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Essential Phone’s new ‘Halo Gray’ color goes on sale exclusively at Amazon

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Essential, the new tech company started by Android co-founder Andy Ruben, has announced new variants of the Essential Phone and one of them is exclusive to Amazon. The new Halo Gray version is only available on Amazon and it “includes Amazon Alexa.” Unfortunately, it seems as though all that means is that the Alexa app comes pre-installed on the device. Even though Essential has received funding from Amazon through the Alexa Fund, which normally goes to companies that innovate with Alexa, there hasn’t been any special Alexa integration done to the Amazon-exclusive phone.
Amazon is a partner to Essential both as a sales channel, and as an investor. The distribution partnership with Amazon has been particularly fruitful, among all its sales channels, according to Essential President Niccolo de Masi, so it made sense to do something unique for Amazon with the ‘Halo Gray’ colorway.
With the Halo Gray Essential Phone, customers get the dark, matte finish of the ‘Stellar Gray’ color it released itself, along with the natural titanium, silver look of the band on the current white Essential model. The combination should be a good one, I can say from having seen both the matte finish and the titanium bands separately on other versions of Essential’s device.
This new version of the Essential Phone is not a new member of Amazon’s Prime Exclusive Phone lineup. It is merely just a regular product that is only available to purchase through Amazon. Prime membership is not required to purchase the phone.
The phone will also be unique in another way: It’ll include the Alexa app in the app drawer right from setup (though it’s still user removable, too, unlike pre-loaded stuff on most other Android devices). Given the popularity of Echo devices, and the gadget–buying audience Amazon is probably reaching anyway, it’s very likely that Essential buyers will appreciate saving a step with Alexa ready to go out of the box.
t is available to pre-order now for $449.99, which is $150 cheaper than the other new colors announced. The phone will ship on February 21st and a few days later, on February 24th, the price will increase to $499.99. You can also pre-order the phone with Essential’s 360-degree camera attachment for $499.99.
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Hi EveryOne.