The Essential PH-1 was officially certified by Verizon on Friday and should now work on the largest wireless carrier's network without any issues, Essential founder Andy Rubin said yesterday evening. By receiving the necessary certificate from the New Jersey-based company, the device is now eligible to access a number of network-specific offerings from Verizon like its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, in addition to fully supporting SIM cards issued by the mobile service provider. The exact scope of the certificate is still unknown and some limitations may apply, as is the case with the HTC U11 which is also officially certified by Verizon but only supports VoLTE on Band 13.
Mr. Rubin didn't clarify on the contents of the Verizon-issued certificate, having only said that owners of the Essential PH-1 may be required to reboot their devices in order to resolve any issues they may still be having with Verizon's network. The telecom giant doesn't retail Essential's first smartphone which is only available from Sprint and directly from the Palo Alto, California-based startup. This state of affairs is unlikely to change in the future, though it's currently unclear what prevented Essential from coming to a distribution agreement with other major wireless carriers in the United States. Owners of the unlocked variant of the Essential PH-1 have yet to confirm that Verizon's certificate enables Wi-Fi Calling, though VoLTE is now reportedly working as intended.
The Essential PH-1 became available for purchase a couple of weeks back, following numerous setbacks for the company founded by the co-creator of the Android operating system. The handset features a somewhat unconventional design and boasts modular capabilities enabled by two magnetic pins installed on its rear panel. Initial responses from both consumers and critics have been somewhat mixed, with many praising its durable build and clean OS while also criticizing its dual-sensor camera setup and the lack of a 3.5mm audio jack and waterproofing. The Essential PH-1 has yet to make its way to any other markets, though the Californian startup previously confirmed that Canada, Europe, and Japan are all set to receive the device in the coming months, presumably by November.