Essential Phone (PH-1) running Android 11 (Android R) makes an appearance at Geekbench

Software updates is an area that has troubled the Android world for years. For a long time, only the Google Nexus devices were worth considering for anyone into timely software updates and longer support.

But then came the Essential Phone that aimed to take on the big G’s Pixel phones by keeping up with timely system updates. Not only did Essential developers deliver software updates on day 1 alongside the Pixels, but they did so for a longer than usual period.

Following its debut in 2017 running Android Nougat, the Essential Phone currently sits on the February 2020 security patch based on Android 10. The OS, the third version to hit the handset since launch, was released on day 1 alongside the Pixels back in September 2019.

Essential Phone shutting down

Did you take a peek at the screengrab above? If you didn’t, well, Essential has recently announced that the current February patch will be the last the device receives in an official capacity. But even so, this won’t be the end of the road of this one-hit-wonder.

Not long ago, the company revealed its Essential Phone Android 11 plans where developers will be allowed to install GSI images going forward all thanks to Project Treble.

Matter of fact, it seems there is a ready Android 11 DP1 GSI for the Essential Phone, again, thanks to Project Treble. We’ve come across a pair of Geekbench listings of the PH-1 running Android R, suggesting that development is already underway.

(Source 1, 2)

Of course, since these are the early days of Android 11, there is still some time before we see stable enough ROMs that can be used as daily drivers on the PH-1. Either way, it’s great to see Essential still offering support for customers who wish to try the new OS.

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.