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Essential talks new Phone colors, no IP67 rating, and more in latest Reddit AMA
Give credit where credit is due to Essential, which has been a constant presence in Reddit and recently held another bi-weekly AMA. These AMAs give us insight into what is going on behind the scenes at Essential, as well as what could be expected in the horizon, so let’s take a look at what the team discussed in its most recent session.
When will the next color be available?
- New colors are still coming soon… we know that answer sucks, but it’s the transparent truth. I actually just left a meeting reviewing the latest Ocean Depths samples out of Japan and it’s getting so close. But there are still lingering issues (e.g. 30 micron specks) that don’t meet our standards. Stellar Grey (matte black) is the next one to drop.
- Stellar Grey will beat Ocean Depths to shrink-wrap.
Will there be first-party cases or skins that accommodate the 360 Camera and future accessories?
- We are such a small team that we decided to hyper-focus on products where our crew can create truly unique devices that express genuine technological fortitude and push the envelope. In that context, making plastic bumpers is not where we generate the most impact in the world of consumer electronics.
- What we’ve chosen to do instead is to be super open with 3rd parties. I’ve been working closely with companies Incipio (and others) to ensure they have all the data they need to build a nice product. They operate independently from us, but they’re fully Essential-empowered to build good stuff for y’all. So while we have encouraged those 3rd parties to build accessory-ready designs, that’s up to them.
Why does the Essential Phone not feature an IP67 or IP68 rating?
- To achieve IP67 or IP68 on this device, unfortunately, would have required some significant design trade-offs that were unpalatable for our first device: larger display borders, a thicker product, much larger receiver opening, to name a few. To make a phone more waterproof + repairable takes space for sealing solutions. IP67 has been a resounding request from our customers
Is there a better way to repair the Essential Phone than what iFixit did?
- We use a fairly standard hot-melt glue to bond the display glass to the chassis of the phone. By heating up the perimeter of the display to ~85C the glue softens and the display can easily be pulled off (using a suction cup) and the glue removed, ready for a new display to be installed. It’s important to only heat up the perimeter and not the center of the display to prevent damage to the LCD panel. The battery is also pretty easy to remove and replace if done properly … We currently don’t sell parts to consumers but do offer a competitive extended warranty plan.
That’s about it, folks! These are the major points that Essential discussed, but the team had a bit more to say on other subjects, so make your way to the official Reddit thread to see the full discussion.
Keep in mind that Essential holds bi-weekly AMAs to keep the conversation going, so if you have questions for the team, you’ll have a chance to have them answered in two weeks!