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6 days ago

HTC U11 EYEs unveiled with 18:9 display, dual front cameras, and 3930mAh battery

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The U11 EYEs features the largest battery on an HTC smartphone yet.

Renders of the HTC U11 EYEs leaked late last week, and the phone is now official. The highlight of the phone is a dual 5MP camera setup at the front with f/2.2 lenses, HDR, 80-degree field of view, and portrait mode. The U11 EYEs also has a 3930mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, which is the largest battery on an HTC smartphone yet.

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6 days ago

Micromax's first Android Go phone coming later this month, and it could cost just $30

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India's Micromax is all set to unveil its first Android Go phone, with rumors hinting at a sub-$50 price.

Google formally unveiled its Android Oreo (Go Edition) platform last month, detailing how devices running 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage will benefit from the lightweight OS. We haven't heard much on the device front, but that's set to change soon as India's local handset manufacturer Micromax has announced that its first Android Go phone will be launching later this month. Dubbed Bharat Go, the phone will be the first to be powered by the lightweight platform, with current rumors hinting at a retail price of ₹2,000 ($30).

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1 week ago

ZTE plans on releasing more foldable phones like the Axon M

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Axon M will be a series of foldable phones – not just phones with two screens.

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Towards the end of 2017, ZTE made a surprise announcement with the Axon M. The Axon M is the latest phone to tackle the dual-screen smartphone, and it's the first big attempt we've seen since the Kyocera Echo back in 2011. The Axon M is not a perfect phone, but unlike a lot of the competition, it took a risk to try something different.

In an interview with Engadget, ZTE's Vice President of Marketing, Jeff Yee, confirmed that the Axon M will not be the last of its kind. Yee says that ZTE will release successors to the M, and throughout the interview, Yee reiterates that the Axon M is a foldable phone, not one with two screens.

While the current iteration of the Axon M very clearly has two separate screens, Yee says that ZTE's end goal is to release a phone with one single display that can fold in and out depending on how much screen real-estate you want to use.

It's unlikely that the next version of the Axon M will utilize this tech, but even so, it's clear that this is the direction the mobile industry is very quickly heading. Samsung is reportedly planning to start production of its foldable smartphone by the end of 2018, and ZTE likely won't be the last company to follow in its footsteps.

Aside from the single foldable screen, what else would you like to see from future Axon M releases?

Samsung said to start producing foldable smartphone in November

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1 week ago

This could be our first look at the LG G7

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Spoiler alert – it's a black bar with slim bezels.

Samsung and LG are often the first two companies to release major Android flagships for the year, and we're expecting this to be the case once again in 2018. The Galaxy S9 has already leaked in just about every way possible, but details on the G7 have been fewer and further between.

TigerMobiles recently shared a render of what's supposedly our first look at the LG G7, and while it's impossible to say for sure if this is what the phone will end up looking like, there's nothing here that looks too far-fetched.

LG will more than likely be sticking with the 18:9 aspect ratio that it introduced with the G6 last year, and although we can't tell from the render, we're expecting an OLED panel to finally make its way to the G-series. It appears that LG will be trimming down bezels quite a bit compared to the G6, and if you look at the top left of the phone, you'll see two front-facing cameras.

The LG G7 should be announced at some point in February, and according to a previous statement from an LG spokesperson, it'll actually feature a completely different name and ditch the G-series branding.

Assuming this render is legit, does it have you excited about LG's 2018 flagship?

LG will stop releasing new phones every year

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1 week ago

Best Cheap Android Phones in 2018

Best overall

Moto G5 Plus

See at Amazon

Motorola performed yet another pricing miracle with the Moto G5 Plus, the successor to last year's excellent Moto G4 series and a contender for the best affordable smartphone today.

It starts with the excellent 5.2-inch Full HD display, but the real benefit to the G5 Plus this year is the excellent performance and battery life from the combination of a Snapdragon 625 platform and a 3000mAh battery.

Also of note is the improved low-light performance from the 12MP camera, which boasts the same hardware as (and similar results to) the Galaxy S7.

Bottom line: This is the best sub-$250 phone you can buy today, and it's still a great device even if price isn't a factor.

One more thing: Motorola.com is offering the Moto G5 Plus with inexpensive financing if you don't want to pay up front.

Why the Moto G5 Plus is the best

Last year, we recommended the $199.99 Moto G4 over its $249.99 Plus variant, but this year the only distinction is between memory and storage amounts: the Moto G5 Plus comes in either a $199 2GB RAM / 32GB storage version, or a $239 4GB RAM / 64GB storage version — they are otherwise identical.

