I think that one of the most noticeable advantages that the Essential Phone PH-1 brings to the market is in its design, specifically the Titanium accents of the phone's body. I've read an article on wired.com that mentioned that Essential wanted to make their phone's body from Titanium from the very beginning. The problem was that processing a Titanium using a machine is expensive and wasteful. So after some intensive searching, the company found a company that uses an injection-mold technique. I've also read that Titanium is much more expensive because is much less abundant compared to aluminum. Aluminum is 3rd most abundant in Earth's crust versus 9th of titanium.
I wanted to know how titanium measures in terms of Mohs scale of mineral hardness. According to Wikipedia, titanium is measured at 6 Mohs scale, whether aluminum is measured at 2.5-3 Mohs scale for mineral hardness. So this can explain why aluminum scratches so easily when dropped and while titanium does not.
The main benefits of using a Titanium body over Aluminum is this material is stronger and more resilient than aluminum. Essential mentioned in their website that the phone doesn't scratch, dent of bend and therefore it's the perfect material to encapsulate their new phone. I've read that Titanium actually weighs more than Aluminum, but looking at the wight of the Essential Phone (185g), it's certainly nothing to be concerned about.
I really liked the slo-mo video they put on the official product page showing the phone drop test dropping on a solid concrete. Nothing happened to the phone, not a scratch. I have many scratch on my Android phones from dropping from waist height. I know I should have used a protection case for them and I have to admit that those little scratches can be really annoying. I think that the Essential Phone doesn't even need a case, maybe just a screen cover for the front.
Aluminum is much easier to make with machinery, it's cheaper, durable, lightweight, not magnetic and doesn't ignite easily. Because of that, this material is used for making aircrafts. Titanium is 60% more dense than aluminum and has double the strength.
I am not an expect in chemistry, but from all that I've read, there is not doubt that Titanium is stronger and more durable than aluminum. This is the better material of the two to improve the durability of a device, in this case the Essential Phone PH-1. I personally don't care about the complexity of creating a phone with a Titanium body, I just want to know that it can survive drops, won't get scratched easily and it can survive for the duration I own it. I have no doubt after reading the related information about the Essential Phone that this phone was designed to last. I don't expect it to be as durable like the best rugged smartphones out there like the CAT S60, Ulefone Armor, Homtom HT20, Sonim XP7, Kyocera DuraForce E6560, Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro, and others. These phones are quite ugly and thick. I want my phone to be elegant yet durable, and the Titanium material is probably the best material to make it work, at least better than Aluminum.
The price of the Essential Phone PH-1 is still reasonable, it's not like we are looking at a price above $100, it costs $649, which is many other high-end smartphones out there. It's weight is also good, nothing to complain about. This is certainly an advantage that the Essential Phone has over its competitors, especially when compared to other high-end smartphones like the iPhone 7, LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S8 and others.