Thursday, 19 October, 2017

The insanely-hyped Essential Phone is a Sprint exclusive, sort of

The Essential Phone The Essential
Lori Graves | 12 June, 2017, 18:54

Following a report late yesterday over the weekend, Sprint today confirmed that it will indeed be the exclusive launch partner of the Essential Phone, a new smartphone from father-of-Android Andy Rubin who started on the venture after leaving Google.

According to USA Today, Essential president Niccolo de Masi characterized Sprint as "the network of the future". The carrier variant will also be available from U.S. Best Buy stores and via the retailer's website as well. There has yet to be an announcement of the cost when purchased through the carrier, but if Sprint wants to draw in new customers, it's likely going to be available for a fraction of its $699 unlocked price tag. Although sales of unlocked phones - that is, those that aren't tied to one specific carrier - are on the rise, the majority of phone buyers in the U.S. still buy their phones through carriers. Essential will be selling the phone unlocked, so it's not actually shackled to Sprint's service at all. While Sprint does have network improvements in the works, its performance has generally lagged behind the likes of T-Mobile and Verizon for several years now.

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Sprint, once considered the third-largest usa wireless carrier behind Verizon and AT&T, now trails behind T-Mobile as the fourth largest player.

NETWORK: Sprint is uniquely positioned as the best network for Essential Phone with its vast spectrum holdings giving users the network capacity they need to stream 360 video. The Japanese company owns 83 percent of Sprint and Rubin is an advisor to the SoftBank Vision Fund. The partnership between Andy Rubin's new company and the nation's no. 4 wireless carrier makes sense given Rubin's friendship with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.

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