For those curious about how the recently unveiled Essential Phone and its associated 360 camera accessory work, Andy Rubin's Essential has finally uploaded some samples to its YouTube channel. There is a total of five videos, as of this writing, and they have been uploaded over the last several days. The content of those ranges from household tours to concerts and, thankfully, the quality of these is somewhat better than some photos which were recently taken with the stock camera and uploaded earlier this week.
There's no doubt that the Essential Phone and its accessories system are intriguing, although the camera in question is presumably only the first of many accessories intended to work with the phone. The fact that the 360-camera can just as readily be removed or become part of the phone itself is an advantage over most competitors. However, Essential intended to improve on Android devices or fix issues prevalent in Android with its device and modular accessories are really nothing new, so that alone won't necessarily be enough to convince everybody. The camera needs to either blow away the competition or at minimum hold its own. While Essentials 360-degree accessory won't necessarily pass up the competition under every circumstance, the five videos uploaded are worth a watch at the highest quality possible. They were taken in a wide array of settings and, at least in four of those, it seems to have performed well. Detail is high and it doesn't appear too phased by rapid changes in lighting - as evidenced by the T.I. concert captured in one of the videos.
Since the videos appear to have mostly been shot by celebrities, rather than a professional photographer, they should be fairly indicative of what everyday users will be able to capture without too much effort. So it should come as something of a relief that only one of the videos had any real issues at all. In that particular clip - which featured a walk around San Fransisco on what looks like a severely overcast day with Questlove - the lighting just wasn't quite there and detail captured is slightly diminished. Does it stack up against those other, admittedly more expensive, standalone accessories from other companies? The videos have been included below, so you can decide for yourself.