Essential Phone Gets January 2018 Security Patch with Fixes for Meltdown/Spectre

Essential Phone Gets January 2018 Security Patch with Fixes for Meltdown/Spectre

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The Essential Phone, also known as the Essential PH-1, was released in August 2017, and although it has faced its fair share of issues, its user experience has steadily improved with software updates. The Android Oreo beta program is underway, and pain points such as the camera quality have also been mitigated. With price cuts and deals, the phone’s value proposition has improved, even as newer flagship smartphones arrive in the market. Now, it has started receiving the January 2018 security patch update.

Google published the January 2018 security patch a few days ago, and included a number of fixes for critical or high-security vulnerabilities. The patch has now started rolling-out to the first and second-generation Google Pixel devices, as well as the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P, and the company has also published factory images for the aforementioned devices.

The January patch is significant when it was revealed by Google that it contained some fixes for the recently disclosed Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities that are caused by flaws in CPU speculative execution. Up until now, only Google’s Android devices were safe from this risk, as they were the only ones that had received the security patch update so far.

Now, the Essential Phone has joined that list as Essential has started rolling-out a software update, with build NMJ88C. The update comes with the January security patch (although it’s unknown whether it’s the January 1, 2018 security patch or the January 5, 2018 one) and fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws.

It’s good to see Essential quickly rolling-out the January patch to the PH-1, as the fixes it contains are extremely important. Android smartphone vendors have a mixed record when it comes to rolling-out security updates, but we hope to see the situation improve in the future. In this regard, we also hope that other Android smartphone vendors quickly follow Essential’s lead and roll-out the patch to protect their devices from the severe vulnerabilities.