Carl Pei teases his tech startup’s US debut, promising a phone packing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 chip.
The Nothing Phone 1 is one of the most striking phones we’ve seen in many years.
Nothing to see here — just the news that the second phone from UK-based tech startup Nothing is coming soon. The Nothing Phone 2 will be an even more high-end product than its predecessor and will pack the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen. And yes, it will be available in the US.
Unlike almost every other Android phone-maker you can name, Nothing doesn’t have an official presence this year at Mobile World Congress. But the world’s biggest phone show, which kicked off on Monday in Barcelona, featured a surprise announcement from Nothing.
The company piggybacked on the stand of its chipset partner Qualcomm to make a late-in-the-day statement on Tuesday about its much anticipated new handset. The day prior, Nothing founder Carl Pei tweeted that “having a stand at MWC doesn’t fit our vibe.”
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is Qualcomm’s flagship mobile processor this year, with improved AI features for photography, more reliable 5G connectivity and even ray tracing to create more true-to-life reflections and shadows in games. The chip is likely to feature in many high-end Android phones this year; a modified version powers the Samsung Galaxy S23, which was launched earlier this month. Its inclusion lends the Nothing Phone 2 some flagship credibility.
Pei brought years of experience working at OnePlus with him when he founded the tech brand Nothing in 2020. His aim was to inject some of the fun and excitement back into the tech world. A major part of the company’s strategy has been to develop a distinctive design language that combines transparent elements with built-in lights, which give the Nothing Phone 1 and the Nothing Ear 1, released in 2022 and 2021 respectively, a look that sets them apart from pretty much all other tech on the market right now.
In his review of the Phone 1, CNET’s Andrew Lanxon said he found it just as exciting to spend time with as he’d hoped. He loved the flashy, unique design and found it a solid performer at an affordable price. One of the downsides of the phone was simply that it wasn’t available in the US at release. The international model is now available for $299 in the US as part of a beta program, but with limited carrier support.
That won’t be the case for the Phone 2, which will be sold in the US, UK and Europe when it launches at a yet-to-be-confirmed date later this year. Prices are also TBC, but for context the Nothing Phone 1 priced at £399 in the UK.