Andy Rubin's new smartphone seems to be closer to availability.
Best Buy has posted the Essential Phone (PH-1) to its site, in unlocked and Sprint only configurations, as first reported by Android Police. A "coming soon" place holder is currently found on the page, with no clear indication of just how soon the phone will be available for purchase.
As a refresher, Rubin announced the Essential phone in May. with a release timeframe in June. As June turned into July and then August, the company has been relatively quiet and has yet to provide any further release information other than a vague message from Rubin a couple of weeks ago that stated customers will have the phone in "your hands in a few weeks."
The Essential Phone features a 5.7-inch edge-to-edge display with very small bezels. There's a small notch at the top of the screen that's a bit distracting but required to make room for the front-facing camera due to limited space from the bezels.
The Android 7.1.1 device is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of memory, and has 128GB of storage. A 13-megapixel dual-camera setup is found on the back, next to two magnetic mounts for modular accessories. The first accessory available for the Essential PH-1 is a 360-degree camera. The PH-1's housing is made of titanium and ceramic, which the company claims are stronger and will hold up better than competing smartphones.
Back to the new Best Buy listing: The unlocked version listed on the site is priced at $699, the same price Rubin had previously announced. The Sprint listing no longer has a price, but according to Android Police, it was originally listed at $749. The price increase could have been a mistake on Best Buy's part. However, it's worth mentioning the less expensive, unlocked version will work on Sprint.
ZDNet has contacted Essential for a comment and will update this post should we hear back.