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The Nothing Phone 2 just got a spec upgrade I can’t wait for

Nothing, the buzzy consumer electronics upstart from former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has just announced plans for its next smartphone venture. Pei revealed at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 that the company’s next phone will use a flagship Qualcomm chip.

Pei confirmed that the upcoming Nothing Phone 2 will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 series processor. He did not, however, confirm the precise chip.

Is it the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside?

Nothing’s U.S. and U.K. public relations manager, Lewis Hopkins, told Digital Trends that the company can only confirm a “Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Series” processor at this time.

It’s not difficult to guess that the chip in question will not be the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Almost every smartphone manufacturer that uses this particular chip in their phone sings its praises in their smartphone marketing blitz. Nothing is true.

The Qualcomm chip we expect in the Nothing Phone 2

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a midcycle refresh of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system on a chip (SoC) introduced last year, is our best bet. Pei confirmed in a separate interview with TechCrunch that the Nothing Phone 2 will not use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. When asked about the next Nothing smartphone, Pei stated that “in terms of cost, it will most likely be similar.”

Pei’s statement is another strong sign that the Nothing Phone 2 will be using a previous-gen Snapdragon 8 series processor to save costs, instead of splurging on Qualcomm’s latest silicon. Several smartphone manufacturers have used this strategy in the past to offer a low-cost flagship, and Nothing is unlikely to follow in their footsteps.

Nothing’s strategy here has actually piqued my interest. Despite relying on a midrange processor, the Nothing Phone 1 provided a solid experience. That’s because Nothing kept the UI extremely clean and snappy, even though Pei claims that the team didn’t get enough time (and resources) to work on Nothing OS for the Nothing Phone 1.

Nothing has its work cut out for it

Pei insists that software will be a major focus with the Nothing Phone 2. With a powerful Snapdragon 8 series processor and a competitive price tag, the upcoming phone sounds like a compelling package. Furthermore, it is coming to the United States, which could benefit from some competition to shake up Apple and Samsung’s dominance.

So far, Nothing OS has distinguished itself primarily through tricks such as custom animations, iconography, and third-party app integrations such as a Tesla quick toggle. We can definitely expect the company to deliver some more functional tricks now that it has a powerful processor to do the heavy lifting. So far, the company has been tight-lipped about what’s coming down the pike.

However, the road ahead will not be easy. A resurrected Pixel lineup, equipped with in-house Tensor processors, better cameras, neat design, feature-packed software, and killer pricing, has finally allowed Google to flex its smartphone muscles.

To make a real splash, the Nothing Phone 2 will have to undercut the likes of the Pixel 7 by offering more value to the average smartphone buyer looking to get the most bang for their buck. A unique design, such as the Nothing Phone 1, is definitely beneficial, and the company would like to replicate it on the successor as well.

According to Pei, Nothing is interested in developing a foldable phone. The Nothing Phone 2 will be released later this year, but Pei has already hinted that a new product announcement will be made in the coming weeks.