Essential Phone PH-1 Android 8.1 Oreo update now live for all users
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Essential has finally released Android 8.1 as an update for its Phone PH-1. The update is rolling out to users over-the-air and bypasses the company’s previously planned update to Android 8.0. The first beta was only recently made available to customers, so the immediate release of the finished version comes as something of a surprise.
New features includes in the update include boot times that are twice as fast, smart text selection, instant apps and a picture-in-picture mode. Auto fill will now remember logins while apps will now also show when there is a notification via a small dot — a long press on the app will quickly reveal the notification, which can then be quickly swiped away. The Android 8.1 update also brings new emoji and a range of other features including Treble.
We’ve been playing with the Android 8.1 beta on the Essential Phone and note that it delivers a much improved experience over Nougat on the device. It runs much more smoothly and finally feels like the device is getting the most performance out of its Snapdragon 835 chipset. As a stock installation of Android, the UI is also clean and easy to navigate. The only major complaint that we still have with the device is its camera, which while beautifully integrated into the chassis, remains weaker than its competition.