Staff from Essential recently participated in another AMA event over at Reddit and they answered questions from fans and customers of the company. At least one poster raised a question regarding the availability of the other color variants of the Essential PH-1. The handset originally launched with the Black Moon variant as the only color option but the device maker started shipping the white variant of the handset last month. An employee mentioned that there is still no timeline available for the release of both the Stellar Gray and Ocean Depth variants, although it is likely that the former will be launched earlier. The Stellar Gray color option was described to have a blasted titanium frame and ceramic back panel with a matte finish. Also discussed was the handset’s lack of IP67 water and dust resistance certification. Adding water resistance will result to what an employee calls as significant but "unpalatable" trade-offs in design including larger display borders, thicker device, and larger receiver openings. Another topic that was mentioned in the AMA was the presence of scratches near the POGO pins, which is where accessories attach to the smartphone. An employee noted that it is not the ceramic that was scratched but rather the oleophobic coating that was applied on top of the ceramic to reduce fingerprint smudges.
The issue of repairability of the Essential PH-1 was also raised in the AMA, with a user asking about the appropriate method of replacing the smartphone's screen or battery. To replace the screen, the sides of the display should be heated up to 85 degree Celsius to soften the adhesive that binds the panel with the chassis and then the display can be removed using a suction cup. Replacing the battery is a bit more complicated although the user can utilize the pull tabs to pull and remove the battery.
The rationale for using a monochrome and color sensor for the Essential PH-1's dual camera setup was also tackled in the AMA. This setup, according to the device maker, allows for a thin camera while maintaining the quality and clarity of images captured. There will also be no first-party cases from Essential, an employee stated, as the manufacturer focused first on its smartphones and other device offerings, although the handset maker is communicating with third-party case builders to help the latter develop cases and accessories for the Essential PH-1.