A Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip could power the Nothing Phone (2). A recent post from a Qualcomm executive let it slip that, seemingly, the next Nothing flagship device would run on the company’s 2022 chip instead of the one shipping with 2023’s current flagships. That would leave the phone much stronger than the Nothing Phone (1), which was powered by the mid-range Snapdragon 778G+, but still wouldn’t bring it up to par with more premium Android devices.
Last week, Nothing officially announced that it would offer a Snapdragon 8 series chip in its next flagship phone launch later this year, prompting speculation that the phone would leave the mid-range category to compete with 2023 leaders like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. But 9to5Google reports that Alex Katouzian, a Senior Vice President and General Manager at Qualcomm, said via a LinkedIn post over the weekend that the phone’s processor would be the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the same processor that shipped with last summer’s OnePlus 10T and Samsung fourth-generation foldables.
The post has since been edited with a blanket “Snapdragon 8 series” mention, so someone’s certainly in trouble behind the scenes. But there’s a screenshot of the original post over at 91Mobiles.
It’s not hard to believe that the Nothing Phone (2) would have a slightly older processor on the inside. It’s similar to a strategy practiced by Nothing CEO Carl Pei’s former company, OnePlus. When it first launched in 2014, the first few generations of the OnePlus flagships had last-gen off-the-shelf Qualcomm chips on the inside and launched in the summer after the usual flagship maelstrom of late winter.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is still relevant in 2023. It runs inside Samsung’s foldables, some of the most expensive devices on the market currently. It would also be a massive upgrade for the Nothing Phone (2), as its last-gen device launched with a mid-range Snapdragon 778G+, which it was dinged for by reviewers (including me). Nothing tweaked the Phone (1)‘s chip to support features like wireless charging, but its performance capabilities remained the same.
It’ll be interesting to see how the company keeps the cost down on its next device, since the Nothing Phone (1) was under $500. At the very least, a newer processor could probably help those camera algorithms perform better than they did on the first-gen phone release.