Just yesterday, Essential revealed three new, limited edition colors for the Essential Phone. There's Ocean Depths, Stellar Gray and Copper Black. But those are just colors and they come at a premium price. Adding to the mix is today's unveiling of the Halo Gray Essential Phone, a special Alexa-enabled model that is an Amazon exclusive.

You might recall that it was just last fall that they started taking orders for the unlocked Essential Phone on Amazon. This followed the news that Amazon invested a bunch of money in Andy Rubin's humble little startup.

So, it's not like it was completely unexpected that Amazon would start to give the Essential Phone a little bit of special treatment. After all, this phone -- even if it hasn't been as big of a hit as the company had hoped -- has been much more positively received than the old Fire Phone. Remember that thing?

What do you get with this Essential Phone aside from the exclusive Halo Gray color scheme? As mentioned by the company on Twitter, this is the "first Essential Phone to come with Alexa built-in." Android phones might have built-in Google Assistant, Samsung phones might have Bixby and iPhones have Siri, so why wouldn't an Amazon-backed phone have Alexa, right?

While this might not be quite enough to deter you from picking up a new Amazon Echo too, it's perhaps a good thing to see a wider adoption of Alexa beyond Amazon's own branded smart speakers. We knew this expansion was coming, after all.

Unlike the three special colors announced yesterday, the Halo Gray version comes in at the same price as the regular Essential Phone in the normal Black Moon or Pure White. The specs are also identical with 128GB of storage, 13MP dual RGB + mono rear cameras, Click Connector accessories, and that edge-to-edge Quad HD display with the rounded "notch" on top.


The Essential Phone in Halo Gray with Alexa is available for pre-order on Amazon for $449.99 or $499.99 if you want the bundle with the 360 degree camera and "free" pill case. The expected shipping date is set to February 21. That's next Wednesday. After that, the price jumps up by fifty bucks, so get in your pre-orders now.

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