OnePlus co-founder reportedly brought the first Nothing phone to MWC

After seven years at OnePlus, Pei left the company in 2020 and formed a startup called Nothing in 2021. Thus far, the company has only launched the Nothing Ear 1 buds, which are instantly recognizable by their semi-transparent design that lets you see some of the internals.
Last year, there were rumors the company could release its first phone in 2022 and the latest development indicates it’s ready for showtime. Apparently, Nothing has been working on a handset for over a year and may reveal it by next month. 

Pei purportedly took a prototype to the Mobile World Congress and had meetings with several industry big wigs. One such meeting was with Qualcomm’s chief executive. Nothing had announced a partnership with Qualcomm back in October, so it’s possible that its first phone will feature a Snapdragon chip.

Pei’s recent Twitter interactions with Android and Snapdragon accounts have also raised speculations that a phone is on the way. Pei had said last July that the company had several gadgets on the roadmap.

The only thing that is known about the unannounced phone is that it will take design cues from the transparent earbuds. In February of last year, the company acquired the Essential brand. Essential was started by Android creator Andy Rubin, which shut down after just one commercial product, the Essential PH-1 phone. Whether Nothing’s first phone will use the Essential moniker is anyone’s guess.

There was a time when OnePlus used to sell high-end phones for affordable prices and even though it tried to pass off the midrange Nord 2 as a flagship killer, the specs of the phones didn’t fool anyone. Pei now has a chance to swoop in and show his ex-colleagues what a flagship killer looks like.

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