Essential confirms $300M funding, Amazon and Best Buy retail availability

Smartphone company Essential, which is founded by Android co-creator Andy Rubin, has finally made official a $300 million funding round first reported in June. The funding round comes from investors including Tencent, as well as Amazon’s Alexa Fund, among others. Essential also revealed new information about its retail launch, including retail partners Amazon and Best Buy who will be carrying the phone in the U.S.

The release date itself is still somewhat mysterious, however: Essential President Nicole De Masi told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that it’s still “a few weeks away,” but said that the company will provide an exact date “in a week.” The Essential phone has a launch exclusivity deal with carrier Sprint in the U.S., and it also previously announced…

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