Essential, the smartphone brand built by Android mastermind Andy Rubin, sought to drum up renewed interest with the introduction of three new colour variants for its debut smartphone.
New options include a teal and copper combination called Ocean Depths, a steely Stellar Gary and the aptly-named Copper Black, which features a copper band framing a black case. Unlike the aluminum body used in other major smartphones, Essential noted its phone employs a coloured ceramic backing to achieve the new looks; a strategy the vendor explained in a statement makes limited production quantities a necessity.
“Our team of designers and engineers spent months developing custom ceramic colours, a feat that is much more complex and challenging than altering colours on standard materials such as plastic. Even with this additional work and investment, coloured ceramic is extremely difficult to produce consistently so we’ve only made a small batch of each of these new colours.”
The special colour editions are being released successively. Ocean Depths was the first option to be made available on Thursday (15 February), and will be followed by Stellar Gray on 20 February and Copper Black on 22 February. All three will come in $100 cheaper than the original black and white versions at $599.
Essential’s delivery of the long-promised variants follows a report from IDC noting the vendor struggled to gain traction with its inaugural device, shipping fewer than 90,000 units in 2017 despite a price cut. The company is yet to announce when it will release a second generation of its handset.