The Essential PH-1 (aka Essential Phone) is designed to withstand dents and scratches, but what happens if something breaks on the inside? You can forget about fixing it yourself, apparently. The DIY repair crew at iFixit has torn down Essential's handset, and it's obvious that you're not meant to poke around inside. For one thing, iFixit had to freeze the phone (and break the LCD) just to get inside -- and even then, it still had to get past a mid-frame shield. The USB-C port is soldered on to motherboard, and the abundance of adhesives makes it likely that you'll break something if you somehow didn't wreck the screen going in.
The verdict on the phone's repairability doesn't come as a total shock. Essential clearly intended it to be a minimalist, densely-packed design that doesn't waste space. However, this serves as a reminder that extremely efficient designs carry a steep price: if something goes wrong, you have little choice but to send your hardware in for an expensive repair.