OPINION: Nothing has a firm grasp on the hype train, and considering its founder, Carl Pei, had the same tactics when at the helm of OnePlus, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Rather than having one big reveal for its latest tech, Nothing likes to trickle information to generate hype and excitement around the eventual reveal.
Well, the Nothing 2024 hype train has officially left the station with the pre-announcement of a new budget-focused smartphone dubbed the Nothing Phone (2a).
Though Nothing hasn’t confirmed that it’ll be a cheaper version of the Nothing Phone (2), it’s a pretty safe bet considering brands like Google use the ‘a’ branding with phones like the Pixel 7a to denote a cheaper version of its flagship.
In fact, all Nothing co-founder Akis Evangelidis has confirmed so far is that the company has “really doubled down on the core user needs – performance, camera, you name it,” with the smartphone, adding that it’ll feature “some of the most loved features of the Phone 2”.
Unofficially, however, we know a little more. Rumours suggest that the Nothing Phone 2a will sport a MediaTek Dimensity 7200 – the first MediaTek chipset used in a Nothing phone – along with an updated Glyph interface and an overall refreshed design.
There was no mention of launch plans in the pre-announcement, but I do have an invite to a Nothing event at MWC 2024 sitting in my inbox. Coincidence? I highly doubt it.
Although in true Nothing fashion, there’s not much to go on aside from the fact it’s an MWC announcement that’ll take place on 27 February 2024. Even the tagline, “Nothing to see”, doesn’t give much away.
The background does seem to show a person taking a photo on a smartphone, however, so it could very much be related to the Nothing Phone (2a) – especially given the focus on the camera mentioned by the co-founder.
However, there might be a second surprise reveal from Nothing at MWC 2024 if MWC 2023 is anything to go by. At least year’s show, the company revealed that its upcoming phone – the Nothing Phone (2) – would use a Snapdragon 8 series chipset, which we now know was the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.
If we’re keeping to a similar timetable as 2023, we could see the first tease for the Nothing Phone (3) alongside the Nothing Phone (2a) in a few weeks.
Given that the Nothing Phone (2) fixed the biggest complaints – camera and performance – from the Phone (1), it’s not clear what direction Nothing will take the Phone (3) in. Could it continue improving the camera setup, possibly with a new periscope lens? Or could it do something entirely new with the company’s LED-powered Gliph interface?
Maybe it’ll have something to do with Generative AI, though that would require the use of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Dimensity 8300 or Dimensity 9300, three pretty high-end chipsets that might raise the price of the smartphone – and I’m not sure Nothing is prepared to do that just yet.
We don’t know anything yet, but if I’m right, we’ll start finding out more very soon.