Essential Phone Vs Galaxy S8: Does The Modular Android Device Present A Challenge Against The Top Flagship?

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is not the only Android worth the attention anymore with the arrival of the Essential Phone (PH-1), Andy Rubin’s latest project that is aiming to shift the landscape of the mobile industry. The modular smartphone is an interesting concept, but will it find success?

Essential Phone Vs Galaxy S8: Design

At first glance, the Essential Phone or PH-1 (as it is called) does look promising. The smartphone looks sleek with the screen taking up almost all of the space up front. The back has few components including the dual cameras with 13 megapixels each, the flash, and the fingerprint sensor. Curiously, the device is void of any branding.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has that 3D display going for it, which immediately trumps the PH-1’s flat 5.71-inch screen. At the back, though, the protruding single camera and the awkward position of the fingerprint scanner may be the flagship’s major fault. Compare that to the pleasing arrangement of the Essential Phone’s rear elements and you have the clear winner.

The Essential Phone’s design looks cleaner, but the Galaxy S8’s display is still a visual treat. It all comes down to preference at this point.

Essential Phone Vs Galaxy S8: Specs

The Essential Phone is from Rubin himself, the man who brought Android into this world. As he would know the ins and outs of the software, he should know what kind of hardware it needs to maximize its potential. So, is his smartphone the ultimate Android phone?

It is still too early to tell, but on paper, the PH-1 looks powerful enough to compete with the Galaxy S8 and other Android phones that are yet to emerge this year. The Essential smartphone has the same configuration under the hood as the Samsung flagship, which has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip and 4GB RAM pairing. But without the actual product, it is impossible to tell if they will have the same level of performance.

Essential Phone Vs Galaxy S8: Camera

A convincing point against the Galaxy S8 should be the dual cameras with 13 megapixels each. Samsung resorted to a single camera to keep the cost from ballooning, but the PH-1 definitely did not have problems with that as its price is still lower than the current top Android flagship.


At the front of the Essential Phone, there is an 8-megapixel snapper that will compete with the Galaxy S8’s 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The figures are the same, but Samsung flagships are known for their outstanding cameras disregarding the megapixel count. Likewise, it is too early to tell how the new smartphone’s cameras will do without testing an actual model.

Essential Phone Vs Galaxy S8: Features

The Essential Phone’s gimmick is the 360-degree camera accessory that can be snapped right onto the two little dots on the top right side of the device. While this was the only accessory that was demonstrated, it is likely that Essential has more in mind.

As the company said to Business Insider, what makes the smartphone different is that it will provide users the chance to enhance their experience using snap on accessories that can also stand alone. Wireless charging is also on the cards, making sure that it will provide a serious threat to the Galaxy S8.


But there are still things the Galaxy S8 has that the PH-1 does not. It does not have a microSD slot, but it does come with 128GB internal storage. It also does not seem to be waterproof like the Samsung flagship and the worst of all, the 3.5mm headphone jack is nowhere to be found.

Essential Phone Price Release Date

As a conclusion, the Essential Phone might just be enough of a challenge to the Galaxy S8 and other upcoming Android flagships like the OnePlus 5 and Google Pixel 2. If Andy Rubin plays his cards well, smartphones with accessory ports might become the norm in the future.

The PH-1 is ready for preorders with a price of $699. Adding $50 can get you the 360 camera, which costs $200 if purchased separately. The Essential Phone is only available in black and white for now, but after preorders, it will be available in gray and dark green. The release date is yet to be announced.

[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]