Android 8.1 Oreo Beta Brings Fixes for Laggy Scrolling on the Essential Phone
Despite its initial hype, the Essential Phone was plagued by various issues at launch. Its initially poor camera quality and high price made it a hard sell, especially in comparison to the Google Pixel 2/2 XL. There were fixes for each of these problems, however, as the unofficial Google Camera HDR+ port significantly improved camera quality, and Essential themselves subsequently released software updates that improved the camera quality of the device. The price was substantially cut too. With most of the major issues out of the way, the Essential Phone suddenly became a great value flagship, but that doesn’t mean that it is unaffected by other issues.
One such issue is its laggy scrolling. Despite having a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip and running stock Android 7.1 Nougat, the Essential Phone never felt as fast or smooth as other Snapdragon 835-powered phones such as the OnePlus 5T or the Google Pixel 2. To combat this, Essential has started rolling-out its first Android 8.1 Oreo beta for the device, and it contains an experimental patch for the slow-scrolling jitter.
To recap, Essential had earlier stated that the phone would receive an update to Android 8.0 Oreo, but after numerous beta updates, the company changed its decision and stated that it would skip the Android 8.0 update due to the various issues the company was facing with it. Instead, the Essential Phone will jump directly from Android 7.1 Nougat to Android 8.1 Oreo.
That means users of the device are still waiting for a stable Android Oreo update, and as of now, the company hasn’t provided any time frame for the roll-out of the stable Android 8.1 update. However, the release of the first beta does at least start the process. The Android 8.1 Oreo beta 1 also brings the February 2018 security patches and dynamic calendar and clock icons.
It hasn’t been the easiest launch for the Essential Phone so far, as one recent IDC report stated that only 88,000 units of the device have been sold so far. However, it does show potential, so here’s hoping that the software and hardware issues are improved in the future. Essential has proven that they are willing to listen to their customers with their frequent interactions on community forums such as /r/Essential. Their open communication and transparency deserves much praise, so we sincerely hope that the device, or its eventual successor, succeeds in the market.