OnePlus co-founder hints at first Android phone coming from Nothing

The design-led firm created by the OnePlus veteran seems to be in league with Android and Qualcomm on its next big thing

Nothing ear (1) on red background
(Image credit: Nothing)

It felt inevitable that Nothing, the new company from OnePlus co-found Carl Pei, would work its way towards releasing a phone eventually. Well, 'eventually' may not be that far away, if hints from Pei's Twitter account are anything to go by.

Pei tweeted "Back on Android", which is not much of a smoking gun in itself, admittedly, if it's enough to get the old-school OnePlus faithful excited. Perhaps he's just grabbed a new Samsung S22 Ultra having been on iPhone previously – the following tweet about Android 12 being nice plays into this too.

But it's the follow-ups from the Android account and Qualcomm account that really hint at something coming. "We've got a lot to catch up on Carl" said Android, with a winky face – while Qualcomm just went with a meme suggesting the three are all working togeth- you know what, just look at the tweets. I'm not going to sit around here describing memes and emojis, I've got my dignity,

Even you assume that the Android message is also an innocent "welcome back to the platform" message (which the winky face seems to refute), the Qualcomm tweet seems way more clear cut as a nod to some kind of collaboration between the three.

The reason this is exciting for OnePlus fans is that the brand isn't quite the same these days. Instead of the upstart pushing against the huge brands, it's now owned by one of the huge brands: Oppo, putting in the same stable of phone brands as Oppo itself, plus Vivo and Realme. The phones are good, but the identity just isn't the same.

Meanwhile, Carl Pei founded a new company, Nothing, dedicated to… pushing against the huge brands. Nothing started with the Ear(1) true wireless earbuds, which were ahead of the curve when it came to affordable noise-cancelling earbuds – in our Nothing Ear(1) review, we said "they pack in tonnes of features considering just how cheap they are, and they sound great too. You won't find a better pair of affordable noise-cancelling buds right now."

So we're excited to see what Nothing could do to shake up our list of the best Android phones – here's hoping we won't have to wait too long.

Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's former AV and Smart Home Editor (UK), master of all things audiovisual, overseeing our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also covered smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable. Matt has worked for tech publications for over 10 years, in print and online, including running T3's print magazine and launching its most recent redesign. He's also contributed to a huge number of tech and gaming titles over the years. Say hello if you see him roaming the halls at CES, IFA or Toy Fair. Matt now works for our sister title TechRadar.