New Essential Phone an Essential Failure

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Kyle_Bennett, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    The $700 Essential Phone grabbed a lot of attention last summer, but it looks like a lot of that excitement was not transferred into actual sales at Sprint stores, and Best Buy. The Essential Phone sold less than 90,000 units even after massive price cuts last October. A lot of folks are pointing to the phone's camera being the weak point that impacted its lackluster sales. In other news, Google "only" sold 4M Pixel 2 phones since launch.

    Check out the video.

    Sadly, the Essential Phone’s poor camera and high price tag back at launch probably ruined its chances to compete with the likes of HTC, Google, or OnePlus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  2. Etherton

    Etherton Will Bang for Poof

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    Wasn't the camera one of the essential selling points of this device? It had an adapter or something.
     
  3. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It's a nice value now at $500 ($400-$450 in a few recent sales on Amazon) and the camera is only hampered by its software, which is easily fixed for the most part by side-loading the Google camera app. It should have debuted at $500 though because all of the initial perception of it was mixed at best just because of the price tag at the time. I really hope they're able to make another one without raising the price too much from its current price, because the more decent competitors the better for consumers.

    Google (and Essential too I guess, but I know it'd be harder for them) could sell a LOT more if they pull their head out of their ass and do whatever needs to happen to get them in all US carrier stores and actually keep up with demand as well. But personally, no phone is worth $850 to me and the Pixel 2 is too small, so I'll be looking for something a bit more reasonable priced this year when I eventually decide to replace my 6P.
     
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  4. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    What's the essential phone? never heard of it.
     
  5. Brian_B

    Brian_B [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don’t think the camera is that big of a deal by itself.

    Being yet another Android in a sea of Androids with no real market differentiation - that I think is the issue.

    “No Bloatware” isn’t a strong sales point without a few other things backing it up.
     
  6. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

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    I have an Essential phone. It's ok for the price I got it for ($400...Black Friday pricing). The camera has been getting regular updates, and is never going to be a Pixel camera, but it's serviceable. The build quality of this thing is second to none. I think if it was priced to compete with OnePlus phones off the bat and not a Sprint exclusive it would have sold better. It has flagship specs, Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 128GB storage. Hard to find that combination for less than $500 right now.
     
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  7. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    so no headphone jack, usb-c dongle, no wireless charging, 700$ price point was a mistake. At 400$ it would be decent. Universal carriers isn't anything new, the nexus 5 could do that with some caveats (verizon didn't want to play with 4g, the rest of the 4g carriers work in the US). The dongle system for cameras and whatnot seems iffy (didn't LG try something similar with snap accessories but no one wanted it?).
    Practically no advertisement as far as i could tell.
    CPU and storage is decent. Edge to edge screen looks decent.
     
  8. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ardForum Junkie

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  9. gxp500

    gxp500 Gawd

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    It was but the quality of its images was mediocre at first, it got better with updates.
     
  10. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    Wait, they hitched their wagon to Sprint of all carriers for a brick and mortar exclusive and then wondered about it flopping?
     
  11. dj_spanmaster

    dj_spanmaster Limp Gawd

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    The reviewer in the video mentioned the display being a potential issue. How does it work for you? Too bright at night/dim in the day? Does it have sufficient auto-dimming functionality?
     
  12. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj Why oh why didn't I take the BLUE pill?

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    Yeah, I can see that as a negative on the phone. It is kind of bright at night. Not bad during the day. No night mode like on the OG Pixel (great feature BTW), although it sounds like that's coming with the Oreo update.
     
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  13. PantherBlitz

    PantherBlitz Limp Gawd

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    At least they did not name it "Priv". :D
     
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  14. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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  15. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

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    *convivial technology price complaint here*
     
  16. Ididar

    Ididar Gawd

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    Andy Rubin's name doesn't really change the fact that it was effectively a new company producing phones. Moving units was always going to be an uphill battle.
     
  17. Kdawg

    Kdawg Gawd

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    yeah i dont know who the fuck andy rubin is either.

    and cheaping out on the camera was stupid.
    People like their dick pics and nudes in high detail.
     
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  18. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal [H]ard|Gawd

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    It's all about market share.

