Samsung A5 vs Essential PH-1 phone

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  • Updated 3 months ago
I narrowed down my search to these 2 phones. They are both the same price, and within my budget limit.

I've been researching a lot and seems so far they are both good for the price. For the negative points ; the Samsung A5 seems to have a disappointing camera. The Essential doesn't seem to have a much better camera, lacks the 3.5mm audio jack, and a lot of people complained about the phone freezing. 

Battery life looks pretty equivalent on both

The specs on the Essential seem slightly better but there are more downside as well.

Anybody tried both? any advice would be welcome
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Mel M

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Posted 3 months ago

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Shutdown

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If your not getting essential I'd wait for the new 2018 phones coming out instead.
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Mel M

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Thanks, the A5 is a little over a year old indeed. Any experience with the Essential ?
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Shutdown

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The essential seems to have good battery life/performance but the camera seem crappy since it doesn't seem to focus before it takes the shot. I also do sometimes have freezing issue when playing asphalt 8 on it but have never had it freeze on any other app. Essential also has the notch at the top though it's very small and it comes with a usb-c to usb-c charger.
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Paul Deschamps, Mobile Master

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I have both phones and the Essential is way WAY better in every way as long as you don't get one of the duds. There's seems to be some issues with certain units of the Essential phone but as many as Koodo has sold it doesn't seem to be a high percentage of them.
The Essential has a much more powerful processor and more ram so it runs way faster and doesn't bog down, the Samsung gets bogged down fast and becomes sluggish to thr point of it being annoying. It has much more internal storage with 128gb as opposed to the Samsung's 32gb but the Samsung has an external storage option through an SD card slot but this is only good for photos and videos basically because only small portions of apps and games are able to be moved to tbr SD card and having them on the SD card makes them run slower.
The essential has a much much better display the Samsung one looks terrible in comparison.
The Essential also gets much faster updates and infact the Samsung probably won't even see any updates beyond security updates and perhaps, maybe to 8.0 and that's it where thr essential will see 9.0 at the minimum.
The build materials and design are much better on the Essential however the Samsung is water resistant where the essential is not at all.
The cameras I'd say the Essential is better and keeps getting better as they update it constantly bring more features and much better photo quality.
Basically thr Essential your getting a top end phone and thr Samsung your getting a midrange phone at best.

*Since I got Android 8.1 on my Essential I haven't had any issues except one where I have ghost touches where the phone will freak out and start tapping things on its own and you have to tap the power button to turn the display off and back on and then it's fine again.... But I've been messing around with things and may have found a fix last night until essential addresses the issue so I'll let you know if this fix works after a little more testing *
If that gets fixed then hands down no question the essential over the Samsung IMO.
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Mel M

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Un gros merci! This is exactly what i was looking for, a side by side comparison that goes beyond comparing specs lists.

Reading your feedback about the camera being better on the Essential makes me more prone to get the phone, and even get pass the lack of audio jack. I'm curious ; are you using the google camera app. It seems like some are saying it helps making better photos, even after the numerous updates that did help the camera, but still not enough.

I read about the ghost issues you are mentioning. That seems like a decent drawback. Have you found a fix ? And yes, keep me posted if you do, i am waiting a few days to take my decision. 

I was curious, have you connected the phone to a PC  using a regular USB port (i know you have to get your own USB C to regular USB cable). I read some complaints that people cannot transfer files back and forth between the phone and the PC, only one way : to the phone, or not at all. 
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Mel M

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And no need to keep me posted here on the result of your testing, I'm following the Essential Phone ghost touch problems thread. thanks!

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Paul Deschamps, Mobile Master

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No I have the google camera app installed on my Essential but I've been using the stock camera app since it's improvements as of late since I see no real advantage any more to using the Google app. I mean look at this comparison video of just how good the shots are now (think this was actually one update behind) compared to the camera phone top dogs. For the price your getting a very impressive camera now on the Essential. https://youtu.be/7hi0zn6SlJs

Sorry I haven't connected the Essential to a computer as I use google photos to backup and access my photos on any device so haven't any need to connect to a computer.

Ghost touch issues I've only been testing it for a few hours since I tried my possible fix but I'll leave more in the ghost touch thread on that and what I'm testing and looking for others now to try it and see if it works for them but so far so good.
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Mel M

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Cool, thanks. I'll try the phone and see what bugs I get if i get any. I like that in the video, and in a few others, the photos from the Essential camera are compared with the Pixel 2 or Iphone X, but when you factor the cost for the Esssential phone versus the other ones, it looks pretty good!
(Edited)
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Jenny Kaiser

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I had the essential phone. Must have gotten a dud. It was useless. Sent in an inquiry to return it within a day of owning it. It seemed like everything crashed on it. Couldn’t even use the calculator without the phone freezing and I had to restart it. Otherwise, it was a great phone. Excellent battery life and camera seemed pretty good.
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Mel M

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thanks Jenny! Seems like people either have a good or really bad experience! What did you get instead ?
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Paul Deschamps, Mobile Master

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Yeah one of the other mobile masters here got the Essential phone and had nothing but problems to the point he hated the phone. He exchanged it and since hasn't had any issues after updating to Android 8.1 and is absolutely loving the phone so quality control at Essential seems to be an area the brand new company needs to put a little more focus on perhaps.
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Jenny Kaiser

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I decided to try the iPhone world. Uprgraded to the iPhone 7 and so far, the experience is pretty good.
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Paul Deschamps, Mobile Master

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If you don't mind the limitations of iOS then iPhones are a great choice. I use to hate iPhones back when thr iPhone 5s was what I had but I got an iPhone 7 Plus last year and absolutely loved it for thr most part. It's gotten so much better and thr larger displays newer iPhones have now made a huge difference to me. Can't go wrong with an iPhone