A second Essential phone is already in the works

Andy Rubin’s Essential phone has had a difficult start. Despite reviewing reasonably well in the US, the company has already cut a third off the price – which isn’t usually the sign of a product in rude health. Secondly, the company hasn’t delivered on its promise of a wider range of colours. Still, the company’s not giving up: while we’re still patiently waiting for the Essential PH-1 to get a release date in the UK, the team have already started work on the PH-2 .

A second Essential phone is already in the works

In a Reddit AMA, the designers of the Essential phone, Linda Jiang and William Leggett, confirmed that they were already working on features for the PH-2.

When asked, Jiang answered: “We are definitely plugging away at PH-2. No time to waste,” before addressing a design issue. “We are working on improving our display/glass durability as much as possible in next gen.”

Leddett chimed in with Jiang’s remarks, re-asserting that they were indeed already working on the second Essential phone.

The camera on the PH-1 is one of the phone’s most attractive features but unfortunately lacks the ability to simulate a bokeh effect, often referred to as Portrait Mode, that’s now common on other flagship phones. This oversight is now being worked upon.

Rebecca Zavin, the Essential Software VP, decided to chime in when asked a question regarding Portrait Mode. “Our BW+RGB system can be used to extrapolate depth and we are working on support for portrait mode. Stay tuned,” she wrote.

As is becoming quite common with Essential though, there is no release date, with Xavin adding that they “aren’t quite ready to put a release date” on Portrait Mode yet, but are “aiming to get it to you in 2017.”

It took two whole months for the white model of the Essential phone to come out and the other colours are taking even longer. The team did confirm that the other colours will definitely be seeing the light of day, although appeared wary to give any concrete timescales. “PH-1 will actually be available in Stellar Grey very soon,” Jiang wrote.

Dave Evans, VP of Design, also wrote earlier in the AMA that the Ocean Depths colour model still has some “lingering issues … that don’t meet our standards, but that the release is “getting so close,”

I do find it a little concerning that the company is already working on the PH-2 when we still haven’t even received the first one in the UK. At this rate, the PH-2 might be the first Essential Phone to buy in the UK.

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