With either decision, you'll be happy with your purchase. Motorola has changed up the phone's design this year, adding a metal back and a more compact, mature look that complements the Moto Z series, and the excellent 5.2-inch IPS display is much more manageable in one hand. Also more manageable is the improved shape of the front fingerprint sensor, which is turned oblong and considerably easier to activate.

Motorola has also bestowed a fantastic camera on the Moto G5 Plus this year, giving it the same 12MP sensor and lens combination that's in the Galaxy S7 — though the results aren't quite as good. The phone isn't perfect — there's no NFC on the U.S. model, and it still uses the older Micro-USB charging port — but it's close.


Best all-metal

Honor 7X

See at Honor

A big upgrade to the Honor 6X is the Honor 7X, a capable and well-made all-metal budget phone coming in at $199. Launching with Android 7.0-based EMUI 5.1, the device takes everything that made its predecessor good and adds a great new design, an improved dual camera setup, and plenty of power from the Kirin 659 chip and 3GB of RAM. Best of all, the new 5.9-inch 2:1 screen is bright and beautiful, and provides plenty of space for, well, everything!

Bottom-line: A fantastic flagship-like experience at $200.

One more thing: If you're looking to save a bit of money, or get it from Amazon, the Honor 6X is a solid pick at $140.

Best for even less

Moto E4

See at Amazon

The Moto E line has always been about getting a barebones smartphone experience in order to get a super low price, and that's where the Moto E4 still lands. The specs aren't amazing, nor is the physical design, but you get that core Moto DNA that means this is a slick little phone for a great price.

You get a 5-inch HD display, a Snapdragon 425 processor, and 2800mAh battery. But you also get nice-to-haves at this price, like an 8MP auto focus camera and a fingerprint sensor.

It all retails for just $129 brand new, and it's tough to argue with that. Amazon has a Prime Exclusive version for $99, and Verizon's prepaid service charges just $70 for this phone — both are a steal of a deal.

Bottom-line: For a bargain basement price, it's tough to get a phone that performs better or has the features of the Moto E4.

One more thing: Be on the lookout for better deals and sales — this is a phone that will be discounted regularly to entice budget buyers.

Best for battery

Moto E4 Plus

See at Amazon

Whereas you get a lot for your money with the Moto E4, its Plus variant is only slightly more expensive and gives you a bigger screen, slightly more power and, best of all, a massive 5000mAh battery that lasts, well, forever.

Aside from that two (or three) day battery life, you get a decent 13MP rear camera, a nice 5MP front-facing camera with a flash, and Motorola's excellent Android software. The phone is available for a reasonable $139.99 through Amazon's Prime Exclusive series, but its $179.99 MSRP isn't bad, either.

Bottom-line: The Moto E4 Plus is one long-lasting candy handset. Expect two or three days on a single charge.

One more thing: It's compatible with all four major U.S. carriers, including Verizon and Sprint.


Conclusion

If you don't want to spend over $250 and still want a great Android phone, the Moto G5 Plus is the best choice. You don't get the best looking or feeling phone, but it offers a top-notch experience, especially for the price.

Best overall

Moto G5 Plus

See at Amazon

Motorola performed yet another pricing miracle with the Moto G5 Plus, the successor to last year's excellent Moto G4 series and a contender for the best affordable smartphone today.

It starts with the excellent 5.2-inch Full HD display, but the real benefit to the G5 Plus this year is the excellent performance and battery life from the combination of a Snapdragon 625 platform and a 30000mAh battery.

Also of note is the improved low-light performance from the 12MP camera, which boasts the same hardware as (and similar results to) the Galaxy S7.

Bottom line: This is the best sub-$250 phone you can buy today, and it's still a great device even if price isn't a factor.

One more thing: Motorola.com is offering the Moto G5 Plus with inexpensive financing if you don't want to pay up front.

Best Android phones under $400
Best Android phones under $100

Updated January 2018: We've replaced the Honor 6X with its successor, the Honor 7X, and removed the aging Wileyfox Swift 2 X from the list.

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1 week ago

Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, and L2 now available for pre-order

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Prices start at $249 for the L2 and go up to $449 for the XA2 Ultra.

One of the biggest smartphone announcements of CES 2018 came from Sony in the form of the Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, and L2. All three of these are mid-range handsets with pretty typical specifications, but this is the first time in years that Sony has announced phones in the United States with working fingerprint sensors.

Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra

Sony previously said that these phones would be available at some point in February, but pre-orders have already gone live in the United States at Best Buy and the United Kingdom through Clove.

