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Essential Phone gets update to Android 8.1 Oreo

The big-screen phone gets the cookie-flavored Android update starting Tuesday.

Mike Sorrentino Senior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
Expertise Phones, texting apps, iOS, Android, smartwatches, fitness trackers, mobile accessories, gaming phones, budget phones, toys, Star Wars, Marvel, Power Rangers, DC, mobile accessibility, iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, RCS
Mike Sorrentino

The Essential Phone is getting an update to Android Oreo 8.1.

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The Essential Phone gets a tasty upgrade today to Android 8.1 Oreo.

The software update was announced in a tweet from Essential Tuesday, telling customers that it should be available to install from the phone itself. The phone was previously on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and is skipping the Android 8.0 edition of Oreo due to stability issues the company discovered and announced in January.

The upgrade is a bright spot in what has been a tough debut year for Essential. The phone opened to mediocre reviews when it was priced at $700 (roughly £500, AU$900). Five months later CNET's Sean Hollister found that while the phone's updates and lower $500 (roughly £360 or AU$635) price make it more appealing, it's still tough to recommend against the similarly priced OnePlus 5T or the cheaper Moto X4 .