AVForums Podcast: Episode 234 - 20th August 2018

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
00:00:21 – Bank holidays, past glories and washing machines
00:12:46 – Current Competitions
00:14:10 – Steve reviews the Sonos Beam soundbar
00:23:20 – Phil reviews the Cello 50” 4K LED TV
00:31:04 – Ed reviews the Essential PH-1 smartphone
00:48:39 – Phil and Steve reviews The Meg
00:57:41 – Films opening this week – The Spy Who Dumped Me, Slender Man and BlacKkKlansman 00:59:29 – Disc releases this week – Rampage, The Deer Hunter, Black Book and Police Story 1 & 2 01:02:06 – Star Trek Discovery has cast its Spock
01:10:40 – Goodbyes

Presented by Phil Hinton with Steve Withers, Ed Selley and Mark Botwright

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Time: 01:11:44 | File Size: 103mb | Direct Link
 

jimborae

Active Member
Ed wasn't joking when he said he doesn't usually review phones! Couple of pointers he or his editor may wish to note before the written review goes out.:D

1. The company - Essential, is the brain child of Andy Rubin....not Dave Rubin
2. The phone has a ceramic back, not glass, that's why its so resistant to scratches.
3. Unless whoever you got the phone from signed it up to the Android 9.0 (Pie)beta it should now be running 9.0 release firmware. Essential are noted for their extremely good software/update support. Normally 12-24 hours behind Google. Unlike Samsung or LG who can be many months behind Google.
4. You missed saying that it also has the Sony LDAC bluetooth codec as well which is better than APT-X HD
5. The camera is not good for a flagship phone of 2017. On the phone's release in 2017 it was universally panned as being a terrible camera, unusable...literally, but Essential to their credit have improved it massively with software updates. It's now OK for a mid range device in 2018, but against 2018 flagships like the Huawei P20 Pro, it's woefully inadequate.
6. Probably most important to note for a review. IT'S NOT STOCKED IN THE UK!. You can only import the device from the US. Either directly from Essential themselves but you'll get hit with import Duty and VAT or via Amazon.com, which is the best option. The price is cheaper and they will handle the Duty & VAT.
7. Price - On release the phone cost $699 which was insane given how bad the camera and software was. It got subsequent price reductions and now costs a more reasonable $499 from Essential. However Amazon have reduced the price of their Amazon edition PH-1 (which has a matt grey back) to as low as $249 !!! which is an absolute steal. It was on sale over the last weekend for just $279 plus $60 import fees & postage which is just insane. At that price, given the build quality and continued support, it's a no brainer.
8. Essential have intimated that there will be no follow up phone although this is not outrightly confirmed. Also Rubin has said that the company is up for sale and will be focusing on other areas & devices. So...........support for the device may not be so great going forward and the company's future is uncertain, which is a shame.

For the money it costs now, it's a great phone, I have one and love it as a value proposition and everyday device. However if you want a phone with a truely great camera then look at the Huawei P20 Pro. Or if you want an excellent camera & stock software and excellent support then the Google Pixel 2 is a solid choice.
 
Last edited:

boabis

Active Member
Ed wasn't joking when he said he doesn't usually review phones! Couple of pointers he or his editor may wish to note before the written review goes out.

1. The company - Essential, is the brain child of Andy Rubin....not Dave Rubin
2. The phone has a ceramic back, not glass, that's why its so resistant to scratches.
3. Unless whoever you got the phone from signed it up to the Android 9.0 (Pie)beta it should now be running 9.0 release firmware. Essential are noted for their extremely good software/update support. Normally 12-24 hours behind Google. Unlike Samsung or LG who can be many months behind Google.
4. You missed saying that it also has the Sony LDAC bluetooth codec as well which is better than APT-X HD
5. The camera is not good for a flagship phone of 2017. On the phone's release in 2017 it was universally panned as being a terrible camera, unusable...literally, but Essential to their credit have improved it massively with software updates. It's now OK for a mid range device in 2018, but against 2018 flagships like the Huawei P20 Pro, it's woefully inadequate.
6. Probably most important to note for a review. IT'S NOT STOCKED IN THE UK!. You can only import the device from the US. Either directly from Essential themselves but you'll get hit with import Duty and VAT or via Amazon.com, which is the best option. The price is cheaper and they will handle the Duty & VAT.
7. Price - On release the phone cost $699 which was insane given how bad the camera and software was. It got subsequent price reductions and now costs a more reasonable $499 from Essential. However Amazon have reduced the price of their Amazon edition PH-1 (which has a matt grey back) to as low as $249 !!! which is an absolute steal. It was on sale over the last weekend for just $279 plus $60 import fees & postage which is just insane. At that price, given the build quality and continued support, it's a no brainer.
8. Essential have intimated that there will be no follow up phone although this is not outrightly confirmed. Also Rubin has said that the company is up for sale and will be focusing on other areas & devices. So...........support for the device may not be so great going forward and the company's future is uncertain, which is a shame.

