The successor to the Essential PH-1 will have a much better camera than the original device, the startup's industrial design chief Linda Jiang told Business Insider earlier this month. The executive acknowledged the widespread criticism of the smartphone's imaging capabilities, with complaints about the unresponsive nature of the default camera app and the overall quality of shots delivered by the device being among the most common grievances that both consumers and critics expressed about the handset. "We heard you and we're going to do it better on the second-gen for sure," Ms. Jiang said in reference to the abundant user feedback about the dual-camera setup of the Essential PH-1.
Originally launched in the summer of 2017, the Essential PH-1 shipped with two 13-megapixel sensors mounted behind f/1.9 lenses in the top left corner of its rear panel. The setup supports both phase detection and laser autofocus, as well as HDR, 120fps clips, and face detection, yet the majority of the complaints aimed against it were software-related. The initial version of the system Camera app pre-installed on the Essential PH-1 was prone to crashes and freezes, as well as unconventional bugs that sometimes wouldn't save a photo after users "captured" it, with the overall experience also being significantly slower compared to other high-end flagships. The Palo Alto, California-based startup addressed those complaints with a wide variety of over-the-air updates released following the commercial debut of the Essential PH-1, with the general consensus being that the company made the problematic camera of the device serviceable as of early 2018.
The firm isn't planning on repeating that episode and wants the camera of the Essential PH-2 or however its next product ends up being called to be much more reliable and overall better out of the box, Ms. Jiang explained. The company has yet to clarify when exactly it's planning on debuting its next smartphone, though another summer launch is thought to be likely. The new Android handset will still feature magnetic pins and work with all accessories designed for the first-generation PH-1, including the 360 Camera gadget, Essential confirmed earlier this year.