During a Reddit AMA last month, Essential revealed that the Android Oreo update for the Essential Phone was under internal testing and that it will be made available as a public beta “within next several weeks”. It has been over a month since the company made that announcement with no Oreo beta in sight for the device. That changes today as the company has finally released the first public beta of Android Oreo for the Essential Phone.
Essential is, of course, not the first OEM to release an Oreo beta as other OEMs like OnePlus, Nokia, Huawei, and Samsung also have similar beta programs going on for their respective flagship devices. Unlike other beta programs, which allow only a limited number of registered users to try out the beta software, Essential’s Oreo beta program is open to everyone. That means if you have an Essential Phone and want to try out Android Oreo, you can install it on your device right now, and that too without wiping your existing data or performing a factory reset. Though keep in mind that you will have to manually sideload it using ADB as it’s not available as OTA.
If you’re interested, the download link for the software, as well as step-by-step instructions for installation, can be found at this page while you can provide your feedback for the beta software here.
The beta software, among other Android Oreo features, also seems to be bringing support for Project Treble, which should, at least in theory, make it easier for the OEM to quickly roll-out software updates including monthly security updates to the device.
Beta software builds, as you know, can be a little rough around the edges and Essential notes that Oreo beta users might experience increased battery drain when using Bluetooth along with “Android Auto compatibility issues with some vehicles”. There are likely to be more bugs that users may find as they use the device so do be prepared to grab a logcat to help provide constructive feedback.
Unfortunately, Essential has not provided any timeline as to when we should expect the final release. But given that the software has already made it to the beta phase and also the fact that Essential uses a near-stock version of Android, we hope the final release will be sooner rather than later.