For the money it costs now, it's a great phone, I have one and love it as a value proposition and everyday device. However if you want a phone with a truely great camera then look at the Huawei P20 Pro. Or if you want an excellent camera & stock software and excellent support then the Google Pixel 2 is a solid choice.
I think we have have found our new mobile
phone reviewer, stick to the washing machines Ed :D

Good to hear the Sonos Beam is a good bet, probably the best one box soundbar for sensible money?
 

jimborae

Active Member
I think we have have found our new mobile
phone reviewer, stick to the washing machines Ed :D

Good to hear the Sonos Beam is a good bet, probably the best one box soundbar for sensible money?
Nah, I tried it, I can't write for sh!t, no style. I just do my research well:)

In other other news though, the Essential is even better value atm. Amazon seem to be selling it right now for just $223.99!!!!! That's the cheapest price it's ever been, they must be desperate to get rid of their stock!!
 

bobflunkit

Well-known Member
Great podcast as ever. And the juha Kankkunen title and comment had me in stitches, as it’s my 80s and 90s rally driver reference to anyone who drives like a tool.
 

reddom

Novice Member
Perhaps next time you review an Alexa device Steve could could say "Alexa" a few more times just to make sure. I think I still have a couple of devices that didn't quite hear him properly this time.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
I've had a look through the review copy and mercifully, I've done better there than in my bleary confusion on the Friday morning. Dave Rubin, for the record, is a talkshow host who pollutes my Twitter timeline. Mea Culpa.

The only points I suppose I need to add are that it has been sent by Essential as a live item so they seemingly still want you to buy them (we aren't the only place in the UK to receive one either). The camera was judged as it turned up for review- that is to say after these corrections have been applied. Compared to my SLR, it's mediocre but then again, so is every other phone camera I've ever used. Crucially, it now doesn't demonstrate significantly greater mediocrity than other Android phones I've used of late unless you adjust too many settings at once.
 

LicensedTaximan

Well-known Member
As with “spacecat” I am also enjoying this poddy whilst on holiday. I was listening last night looking out from our ground floor veranda across a short green space and then the ocean in Rhodes as the sun was setting. As I said on “the Meg thread” sounds about my level in life and I will be picking this up on BD when it comes out. Enjoy the bank holiday Monday. Luv LT. ;)
 

moedeeb

Active Member
Ed wasn't joking when he said he doesn't usually review phones! Couple of pointers he or his editor may wish to note before the written review goes out.:D

1. The company - Essential, is the brain child of Andy Rubin....not Dave Rubin
2. The phone has a ceramic back, not glass, that's why its so resistant to scratches.
3. Unless whoever you got the phone from signed it up to the Android 9.0 (Pie)beta it should now be running 9.0 release firmware. Essential are noted for their extremely good software/update support. Normally 12-24 hours behind Google. Unlike Samsung or LG who can be many months behind Google.
4. You missed saying that it also has the Sony LDAC bluetooth codec as well which is better than APT-X HD
5. The camera is not good for a flagship phone of 2017. On the phone's release in 2017 it was universally panned as being a terrible camera, unusable...literally, but Essential to their credit have improved it massively with software updates. It's now OK for a mid range device in 2018, but against 2018 flagships like the Huawei P20 Pro, it's woefully inadequate.
6. Probably most important to note for a review. IT'S NOT STOCKED IN THE UK!. You can only import the device from the US. Either directly from Essential themselves but you'll get hit with import Duty and VAT or via Amazon.com, which is the best option. The price is cheaper and they will handle the Duty & VAT.
7. Price - On release the phone cost $699 which was insane given how bad the camera and software was. It got subsequent price reductions and now costs a more reasonable $499 from Essential. However Amazon have reduced the price of their Amazon edition PH-1 (which has a matt grey back) to as low as $249 !!! which is an absolute steal. It was on sale over the last weekend for just $279 plus $60 import fees & postage which is just insane. At that price, given the build quality and continued support, it's a no brainer.
8. Essential have intimated that there will be no follow up phone although this is not outrightly confirmed. Also Rubin has said that the company is up for sale and will be focusing on other areas & devices. So...........support for the device may not be so great going forward and the company's future is uncertain, which is a shame.

For the money it costs now, it's a great phone, I have one and love it as a value proposition and everyday device. However if you want a phone with a truely great camera then look at the Huawei P20 Pro. Or if you want an excellent camera & stock software and excellent support then the Google Pixel 2 is a solid choice.
 

moedeeb

Active Member
Hi, I had a look at the Amazon special and its showing as $309 plus taxes and shipping. Has it gone up since you posted?
 

jimborae

Active Member
Hi, I had a look at the Amazon special and its showing as $309 plus taxes and shipping. Has it gone up since you posted?
Yep the price is going up & down like a wosit's knickers at the moment, so keep you eye's peeled as it's bound to drop again soon. Just set up a camelcamelcamel alert and purchase as soon as it drops below $280.
 

Jokerr

Well-known Member
Is Apple working on Micro LED and/or QUANTUM DOT displays. They acquired a company quietly that makes MICRO LED displays for small scale use.

And now they just got a patent for :

Backlight dimming control for a display utilizing quantum dots
Apple's granted patent relates to quantum dot backlights for use in displays and processes for controlling the dimming of quantum dot backlights are provided. The backlight can include an LED (e.g., a blue LED) configured to emit a light through a sheet of quantum dots.

One of the inventors of granted patent 10,062,334 is Jean-Jacques Drolet, Head of Technology Scouting at OSRAM Opto Semiconductors. Drolet worked on five generations of the iMac display. The question becomes: Is utilizing quantum dots the secret behind Apple's sharp Retina displays for iMacs or is this something that's still in the works?
 

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