Along with the working fingerprint sensors, you'll find a pretty standard array of mid-range specs. The XA2 and XA2 Ultra are the more powerful of the bunch, and each comes with a Snapdragon 630 processor, 1920 x 1080 display, and 23MP rear-facing camera. The XA2 has a 3,300 mAh battery, but the XA2 Ultra kicks things up to 3,580 mAh.

With the Xperia L2, you're getting a lower-res 1280 x 720 display, MediaTek MT6737T processor, and a 3,300 mAh battery.

The Xperia XA2 Ultra is the most expensive of the bunch at $449, the XA2 comes in at $349, and the L2 costs (you guessed it) $249.

See at Best Buy

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1 week ago

Android Oreo now available for unlocked HTC 10

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HTC shows some love for a phone that's nearing two years of age.

Although we wouldn't recommend buying one in early 2018, the HTC 10 was an excellent handset during its time that flew under the radar for a lot of people. The phone shipped with 6.0.1 Marshmallow, was updated to Nougat in late 2016, and it's now getting to share in on the Oreo action.

Android 8.0 Oreo is now rolling out to the HTC 10 via an over-the-air update, and if it hasn't landed on your phone yet, it should arrive within the coming days. However, if you grow tired of waiting and want to get the new software on your phone this instant, you can download the RUU file directly from your phone. If you do choose to go this route, be warned that this will completely wipe everything on your phone and put you back to square one.

Prior to the 10, HTC also pushed Oreo updates to the U11 and U11 Life (both the unlocked model and the one on T-Mobile). HTC previously said that Oreo would also be coming to the U Ultra, so it should only be a matter of time before that rolls out as well.

HTC 10 review: Iconic, impressive, imperfect

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1 week ago

HTC U11 EYEs will reportedly launch January 15 with Android Nougat

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HTC's latest phone is right around the corner, but its software is already outdated.

CES 2018 is finally coming to a close, and now that we're done with all the announcements coming out of the show floor, it's time to dive right back into everyone's favorite topic – smartphone leaks. Evan Blass recently took to Twitter to shed some light on HTC's latest handset, the U11 EYEs, and for the most part, it seems like a fairly solid phone.

The front of the U11 EYEs is home to a 6-inch 1080 x 2160 Super LCD3 display, and above this is where you'll find its "eyes." Two front-facing cameras are found to the right of the earpiece for phone calls, and while specifics on these two sensors haven't been announced, they'll likely offer some sort of selfie portrait mode like we've seen on other devices.

There's a single camera on the back of the phone, USB Type-C should offer fast and easy charging, and the addition of IP67 dust/water resistance is always great to see. Edge Sense makes a return for all of you that love squeezing your phones, and packed inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652, 4GB RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 3,930 mAh battery.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment with the U11 EYEs is that it'll ship with Android Nougat. We'd expect a fast update to Oreo from HTC shortly after the phone's release, but it just seems incredibly odd to release a phone in early 2018 that's still running Nougat.

The HTC U11 EYEs will be available in black, silver, and red on January 15 for a rumored price of around $510 USD.

HTC U11

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1 week ago

Do you prefer small or large smartphone displays?

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A big part of this decision comes down to how good (or bad) your vision is.

Seeing as how we live in a world where 6-inch smartphone screens have quickly become the norm, it's hard to believe that the first Galaxy Note and its 5.3-inch display caused the entire industry to stop and stare at its "ginormous" size just a few years ago.

Since then, phones have become increasingly larger and larger. This is great if you're someone that consumes a lot of media or enjoy the larger canvas to more easily see whatever it is you're looking at, but there's still an argument to be made for the ease of use that comes with small phones.

One of our forum users recently exchanged their Galaxy S8 for a Pixel 2 and asked the community if they'd get used to the reduction in screen real-estate with their new handset, and these are some of the top answers:

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Almeuit 01-10-2018 05:57 PM “

You can eventually get used to anything if given time -- I would think the bigger bezels would be more annoying then anything else.

Reply
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ilimit 01-10-2018 06:19 PM “

I went from an iPhone 7+ to the Pixel 2's 5" screen and love it. Sure I'll like for it to use it's real estate more effectively, but it's a great form factor.

Reply
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paradroid 01-10-2018 08:35 PM “

If your eyes are good, a smaller phone screen is fine. I need to where readers to see my phone so the bigger the better so I can make out some things on the phone without fumbling for my reading glasses.

