Andy Rubin's Essential Phone or PH-1 is finally here. The premium smartphone from the startup looks to impress people with its svelte design and robust features.

The Android-powered Essential smartphone is poised to throw the gauntlet to premium flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S8. Does the Essential Phone has what it takes to steal the Galaxy S8's thunder?

To answer this question better, here's a look at the design, specs, and features of the two Android smartphones to help consumers take an informed decision.


The Essential Phone has an edge-to-edge display, almost bezel-less front panel, and sports a titanium frame with ceramic body. The device is pretty slender but weighs in around a hefty 6.46 ounces.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S8 boasts an aluminum frame and has a glass rear. The display has almost no bezels and the Galaxy S8 sports a dual-curved edge screen. Samsung's handset weighs 5.47 ounces.

The Samsung smartphone may be lighter than the Essential Phone, but the two are evenly matched when it comes to thickness. The Galaxy S8 is 8 millimeters thick whereas the Essential smartphone is 7.8 millimeters thick.

All things considered, in the design department both phones are at par with each other. While the Galaxy S8 features a bezel-less dual-curved edge display, the Essential smartphone comes with a solid titanium frame and slim structure.


The Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD+ display (2,960 x 1,440 pixels) with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 and a pixel density of 570 ppi. By comparison, the Essential smartphone boasts a 5.71-inch IPS LCD display (2,560 x 1,312 pixels) with an aspect ratio of 19:10 and 504 ppi pixel density.

The Galaxy S8's Infinity Display and a slightly bigger screen make it a clear winner in this regard.

Processor And RAM

The Essential PH-1 boasts an octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor (quad-core 2.35 Ghz and quad-core 1.9 Ghz) and offers 4 GB of RAM.

By comparison, the Galaxy S8's U.S. variant houses a quad-core Snapdragon 835 SoC (quad-core 2.45 Ghz and quad-core 1.9 Ghz). It too comes with 4 GB of RAM.

Both the handsets are similarly placed in this regard with the latest Qualcomm processor powering the two.

Battery And Storage

The Galaxy S8 packs in a 3,000 mAh battery, which supports USB Type-C charging. The Samsung smartphone also supports quick and wireless charging functionalities.

The Essential PH-1 comes with a slightly bigger 3,040 mAh battery, which also supports fast charge and USB Type-C connectivity.

The Essential smartphone is available in the 128 GB internal storage option. The storage cannot be expanded via a microSD card. However, in case of the Galaxy S8, the smartphone comes with 64 GB of flash storage with microSD support, through which one can expand the memory further by 256 GB.

The Galaxy S8 has the clear advantage over the Essential PH-1 thanks to its expandable memory option. The two devices are on even keel when it comes to battery capacity.

Camera And OS

The Essential smartphone boasts a 13-megapixel dual-rear camera. One of the sensors is monochrome while the other is color. Essential claims that its smartphone has "the world's thinnest dual camera system ever built for a phone." An 8-megapixel selfie camera is also present on the device and has an f/2.2 aperture.

The Galaxy S8, on the other hand, touts a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel rear-facing camera, which supports features like LED flash, autofocus, and more. The handset also sports an 8-megapixel selfie camera, but with an f/1.7 aperture.

"The Galaxy S8 camera still takes amazing photos in low light, and now has an enhanced front-facing camera so you can take better, clearer selfies," Samsung claims.

Both devices run on Android Nougat but the Galaxy S8 features Samsung TouchWiz, while the Essential PH-1 features the core Android experience. It is important to note that the Galaxy S8 supports Samsung's Bixby assistant along with the Google Assistant, whereas the Essential handset supports only the latter.


The Essential PH-1 bears a $699 price tag and is up for preorder. The unlocked Galaxy S8 will set consumers back by $725.

Both the Galaxy S8 and the Essential Phone pack a punch and possess top-end features and specs. The Samsung smartphone may have the edge as it boasts an iris scanner and is an established player. Moreover, it is IP68 certified unlike the Essential smartphone.

On the other hand, consumers may be tempted to try a new Android handset, considering it is from Rubin — who is synonymous with the operating system. Whether the Essential Phone will be successful in eating into the Galaxy S8's market share and lure consumers remains to be seen.

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