Sprint will be the only United States carrier to offer the Essential Phone

Essential Phone

Essential President, Niccolo de Masi confirmed to USA Today Sunday that Sprint will have sole compatibility over the smartphone and its special features, including HD voice and built-in video calling. This is a significant piece of news because Sprint is only the fourth largest carrier in the country. With the amount of hype the phone has generated among Android diehards and gadget geeks in general, it's a pretty big win for Sprint, but the reveal doesn't really tell the whole story. Essential has begun taking reservations for unlocked models of the device, but it's been unclear up to now as to whether any US carriers would sell the phone. However, the company's chief marketing officer, Roger Solé, did say that the device will be very prominent in the carrier's stores and will have a "premium space" where customers will be able to check it out. "I think when there's this duopoly with these two guys owning 40% of the market, this complacency kind of sets in where people are going, 'What they're building is just good enough, I'll just go to them, '" Rubin said.

We don't hold out much hope for Essential Phone.

Sprint firmly trails the other three major carriers in the US - Verizon, AT&T, and the surging T-Mobile - in terms of total subscribers, so Essential's decision to side with the carrier seems questionable on the surface. But since other Android manufacturers are having no luck with this, the Essential Phone may not get away with it either. The phone itself is made of titanium with a ceramic back for added protection. You can now pre-order the high-end device from the company's website, but it looks like you'll also be able to get it from Sprint soon.

Newcomers such as Huawei, OnePlus and others have had to seek new methods to sell phones, whether through retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon or direct-to-consumer.

So, what are do you guys think about Andy Rubin's Essential Phone being exclusive to Sprint? It costs $699 for the phone, or $749 with the 360-degree camera included.

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