Reply
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sixty_four 01-10-2018 10:45 PM “

My near vision is much better than my distance vision so the small screen works for me. I have my display and font set to the smallest size and that gives me pretty good screen density. I have noticed a decline in my near vision so I might be a "big phone" guy sooner or later.

Reply
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Jeremy8000 01-11-2018 10:15 AM “

While not as dramatic a percentage drop in screen size, I had gone from the Nexus 6 (6") to the Pixel XL (5.5") and wasn't really bothered - though am now back to the 6" size with the 2 XL. Honestly, if I didn't consume so much video media on my phone I would have gone with the Pixel 2 in a heartbeat, as it is certainly more easily pocketable and a far better bang for the buck.

Reply

Now, we'd like to pass the question on to you – Do you prefer small or large smartphone displays?

Join the conversation in the forums!

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1 week ago

Yup, the LG V30 is beautiful in its new 'Raspberry Rose' color

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LG V30 Raspberry Rose red

I wish more manufacturers took risks with colorful phones like this.

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LG just announced it was making a new V30 color, dubbed "Raspberry Rose," a week ago — so naturally, we tracked it down at CES 2018 to see what it was all about. And yes, it's absolutely stunning in this new color.

Now most people would agree the V30's design is quite good, and the combination of shining glass and smooth lines suits it in just about any color. But this new Raspberry Rose is so different from the rest of the current crop of V30 colors that it's wonderful to see.

The only bad part about the Raspberry Rose V30 is that it won't be available worldwide.

Oddities with custom brand names for colors aside, "Raspberry Rose" is actually a pretty accurate description of what this color looks like. It definitely isn't just a plain red, nor is it light enough to be considered pink. In regular lighting at a glance it's more like a light raspberry color, but with less light it gets very deep into a nice red rose color. The color-shifting property comes mostly in the back glass, which actually sports a bit of texture underneath for a neat effect when it shines in the light.

Of course the metal frame is also a matching red shade, though without some of the color shifting properties it has a narrower range of color depending on lighting. It's just barely noticeable when you're holding the phone from the front, but from some angles you do get those little glimpses of the red, reminding you that your V30 is special.

The only sad part about the Raspberry Rose V30 is that it's seeing a limited release in only certain markets — a fate bestowed on so many of the best "special edition" colors. South Korea gets it first, of course, followed by a wider Asia expansion and then parts of Europe. No plans are being made for a North American release.

LG V30

Amazon Best Buy Verizon AT&T

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1 week ago

LG will stop releasing new phones every year

132

A new strategy to cope with 11 quarters of consecutive losses.

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While Samsung and Apple dominate the global smartphone market, LG continues on its never-ending struggle.

The company's mobile division has been losing money for 11 consecutive quarters at this point, and in an attempt to try and fix this, LG's Vice Chairman, Jo Seong-jin said that the company will be shifting away from releasing new flagship phones every single year.

As a response to a question regarding the LG G7, Sung-jin said:

We will unveil new smartphones when it is needed. But we will not launch it just because other rivals do. We plan to retain existing models longer by, for instance, unveiling more variant models of the G series or V series.

A few days before this, a spokesperson for LG said that the company would be ditching its G-series branding in favor of something new for the G7 in an effort to help boost sales. Sung-jin's mention of the G-series has us uncertain what's going on with the name of the phone, but no matter what happens there, this is a big change for LG.

Yearly flagship releases have become a norm of the industry, and in some cases with companies like OnePlus, a bi-yearly thing. We aren't sure what to expect from "more variant models" of LG's phones, but supporting current models for longer than other companies is something that we're sure some our readers will be able to get behind.

LG G7 (2018 flagship) rumor roundup: Everything you need to know

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1 week ago

OnePlus wants to begin talks with U.S. carriers, Snapdragon 845-powered phone coming in Q2 2018

25

The next OnePlus phone will also be here in late Q2.

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Ever since the launch of the OnePlus One in 2014, OnePlus has always sold its phones unlocked through its website to customers in the United States. Buying unlocked typically makes the most economic sense in the long run, but there's no doubt that availability on wireless carriers results in greater visibility and considerably more sales.

In an interview with CNET, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the company is interested in beginning talks with U.S. carriers this year and that "if the right opportunity and right timing come along, we'll be very happy to experiment." Along with this, Lau also said that the next OnePlus phone — powered by the Snapdragon 845 — is scheduled for a release at some point in late Q2 2018.

Huawei, another China-based company that's much older than OnePlus, recently tried launching its Mate 10 Pro smartphone on U.S. carriers and was met with less than desirable results. AT&T was the first to back out of the deal, and Verizon shortly followed suit.

