February 24, 2018

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Essential teases… something? – CNET

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Andy Rubin, the father of the Android operating system, created a new phone last year — a surprisingly powerful and pocketable handset with no logos to mar its gorgeous titanium and ceramic frame.

And though the Essential Phone was a bit of a flop — here’s our recent re-review — the company isn’t throwing in the towel just yet. On Tuesday, Essential’s Twitter account lit up with this teaser:

Before you get all excited about an Essential Phone 2, you should probably know that there are two much, much less interesting things this teaser is more likely to be about.

Somewhat likely: Android 8.1 Oreo. 

The Essential Phone hasn’t been updated to Android Oreo yet. There is a giant O in the center of the teaser image, which could stand for Android Oreo. On Jan. 30, Essential tweeted that the release of Oreo would be pushed back “a couple weeks” so the team could release Android 8.1 instead of 8.0. It has now been a couple weeks.

More likely: A new aqua-colored version of the Essential Phone.

The Essential Phone originally came in black, with white, shiny dark grey and an aqua version with a gold-colored rim promised for later. That aqua-and-gold version was known as Ocean Depths, and had a gold ring around its fingerprint sensor too. 

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

Essential’s teaser image has a gold ring on an aqua background. 

Also, “a new wave is coming” seems like a pretty obvious pun. And with that, my detective work for the day is done.

According to market research firm IDC, the Essential Phone shipped fewer than 90,000 devices in 2017. That’s tiny even compared to the 3.9 million Pixel 2 phones that Google shipped last year, and a drop in the ocean compared to the 70+ million phones that Apple and Samsung each shipped last quarter alone. 

Essential didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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