    Where are you going to get your customers from? They're not gonna be new customers getting a phone for the first time, since everyone essentially already has a phone, or a parents old one. You need to lure your customers away from another vendor's line (APPLE SAMSUNG LG). It's going to take either a feature set, or unique experience, or price to make a substantial impact in any shape. I know that the Pixel has been trying tirelessly to establish itself as a player in the Smartphone world but honestly I don't see enough advertisement to give it any breakthrough potential. It does a good amount of units, just nothing close to the big 2 by any means.

    Regarding the essential phone, I just never saw it having enough mainstream appeal to take any apple or samsung customers.
     
  19. scojer

    scojer 2[H]4U

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    "Sprint and Best Buy"

    That's why it failed.
    They partnered with the bottom carrier and best buy.

    Should of partnered with a bigger carrier and other retail stores.
     
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  20. SticKx911

    SticKx911 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I just can’t look past the eye sore of the front facing camera taking a bite out of the display. Looks broken to me. I’d rather loose a small amount of screen than have that ugly ass divit.
     
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  21. zkostik

    zkostik Gawd

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    Not sure but I recall laughing at it being called essential when I saw the price tag. Specs are alright but nothing screaming being in high end phone category from an unknown vendor. For me the biggest bummer is lack of memory card slot, I personally won't even consider a phone without having removable storage.
     
  22. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    An essential phone would have had replaceable 6000mah battery, superiorly deployed dual micro sd slots, headphone jack, usb c, dual sim. Besides standard higher end device stuff.
     
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  23. cjcox

    cjcox Gawd

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    As someone who recently purchased new phones via Sprint (an official Sprint store), the sales people vehemently direct you AWAY from the Essential phone and tell you that the ONLY phones you should buy are an iPhone or a Samsung. This from multiple sales people on multiple occasions.
     
  24. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    Good to see they still have someone to kick around with Windows phone being out of the picture. Honestly the sales person is going to heavily push whatever handset they know will get the least returns and that they can attach the most high markup cases and accessories to.
     
  25. bman212121

    bman212121 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Commission... The sales reps at the store will get kick backs from the manufacturer for selling their phones. No commission = no sale.
     
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  26. odditory

    odditory [H]ardness Supreme

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    Incorrect. That's not how cell stores work. Otherwise Microsoft could have just bribed those ugly windows phones to relevance.

    No, store managers and their salespeople favor the phones with the lowest rates of returns. Their business model isn't even selling phones - their business is selling lines of service. They don't care which phone you buy; they just don't want to see it returned. The phone is a means to an end.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  27. bman212121

    bman212121 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Based upon your opinion? Or knowledge from people who actually worked at a Sprint store and sold phones? You can call it whatever you want, but Sprint employees are incentivized by certain manufacturers more than others. Microsoft never greased the wheels afaik when it came to sales, so that was part of their reason for failure. I can ask to get specific details, but I seem to recall specifically if you sold x number of Samsung's latest and greatest phone, they'd throw free swag your way.
     
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  28. Croak

    Croak [H]ard|Gawd

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    Love mine, best phone I've owned in terms of hand feel, everything works, ranging from good enough (camera) to above average (software updates) to great (battery life) to awesome (display packaging).

    Oh, and it only cost me $145 including taxes, so there's that.
     
  29. pclov3r

    pclov3r Limp Gawd

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    I think one of the issues is advertising. Nobody knows who essential is or that this product even exists. I saw ZERO advertising targeting a general audience. Compare that to Apple or Samsung who run TV and Internet advertising campaigns 24/7.
     
  30. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    given that the last few years essentials has been what software has been named when it removed all but the bare minimum. Stuff like Photoshop essentials. To me the name essentials phone sounds like it is going to be a stripped down basic phone.

    on the flip side as a customer would not have been happy knowing that this is v1 which their plan for v2 is much different. It was only Android since they didn't have the money to create their own OS yet and was using this to gather money. Next phone was going to have its own none Android OS. Which means a whole new ecosystem and none of your android apps being supported.
     
  31. AK0tA

    AK0tA Gawd

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    meh, no cell phone is essential. it is only a necessary evil to keep my wife happy.
     
  32. Ordeith

    Ordeith Limp Gawd

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    Sprint was the true weak point for this phone.