the device is available and how to buy it in countries where it isn’t readily available.

The device is being sold for $399 on its official website alongwith the 360-degree camera accessory, Earphones HD and a protective case for the camera.

Stellar Grey colour of the device is selling for $499 on their website.

Countries where Essential smartphones are available?

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong SAR China
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

How to Buy it in India or anywhere it’s not available?

Essential smartphone: Availability, How to buy it in India? Key Features

Even though it has been a year since the Essential smartphone was launched, there has been no news about its launch in the Indian market but you can still try to get it in India or anywhere else in the world.

There are services like Shop and Ship which can be used to purchase the device in USA and get it shipped to your address in India.

Although the device is available for $399 on their official website — which converts to INR 27,500 approximately —  on its website for US and Canadian citizens, a few sellers on Amazon India are selling it for INR 59,999 and some are selling for INR 69,999.

Now, that’s exactly double its original price but that’s the deal you get here in India. You might also have trouble procuring all the extensions of this device.

Essential is also available for $372.97 on Amazon with $171.82 shipping and import fees deposit to India. Added up that’s $544.79, which translates to INR 37,642 (according to the current exchange rate of 1USD = 69.10 INR) — much cheaper than what local sellers in India are charging.

While this is the cheaper way to buy the device in India, it might take a relatively long time to get the device.

Also read: Why do smartphones explode? A nerd guide



Essential smartphone: Availability, How to buy it in India? Key Features

The Essential PH-1 comes encased in a titanium body, a ceramic back and has its display protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

The titanium body gives the device an edge over its competitor devices which mostly have an aluminium-based body.

It weighs approximately 185 grams and is about 7.8mm thick.


The device sports a 5.7-inch QHD (2560 x 1312) display with an aspect ratio of 19:10. The front panel of the device is bezel-less except for a tiny part on the top and bezels on the bottom.


Essential smartphone: Availability, How to buy it in India? Key Features

The device is powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor based on the latest 10nm tech. CPU specs: Kryo 280 (2.45GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad) supported by Adreno 540 GPU (710MHz, 64 bit).

Memory and Storage

Rubin’s Essential smartphone features 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which isn’t expandable.


Essential smartphone: Availability, How to buy it in India? Key Features

Rear camera: 13MP Dual RGB + Mono camera with image fusion technology. 4K Recording at 30fps and 60fps and 720p slow-motion video recording at 120fps.

Front camera: 8MP with 16:9 aspect ratio and an f/2.20 fixed hyperlocal lens. 4K and 1080p video recording at 30fps.

Other than this, a 360 Camera for the device is also available as an extended accessory to the Essential device.


Apart from the usual power and volume buttons, the following sensors are also available on the Essential smartphone:

  • 10-finger multi-touch display with palm and water error rejection
  • fastest fingerprint reader (company claimed)
  • Proximity/Ambient Sensor
  • An environmental pressure sensor (barometer)
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope


The device has a 3040mAh battery, which supports fast charging via the USB Type-C port.


Essential smartphone: Availability, How to buy it in India? Key Features

Bluetooth: 5.0

WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO

NFC: Available

Positioning: GPS and GLONASS

Network Bands

  • UMTS/HSPA+: 1, 2, 4, 5 6, 8
  • GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A: 0, 1, 10
  • FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66
  • TDD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43
  • TD-SCDMA: 34, 39

Available Ports

  • USB Type-C
  • 60GHz, 6 Gbps Wireless Accessory Connector
  • 2x accessory power pins
  • NanoSIM tray with pin eject

Certification, Android, Colour

Essential smartphone: Availability, How to buy it in India? Key Features

The Essential smartphone is Water and Dust resistant with an IP54 certification. Apart from this, according to the company, they run ‘pure Android’ — it’s smooth, fast, fluid and without bloatware.

The device is available in Black Moon, Pure White and Stellar Grey colours currently. Launched as an Amazon exclusive, Stellar Grey is available for an additional $100 at $499.

Accessories and Add-ons

The device doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can either buy USB Type-C compatible earphones from a third-party or just buy it from Essential. You also have the option of buying the USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter here.

Luckily, for now, Essential is offering the earphones, the 360 camera and its protective casing with the phone. Otherwise, either of the devices is usually on sale for $49.

A protective covering is also available via the website for $15. You can also buy the Essential Extended Care for $129, which covers breakdowns and accidental damage for two years.

Also read:  7 smartphones

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: