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Why the $250 Essential Phone is the best Android phone you can buy today

There are Android smartphones on the market today at every price point. With Prime Day though, Essential is making a massive cut on its PH-1, and it makes it the best Android phone you can buy today.

The Essential Phone has a bit of a mixed history. It was massively hyped ahead of its launch, but fell pretty flat due to a high price and poor camera. Since then, the massive price tag has been cut down significantly, and it’s a way better phone now. Its camera has also been improved a whole lot too.

Now, for Prime Day, it’s just $250. For that price, it’s the best Android phone you can buy today, period, and there are a few core things that make that the case.

The Specs & Build

Just looking at the Essential Phone on paper, this thing is already one of the best deals on the market just for its spec sheet, and that’s at the retail price of $499. You’re getting a Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 5.7-inch 2560×1312 display. That’s all wrapped up in a device built from titanium and ceramic too, meaning you’re getting one of the most premium devices out there, and it’s quite the looker as well.

Of course, at $499 you’re competing with the OnePlus 6 which one-ups those specs for just an extra $30. At $250, though, this smartphone is unrivaled. Most used devices from last year like a Pixel 2 don’t even come close to the bang for your buck. Really, this phone is a no-brainer for this reason alone.

The Network Support

A slightly more minor detail, but one I want to call out, is network support. The Essential Phone is the cheapest Android “flagship” with unlocked support for all networks, and at $250 it’s now the best value for that feature as well. You can pick this device up and use it on any US network, including Verizon. A lot of other devices at this price point only support GSM networks.

The Updates

One of the biggest reasons for buying the Essential Phone over any other device with today’s sale is quick updates. Google’s Pixel is still the only device you should buy if you truly care about getting every update, but Essential is the only company that really follows Google’s lead. Monthly security updates arrive within a day or two of the Pixel (in some cases hours), and even Android P beta updates have been arriving with a similar timeline.

Unfortunately, Essential’s future is a bit uneasy at the moment. Reports haven’t shown a good light on the company recently, but Essential has affirmed multiple times that the PH-1 will continue to get updates.

Long story short, the Essential Phone at $250 is seriously the best deal you can get when it comes to an Android smartphone today. It’s a good phone at twice the price, so if you’re on the market for a new phone today, this should be number one on your list.

You can check out the deal over on 9to5Toys, along with the rest of their Prime Day coverage.

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Avatar for Ben Schoon Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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