What just happened? The discontinued Essential Phone is one of the first non-Google phones to get updated to Android 10. This is especially remarkable considering how long it takes other Android device manufacturers to update their devices.
Google's newest Android 10 operating system is already live for its Pixel line of devices. However, it looks like the Essential Phone is also getting Android 10 at the same time. This is great news for people still clinging to the discontinued phone.
We previously reported the fact that Nokia leads the top Android device manufacturers when it comes to keeping their devices updated with the latest operating system and security updates. It's surprising then that not only is a phone that was thought left for dead getting the latest version of Android, it's getting it right on release day. That said, the Essential Phone did get Android Pie just hours after the Pixel phones.
As exciting as it is to know that Essential is still keeping its phone updated, it's important to note that the update is only rolling out to "select Open Market customers" for now. Basically, if you bought your phone anywhere other than Sprint, you can get the update. There isn't a timeline for Sprint customers yet.
Founded by Android creator Andy Rubin, the Essential Phone promised to be a phone that lacked all of the "fluff" of other smartphones. Its durable titanium frame, stock Android, and promise of attachments to augment the phone's capabilities could've made it quite a competitor in the Android OEM space. However, software bugs and a subpar camera sunk the would be Galaxy or Pixel killer. Moreover, Rubin himself was embroiled in a scandal that revealed the real reason for his departure from Google in 2014.
After all of that, it's still remarkable that the remaining employees were able to keep the Essential Phone updated to take advantage of some of the new Android 10 features such as updated gesture navigation and a heavier focus on privacy. Perhaps other Android manufacturers should take notice.