Andy Rubin disrupted the tech world last month with the introduction of the Essential Phone, an Android device set to rival the specs, features, and price of top handsets in the market like Samsung’s Galaxy S8.
Much has been said about the upcoming device, with tech players labelling it as an interesting newcomer that ticks all the right boxes but might end up not making much of an impact.
However, there are a lot of factors to consider beyond what the Essential Phone offers at face value. Below, we compare it to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 in an attempt to give consumers a more comprehensive perspective on the device.
Essential Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy S8: spec comparison
The Galaxy S8 and the Essential Phone are similar in several characteristics, but there are core differences that make each handset unique in their approach to what a smartphone should be.
Both phones offer their own take at bezel-less screens, with Samsung’s Infinity Display starting at 5.8 inches and Essential’s Full Display at 5.7 inches. Both offer QHD resolutions, but the Galaxy S8 has more pixels due to the size of the screen.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy offers two chip configurations: one with a Snapdragon 835 SoC and another with an in-house Exynos 8895. The Essential Phone, on the other hand, is only available with Qualcomm’s processor.
That is important to Samsung users because, although the differences in performance are slight, the Snapdragon 835 offers better connectivity options and security features than its Exynos counterpart. U.S. and Canada get Qualcomm chips, while the rest of the world gets Samsung processors.
Both devices have 4 GB of RAM, but the Essential Phone has 128 GB of storage out of the box while the Galaxy S8 tops at 64 GB. Still, Samsung supports memory expansion up to 256 GB with a microSD card.
Essential Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy S8: feature and price relation
Rubin’s Essential uses titanium and ceramic to build its ideal Phone lineup, while Samsung continues to stick to aluminum and glass-coated backs that look nice but are prone to cracks and scratches. If you care for sturdiness, you might want to think about that.
On the aesthetic side of things, it all comes down to preference. Samsung offers a wide color gamut in its Galaxy S8 models, while Essential keeps things simple but still manages to surprise with an Ocean Depths design that looks quite stylish.
The two phones have fingerprint readers, although Rubin’s team placed it at the center of the back plate which is very convenient. Cameras are also very similar with both devices packing 8 MP selfie shooters with 4K video capabilities.
Things change on the rear, though, as Samsung offers a single-lens 12 MP camera and Essential a 13 MP dual-lens setup. The Galaxy S8 counts with Dual Pixel image processing, while Andy Rubin’s Phone has been optimized for low-light photos and more vivid colors.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 starts at $750, is already available for purchase, and the four top carriers in the U.S. sell it. The Essential Phone isn’t out yet, but it will cost $699 unlocked for all carriers. Only Sprint has confirmed it will sell it so far.
Which should you get?
Looking further down the road, it is up to you and what you want out of a phone that will determine which is the best option. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, as well as philosophies by each company to take into account.
Samsung runs a tight operation in South Korea to keep innovating year after year with each Galaxy phone it releases. Its consolidated position in the market and the community has made it a trusted Google partner that is always sure to get update support for longer than other manufacturers.
Essential, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be bothered with launching new devices every year. Instead, it plans on keeping your Phone relevant with a magnetic connector on the back that supports peripherals to enhance its functionality.
If you want a safe bet with extended Android support and no troubles for repairs, you might want to go with Samsung. On the other hand, the Essential Phone is sturdy, has great specs, and beats the competition in the price department.