OnePlus already sells its devices on wireless carriers in other countries (such as O2 in the United Kingdom), but following the recent Huawei situation, OnePlus could be faced with a similar uphill battle.

Assuming OnePlus can make a deal with carriers in the United States, which one(s) would you like to see it partner with?

OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5

OnePlus Amazon

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1 week ago

Google purchased a company that turns displays into speakers

27

Is this a sign of things to come on the Pixel 3?

Right ahead of the Pixel 2's unveiling last fall, it was announced that Google purchased a heap of smartphone engineers from HTC to spearhead smartphone projects for the coming years. According to a report from Bloomberg, Google made another purchase about a month before this for UK-based company Redux.

If you haven't heard of Redux, you're not alone. The company hasn't actually released any consumer-facing products, but the tech it's developed is awfully intriguing. Redux's technology uses vibrations with displays for a variety of different things, and the most notable use of this is the ability to harness these vibrations to turn displays into functioning speakers.

The folks at Mashable got a chance to go hands-on with a tablet demoing this at MWC last year, and in the video you see below, all the sound is coming from the display – not a traditional external speaker.

Along with this, Redux can also use these vibrations to create haptic feedback when interacting with a display that tries to mimic the feel of touching buttons and moving sliders/dials. This sounds an awful lot like what Apple's been doing with its Taptic Engine, and if you've ever messed around with a device that uses it, you know just how awesome it really is.

It's unclear if/when Google will integrate this tech into products of its own, but there's a very real possibility we could see a Pixel 3 next year with a display that acts as a speaker and some of the best haptic response yet on an Android device. We might be getting a little ahead of ourselves with that thought, but only time will tell where Google ends up going with this.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Best Buy Verizon Google Store Project Fi

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1 week ago

OnePlus 3T on OxygenOS beta was sending clipboard data to Alibaba servers

20

Thankfully, this 'feature' will be removed soon.

There's no such thing as a perfect company, and that's something OnePlus learned firsthand throughout 2017. During just the last few months of the year, it was discovered that certain OnePlus phones had a root backdoor and that the company was collecting an exorbitant amount of user data without giving customers a clear way to opt out of it.

In the latest entry of this saga, a user on the OnePlus forums has discovered that a system app by the name of "com.oneplus.clipboard" was collecting information from their OnePlus 3T's clipboard and sending it back to servers owned by Chinese company Alibaba.

This app was found on a 3T running the latest OxygenOS Open Beta with the December 1, 2017 security patch, and after Android Police reached out to OnePlus to get more information about what the heck was going on, this was the response they received:

Our OnePlus beta program is designed to test new features with a selection of our community. This particular feature was intended for HydrogenOS, our operating system for the China market. We will be updating our global OxygenOS beta to remove this feature.

While we are glad to see that this app is being removed, we aren't sure that this is something we'd refer to as a "feature." There's only been a report of this being found on the OnePlus 3T, but we wouldn't be surprised if this made its way to the 3 as well.

OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3

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1 week ago

Essential starts selling a few new accessories

9

Replacement fast charger, new USB-C headphones, a carrying case for the Essential 360 Camera, and more.

The Essential Phone was a difficult device to recommend when it first launched at $699, but following the price cut down to $499, it's now a fairly decent purchase as long as you know what you're getting into. If you recently picked up an Essential Phone and are looking to outfit it with a few new accessories, Essential now has you covered.

The company announced on Twitter that it was finally selling official accessories on its website, and while there's nothing particularly groundbreaking here, it's still worth checking out. You can pick up another 27W fast charger in either black or white for $39, and $15 will get a backup USB-C to 3.5mm dongle in those same colors if you happen to lose the one that comes included with the Essential Phone.

Earphones HD (left) and Earphones Mini (right).

If dongles aren't your thing, you can also buy two new USB-C headphones. The cheapest of the two is the Earphones Mini at $49, and they come with USB Audio Class 2 support, small, medium, and large earbud tips, and an included carrying case. Stepping up to the Earphones HD will cost you $99, and the main difference with these is that they have 9.2mm drivers with Hi-Res Audio support.

Lastly, the accessories page also shows a new carrying case for the Essential 360 Camera that comes in both black and red. There's no word on price or availability, with the website merely saying that it's "coming soon." Essential's Phone Dock charger is here as well, but it's also still not available to buy despite being announced back in May of 2017.

See at Essential

Essential Phone

Amazon Best Buy Sprint Telus

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