However, the Essential Phone does have one thing on its side at the moment: enviable pricing for a flagship smartphone. For Cyber Monday, Amazon is selling the device for the low, low price of $399 unlocked. That's an all-time low for the smartphone (if you don't count the Friends and Family discount code).
What makes the deal at Amazon so attractive is that the $399 price also includes the Essential 360 Camera module (which is currently the only module available for the Essential Phone). The tiny 360-degree camera can shoot capture 4K content at 30fps and include four microphones for audio capture. The 360 Camera typically costs $179.99 by itself.
For a smartphone that originally cost $699 at launch, hitting $400 with a bundled $179.99 accessory in such a rapid fashion is unexpected, but not totally unprecedented. Amazon’s Fire Phone famously launched with premium pricing ($650 off-contract) as an AT&T exclusive back in June 2014. However, Amazon quickly began discounting the device as sales failed to materialize. When Amazon was at the height of its Fire Phone "fire sales", it was selling the smartphone off-contract and unlocked for $130 -- that price even included a free year of Amazon Prime, which by itself costs $100.
It remains to be seen if the Essential Phone will end up being the sales disaster that the Fire Phone was, but early sales numbers on Sprint's network don't show much hope for the device.