Editor's Note: This story has been updated with pre-order information for Best Buy and Essential.
At long last, the phone is available for general pre-order — and if you hop on the bandwagon now, you should receive your gadget within a few weeks.
Sprint revealed the Essential Phone’s pre-order information in an announcement this morning. Interested users need only visit www.sprint.com/essential, and follow the instructions to put some money down. Buying the phone up-front costs $700, but users can also pay $14.58 per month for 18 months ($262.44) to lease the phone on a Sprint Flex plan. When the lease is up, users can either switch to another phone or pay the balance and buy the Essential outright.
The rest of the press release covers information that those who have been following the Essential Phone probably already know. The device is the debut product for Essential Products: the brainchild of Andy Rubin, who co-created the Android OS. (Essential Phone will run on Android, naturally.) The phone comprises durable ceramic and titanium components, features a 4K camera and contains 128 GB storage space. In short: It’s a tough, full-featured phone with a price tag to match.
Naturally, there’s a lot of fine print, especially if you want to take advantage of the leasing offer. You’ll need a data plan to go along with the phone, and the one Sprint recommends becomes considerably more expensive after a year. The lease offer applies to only new customers, or those who have an eligible upgrade, and the savings come in the form of credit to your account, not an up-front discount.
It's worth keeping in mind that the Essential Phone is a completely new product that’s already undergone several delays. The gadget’s pedigree is beyond question, but its real-world performance has yet to be determined.
Still, if you’re absolutely sure the Essential Phone is, well, essential, you can now pick one up. Alternatively, you can wait for the phone’s full retail release, which should happen sometime in September.