After launching its PH-1 Essential Phone in the US market last year, it now seems that Essential products will finally make their way to Indian shores. A report by Techpp, points out that Essential will be bringing the PH-1 to India between March and April and will price it competitively as well.
The source cites an insider claiming that the device will be priced at Rs 24,999. Essential will sell its premium smartphone online via Amazon, which also means that the model will feature Alexa integration, one of the newer models to ship from Essential.
Since Essential smartphone sales were below expectations, the company wants to empty its extra stocks to make for its second smartphone, which is why the steep price drop.
The Essential Phone (PH-1) was launched in May, 2017 so it will almost be a year by the time it reaches customers in India. Despite its premium internals and externals (uses exotic materials like titanium for the chassis, ceramic backs etc.), pricing will be crucial in a price sensitive market like India.
More so with established players like OnePlus and Xiaomi offering more hardware for less.
With a unique design, modular accessories like the 360 Camera and the almost bezel-less display (with a notch) essential could offer something new and premium to consumers with low introductory pricing.
The brand was founded by Andy Rubin (also known as the 'Father of Android') meaning, that software should not really be an issue with the latest Android updates.
The PH-1 features a 5.7-inch QHD edge-to-edge display with a resolution of 2,560x1,312 pixels in an odd 19:10 aspect ratio. Inside, buyers will get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with 4 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage (standard). The smartphone offers a triple camera setup at the rear, with a 13 MP dual RGB + 13 MP Mono camera with an f/1.85 aperture along with PDAF and contrast detection along with a IR laser for shooting. The front camera features an 8 MP camera unit and offers 4K video recording as well.
The handset weighs a hefty 185 grams and is currently available in a Black Moon, Pure White and Ocean Depths finishes. Essential recently announced three new limited edition models in Copper Black, Stellar Gray and Ocean Depths at $599 in the US market.
While pricing is high in the US, it appears unlikely that Essential will maintain the same pricing in India considering the massive competition it faces from manufacturers who have been aiming to produce smartphones locally to bring down pricing even further. The PH-1 could have become popular had it been introduced last year, but with Chinese smartphone brands like Xiaomi already offering better hardware with the Mi Mix 2 (on paper) so it may be a bit late to the party.
The device can currently be purchased from Amazon India at Rs 59,999 (128 GB Black Moon), but it is not being sold through official channels.