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The first 360-degree clips from the Essential Phone hold their own, but don’t quite match standalone hardware

The Essential Phone finally went official last week and while the bezel-less phone itself is quite impressive, it’s not the only thing that should have your attention with this device. On the rear of the phone you’ll find two POGO pins that can be used for accessories, the first of which is a 360-degree camera developed by Essential, and now the first clips from that camera are hitting the web.

Via Essential’s YouTube channel, five different 360-degree videos have been made available in a variety of different settings. These shots were all taken by Niccolo de Masi, president of Essential.

The first is a video taken from a courtside seat at the NBA Finals where we can see not only the court but the crowd behind and around Niccolo. This video gives us a pretty good idea of what kind of detail can be had from the 4K sensor, and that’s definitely apparent when you crank up the settings on YouTube to the full resolution.

Another example from a T.I. concert shows how the camera handles low-light situations, and the results here are actually quite good, certainly better than I would have expected. Details are solid throughout the shot and it handles the quick changes in light quite well.

Further, the camera was taken outdoors for a ride through Los Angeles with Tyga and it predictably handles well-lit situations very well. Questlove also got his hands on the device for a walk through San Fransisco. While the detail is a bit poor here, the overall shot is pretty decent considering the lighting.

The best example Essential has provided, though, has been a house tour with Cameron Dallas. The internet personality made famous from Vine takes the Essential camera through his home where we can see the camera handle changes in lighting very well, dynamically changing the exposure based on the available lighting to get the best shot. Detail on this video isn’t great either, even when viewed in 4K, but it’s certainly passable.

Based on what we’re seeing so far, the Essential camera may prove inferior in some situations to alternatives like the Gear 360 camera, but for the most part, it holds its own quite well especially considering the size and price.

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