dafman:

 

So berjjj and 33coupe - how are you finding the phones in general. Reviews I have read refer to random freezes and stuttering, but this may have improved with updates and move to Oreo?

 

Also, how is the camera?

 

I need to replace my S7 at some point in the future, but don't want to increase the physical size of the handset - the Essential is pretty much the only bezel-less android that is not a phablet!

 

 

 

 

I'll preface my comments with the fact that I have come from owning a HTC One M8 since release (rooted, running custom rom/kernel), so any current gen phone would have been a great improvement.

The random freezes and stuttering are non existent for me, I believe many of these reports were during earlier firmware revisions, essential were behind schedule and the release was rushed, it was definitely a beta release.
Updates since then, particularly the April update have resolved many of the issues for others, I purchased mine in March so can only say that I've had no issues.

 


Scroll stutter is definitely a thing, somewhat remedied at the cost of slight input lag and I wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't read countless reddit and xda threads before purchasing. Just don't expect OnePlus 5T or Pixel2 levels of smoothness. The lack of bloat is a great positive and helps greatly with overall speed and battery life which is flagship level in my opinion.

Camera wise, it's greatly improved though there are hardware limitations (i.e. sensor size) that will never be accounted for with software improvements. The GCam apk improves things greatly and I have had no issues whatsoever - I am not a connoisseur, photography is limited to work and the odd one when I'm on a trip but it has not crashed or lagged.

I have no regrets on the purchase, I got it for $399USD including the HD earphones. I have no use for a $1k plus device that provides no tangible benefits in real world use.

Vodafone connectivity is perfect, can't say the same about Spark - see above.

I recommend purchasing on Amazon, they have sales now and then, and you have a 30 day return policy if it's not up to your expectations.