But can it really hope to take on Samsung’s latest and greatest? After all, the Galaxy S8 is one of the best smartphones you can buy right now. Well in what follows, we’re going to highlight some of the similarities and differences between the two devices, so you can compare.
Both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Essential phone come with an edge-to-edge design, although the latter’s is a bit more impressive. Unlike the Galaxy S8, which keeps a bit of bezel on top, the Essential’s display spreads all the way upwards until it finally embraces the selfie camera. The cutout display is certainly a peculiarity, but those who want the closest thing to a true edge-to-edge screen will consider it a mere compromise.
Moving on to numbers, the Galaxy S8 features a 5.8-inch “Infinity Display” with 2960 x 1440 resolution and 18:5:9 aspect ratio. The Essential Phone’s long 5.7-inch display with 19:10 ratio is quite similar to the Galaxy S8’s. Although it offers 2560 x 1312 resolution (almost QHD).
In the computing department, both phones take advantage of Qualcomm’s latest top-tier silicone piece, the Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM.
The two flagships include 8-megapixel secondary snappers, but the one on the Galaxy S8 features f/1.7 while the Essential’s has f/2.2.
We’ll jump straight to differences, by noting the Essential features 128GB of built-in storage, while the Galaxy S8 has only 64GB. However, Samsung’s flagship does feature a microSD card slot which allows for memory expansion up to 256GB, while the Essential does not offer such a feature.
In terms of photography, the two handsets are quite different. The Essential comes equipped with a dual-camera setup with f/1.85 which pairs a 13-megapixel dual RGB + Mono camera with image fusion technology sensor with a second 13-megapixel monochrome one.
In the case of the Galaxy S8, we won’t find a dual-camera assembly onboard. Still, the product does bundle a capable 12-megapixel main camera with f/1.7.
Andy Rubin’s Essential bets on a modular approach and the first accessory that can be attached to the smartphone externally is a 360-degree camera. More add-ons are expected to follow.
The Essential also packs a slightly larger 3,040 mAh battery than the 3,000 mAh cell inside the Galaxy S8. However, it does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack which the Galaxy S8 preserves. It’s also not waterproof, but should be more durable – due to its titanium/ceramic construction – than its Galaxy S8 rival, which is mostly made of glass.
And while the Galaxy S8 comes with Bixby – the virtual assistant onboard, Andy Rubin says the Essential will be able to run Siri, Assistant, as well as Alexa AND a new digital assistant (developed by Rubin’s company).
We should also note the Galaxy S8 comes with support for Samsung Pay and runs Android 7.0 Nougat, while the Essential also runs Android (although we don’t know what version exactly, could be Android 7.0 or Android 7.1).
So how much do they cost?
Sadly, the Essential comes with a pretty hefty price-tag. It will sell for $699, which frankly is a bit too expensive for a newcomer. As for the Galaxy S8, it’s available on Samsung’s official website for $724.99 and up.
As you can see the difference between the two price-wise is quite minor, but for a bit of extra money, you can get a phone (Galaxy S8) with microSD card slot, waterproof body, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. But if you want a more durable device that is also modular, the Essential is the way to do go.