With Amazon Prime Day, we’re enjoying deals that may or may not be a great value. One of the products that certainly deserves a mention is this insane Essential Phone deal that lets you have a 2017 flagship smartphone for $250. Less than a year ago, this phone was $700. A comparable Snapdragon 835 phone from Samsung (the Galaxy S8) is $500. Today, you can buy two Essential Phones for the cost of the Galaxy S8.
The biggest downside was that Essential was asking $700 for its first attempt at a flagship smartphone, and that just wasn’t good enough. Poor sales eventually led to a lowered price of $500. At either of those prices, you might have pause, but for $250? This thing is a steal. You’re getting a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 3040mAh battery, which will blow the doors off of anything else in this price range. It will work on most GSM carriers.
Essential has a murky future ahead of it, and in the future we might look at this $250 price tag as a “going-out-of-business” sale. The company has cancelled future smartphone development and might be put up for sale eventually. As a potential Essential customer, that means you can’t rely on the company to deliver software updates in the future. As of May 2018, Essential said it was still good for the original promise of two years of major updates and three years of security patches, but I think if the company is sold, all bets are off.
There’s good news for phone tinkerers though. The Essential Phone has an unlockable bootloader and was updated with Project Treble support, which means it should be compatible with a wide range of aftermarket Android distributions. So if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and update your phone yourself—or if you want to learn how—it’s hard to beat this Essential Phone deal.