essential phone

Android 9 Pie just went official and Google started to rollout the update to its Pixel devices. Right behind Google, though, is Andy Rubin’s Essential, which is already pushing out a final version of Pie for the PH-1.

Essential has been nipping at Google’s heels when it comes to updates for the past few months, proving especially quick with bringing Android P Betas to its users. Now, the same speediness is applying to the final rollout of Android Pie.

Just like with Google’s Pixel devices, this update brings a slightly refreshed UI to the Essential Phone, the option of using gesture navigation, as well as a bunch of fun new tools such as a handy screenshot editor. It also promises to improve battery life with the new “Adaptive Battery” feature which uses machine learning to prioritize how the system manages resources based on how you use your phone.

This update isn’t hitting all users just yet – it’s yet to hit my own Essential Phone at the time of publishing – but should be out in the next few hours. August’s security patch is also in tow here, but Essential forgot to update the strings needed to reflect that in the software, so it still shows as July’s patch level.

As a side note, Android Pie’s new gestures are enabled by default on the PH-1.

9to5Google’s Take

I seriously can’t commend Essential enough for this. It will probably be weeks before any other Android OEM gets this update out to its users, but the PH-1 is getting it just minutes after Google’s announcement. You can’t ask for anything better, especially on a phone that was just $250 a few weeks ago

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to or encrypted to