Essential Phone update: Sprint variant gets Android 8.1 Oreo too!

essential phone Oreo rollout

Update [April 10, 2018]: Essential today confirmed that the Android 8.1 rollout has begin for the Sprint Essential Ph-1, too. We already know what the Android 8.1 brings (see below), but it’s good to know that the wait for the carrier-bound Essential phone is over, too.

Update [April 07, 2018]: Essential today announced the availability of a new Oreo update build for its phone. Dubbed as version build 141, the latest Oreo build also brings support for Bluetooth 5.0, April 2018 security patch, fixes for modem (better network quality), and lastly, improved performance. Full software version of today’s OTA update is OPM1.180104141.

essential-phone-new-build-141

Update [March 14, 2018]: The Android 8.1 update is now out of beta for the Essential Phone as the OTA has begun seeding out for the public. Coming in as software version OPM1.180104.092, the 8.1 update also brings standard Oreo 8.0 features to the Essential phone — it was missing, remember? — like smarter text selection, instant apps, picture-in-picture, Autofill, and Google Play protect security scans. The OTA also packs in March 2018 security patch, Dynamic Calendar, and Clock icons, and lastly, a fix for slow scrolling jitter problem with the phone.


Update [February 15, 2018]: A couple of weeks ago, Essential announced that the PH-1 phone OS upgrade will skip directly to Android 8.1 Oreo and true to its words, the company has opened the beta program for this version.

The Essential Phone had been testing Android 8.0 beta since last year but the company said “several stability issues” forced them to skip to the newer 8.1 as a way to mitigate these issues. Hence the now rolling out Android 8.1 Oreo beta.

The update weighs about 500MB and installs software version OPM1.180104.010. According to the changelog, it brings this month’s Android security patch, dynamic calendar and clock icons as well as several other bug fixes. The update is rolling out over the air, but it should also be added to the company’s developer site.


Update [November 15, 2017]: Essential has started rolling out beta Oreo update for their first and only phone, codenamed PH-1. Note that this is a beta version of their Android 8.0 build, hence it’s not available for all users. It’s limited to those who applied for beta and were selected under the program, and these users should see the 8.0 update notification hit their devices anytime now. But, if you aren’t eligible for beta, there is still hope for you: The Essential Phone Oreo update is available for download, too. Which means that even if you are not subscribed in beta program, you can still download the Oreo OTA, and install it all by yourself using a Windows PC. Cool, right?

essential-phone-Oreo-release

We know you may be anticipating when Oreo update hits the Essential Phone, for variety of reasons. One of them could be the phone sporting stock UI with little to no customization by the Essential, which should easily translate into way faster Android 8.0 release compared to other OEMs.

That, though, is not happening today, at least. Essential has released a new update for its Phone, coming in as software version NMJ03B. It’s still Android 7.1.1, yes.

The official changelog tells us that the update fixes bugs, improves performance and involves some framework changes too, but it’s actually all about updating camera app to version 0.1.073, from 0.1.069 which is the latest version in Play Store right now.

Read: LG Oreo update

Why Essential chose to not bring v0.1.073 as a Play Store update is beyond us, but looking at the changelog of this new version, we are more than happy to have it that how we have it.

With new Camera app version 0.1.073, the low light photography from Essential Phone should receive a boost, the image quality should be better now. While, with the dedicated module attached, you can simply hit the Power button twice to start recording 360-degree video.

And there’s more. The new Camera app removes the shutter lag with one-off captures, while also improving on overall image quality, besides bringing in various stability fixes.

Essential Phone Oreo update

The latest OS, Android 8.1 Oreo, is now available for the Essential Phone. (Android P is not really the latest version, in case you’re wondering.) Today’s rollout keeps up with the company’s promise to deliver updates sooner than later. Some users might feel let down by the lack of Android 8.0 update because they jumped to Android 8.1 from Android 7.1.1, but all said and done, the Essential Phone is among the few handsets to run Android 8.1 at the moment.

For the sake of some perspective alone, Samsung is still struggling with Android 8.0 Oreo rollout for the Galaxy S8, while none of the Android phones from the likes of HTC, Sony, LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Huawei, and even OnePlus, run Android 8.1 at the moment. To be fair, the beta version of Android 8.1 just recently became available for the OnePlus 5 and 5T.

Outside of Pixel handsets, only Essential phone and Nokia 8, only Google’s own Pixel and Pixel 2 handsets run Android 8.1.

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Kapil still loves his Galaxy S2 i9100! No, really. And Galaxy Nexus! Need we say more what kind of guy he is? And he's also a die-hard Liverpool FC fan. Email: kapil@theandroidsoul.com

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