Three months after being announced, the Essential Phone is now shipping to buyers

At the time of this article being published, Andy Rubin announced the Essential Phone exactly 87 days ago. Those 87 days have been far from perfect for Essential following shipment delays and executives jumping ship, but at long last, the company’s very first device, the Essential Phone, is shipping out to buyers.

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Opinion: Three months later, is the Nexus 6P still the best Android phone?

One of Google’s latest slogans created to showcase the essence of Android in a nutshell spells: “Be together, not the same.” It is both a testament to the company’s general embracement of diversity and arguably one of the most precise ways to describe the OS as a whole. Fans, however, have long had trouble trying to identify the ‘ultimate’ Android device, despite the sea of devices whose supposed heterogeneity should guarantee a perfect match for everyone.

In an endless fight among the various OEMs to come out at the top of the critics’ — as well as the fans’ — rankings, one trend has notoriously stood out. People love Android devices because of the software (specifically its flexibility), and in spite of the countless efforts made by manufacturers to tweak and enhance the OS in order to make it better, the pure, unadulterated experience offered by Google has long been preferred by virtually every enthusiast.

Be it because of its simplicity and cleanliness, dedication to Google’s brand, or the sheer fact that updates are not hampered by carriers and other third parties, stock Android has always had the upper hand over UXs such as Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense — at least to those who even know what “TouchWiz” is. To this day, the problem with Google’s vanilla OS still resides almost solely in the hardware it runs on.

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AlphaGo wins its second of three games against Go legend Ke Jie

Ke Jie, widely regarded as the world’s best player of the Chinese game of Go, has lost the second of three games in a match against Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo AI. That’s despite the AI’s estimation that Ke Jie played his first 50 moves against AlphaGo as practically perfect, and the first 100 as the best that AlphaGo has ever faced. But still, it wasn’t enough…

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OnePlus releases three new icon packs on the Google Play Store

Over the past few weeks, OnePlus has released two of its system apps onto the Google Play Store – OnePlus Weather and the OnePlus Launcher. OnePlus moving its apps to the Play Store allows for a faster and smoother update process, and it looks like the company is now pushing three more apps to the Play Store.

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Sketchy report says HTC could be Google’s Nexus partner for three years

While we do know that LG will likely not be joining Google to build the very next Nexus, which is expected to come towards the end of the year, a sketchy rumor coming from Chinese website MyDrivers suggests that HTC might have been given the green light for a three-year long partnership with Mountain View. Directed towards bringing Nexus devices to the market, the deeply troubled Taiwanese phone maker could be part of Google’s plan to take more control over its hardware offerings…

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First genuine-looking renders show off the Galaxy Note 7 in three colors

We’ve been hearing a lot about Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 7 over the past several weeks and today we’ve got yet another big leak. Famous leakster Evan Blass, more commonly known as @evleaks, has today released a new set of images giving us what appears to be our first official look at the Note 7…

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9to5Rewards: Three LeEco Le Pro3 Android smartphones in gold [Giveaway]

Winners: Erik Slaven, Cory Archer, and Danny Jarrett K.

This week’s 9to5Rewards partner is LeEco, who just launched its line of smartphones, TVs, and bikes in the United States for the first time last year. Today, the company has offered to give away an LeEco Le Pro3 “ecophone” (as the company calls them) to three of our loyal 9to5Google readers.

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