Nothing Phone 1 CPU Revealed: It’s Not The Gen 1…



If you were expecting the Nothing Phone 1 to run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Gen 1 CPU, prepare to be massively disappointed…


As hype trains go, no one is better than Carl Pei, CEO and founder of Nothing, than generating an air of curiosity around a new product launch. He did it with OnePlus back in the day, with Nothing’s first wireless earbuds, and now he is doing it with the Nothing Phone 1, the company’s first ever Android phone.

Nothing Phone 1 CPU

But if you were expecting the Nothing Phone 1 to run a high-end CPU, prepare to be slightly disappointed. The phone, according to benchmarks, will run a Snapdragon 778+ and 8GB of RAM, so it definitely will not be running flagship-grade specs. Is this an issue? Well, that’ll depend largely on how much Nothing charges for the phone.

With respect to overall performance, the SD778+ is a respectable enough CPU, and 8GB of RAM is perfectly fine too. I think the modus operandi here is not to beat phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or the OnePlus 10 Pro; rather, it is to offer something highly functional and capable at a price point that will raise eyebrows – at least, that’s what I’m hoping, anyway.

The SD778+ is an updated version of the Snapdragon 778 found inside phones like the Samsung Galaxy A73. The new model brings more performance, better efficiency, and improved gaming performance – although the difference isn’t too marked. You’re looking at 5% to 6% lifts in performance on the 778. And both are well behind the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with respect to performance, features, and gaming capabilities.

Given ALL of the above, it is fairly reasonable to assume that the Nothing Phone 1 will be positioned as a mid-range Android phone, just one with a very unique design and novel UX. If this is indeed the case, Nothing could have a hit on its hands, especially in markets where demand for low-cost, high-performance phones is high – which will be most markets soon given the state of global economies.

No USA Release For The Nothing Phone 1

If you’re in the USA or Canada and you’re interested in picking up the Nothing Phone 1 when it gets a release date, I have some bad news: the Nothing Phone 1 is NOT coming to America or Canada. Carl Pei confirmed that the company has NO plans to release the Nothing Phone 1 in the USA or Canada for the time being.

NOTHING PHONE 1 SPECS
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Why? Pei says Nothing has lots of great connections with networks in the UK and Europe which it will be using to promote and sell its phone. If you’re in the USA and you must have the Nothing Phone 1, there will be a closed beta program for investors – but this isn’t something most people will be able to get inside. The real reason why Nothing is skipping the US is likely down to the closed-off nature of US carriers which have been limiting choice for years now.

While we’d love to bring phone (1) to the entire community around the world, we’re focusing on home markets, including the UK and Europe, where we have strong partnerships with leading local carriers. It takes a lot to launch a smartphone as you know, from ensuring the handset is supported by the country’s cellular technologies to carrier partnerships and local regulation, and as we’re still a young brand we need to be strategic about it.

Carl Pei

In the UK and Europe, you can buy Apple, Samsung, Google, Xiaomi, RealMe, VIVO, Huawei, Honor, Xiaomi, and OnePlus phones, as well as brands like TCL, Nokia, and other, smaller brands via networks and retail stores – both B&M and online. In the US, you’re basically limited to Apple, Samsung, Google, and Motorola via carriers. And this is starting to become a major problem, as it severely limits access to cheaper alternatives to phones from Apple, Samsung, and Google.

So, to wrap up: the Nothing Phone 1 will run the Snapdragon 778+ CPU alongside 8GB of RAM. It will launch on July 12 and then get its release date – via an invite-based system – on July 21. There will be no US or Canada availability for the phone. And the phone itself should retail for less than 500 GBP/EU.

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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