What Makes An Essential Phone?

by | October 24, 2017

In August of this year,  the anticipated ‘Essential Phone’ PH-1 was launched and even though it came from an unproven and untested brand, they were still able to make sizeable waves in the tech community. Now, of course, that’s just a brand, but it got me thinking. The word essential is defined as being absolutely necessary, or extremely important. So my question was what features in a phone could be described as being absolutely necessary or important? After all, we live in the age of social media, an age of constant connection. We are always tapped into the latest, the greatest and best news. This is in no small part to the advances in mobile telecommunications as they play a huge role in the internet culture we have today.

So I made a list pulling out the 4 features that I found were most important to making a phone into a great/essential phone.


  1. Storage – Storage is absolutely necessary to creating a great smartphone because phones are so much more than just telecommunications devices nowadays. The cellular phone has surpassed television and radio to become the most common purveyor of media, whether it be photos, videos or audio. It’s quite simple really, anyone can do the maths. Media requires storage, therefore the more storage that can be squeezed into a smartphone; the better.
  2. Camera – As was said in the previous point, we live in the multimedia age. Not only is this true but I’d even take it a step further to say that we live in the age of the selfie. For better or for worse, taking pictures of ourselves has become increasingly important to our generation. We literally do it everywhere –  on mountains, trains, cliffs, underwater, we take pictures of our food compulsively, we take them while hanging off skyscrapers, and even while skydiving. Therefore, it would be impossible for me to leave the camera off this list.
  3. Battery – Many a good phone has been ruined by poor battery life as the average consumer at the very least expects their phone to last the day. Having a phone die halfway through the day is not only just an inconvenience but it is also aggravating. Think of it this way a dead phone would probably be the world’s most expensive paperweight, practically good for nothing, except maybe to throw due to the frustration it caused.
  4. Access to Apps – The hardware no matter how premium feeling it may be, just represents the building blocks to possible greatness, it also needs access to premium software. Therefore, for a phone to be termed as essential you must have access to all the apps you need. As of recent years, it doesn’t matter much what platform you choose, whether Apple or Android because there is significant overlap between the platforms and what they offer to the average consumer.