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Don’t buy an Android phone before the Nothing Phone 3 comes out

Published Apr 1st, 2024 5:34PM EDT
Nothing Phone (2) USB-C
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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This has already been a great year for mid-range Android phones, and it’s only been three months. The Nothing Phone 2a is an incredible choice if you’re shopping for one of the most affordable new Android mid-rangers on the market. Then there’s the Galaxy A55, which could pass for a Galaxy S24 and packs several exciting features for an A-series model.

Google’s Pixel 8a is also coming out in mid-May, and I think it will be the phone for Apple to beat with the iPhone SE 4 when it launches next year.

These are amazing options, and I’m not even listing the first Android flagships of the year, which are even better. These include the Galaxy S24, the Xiaomi 14 models, and the Honor Magic 6 Pro. The last two are not available in the US, however.

The Galaxy A55 isn’t available in the US either; that’s how good it is. Samsung doesn’t want you to get the A55 instead of the Galaxy S24.

Despite all of that, I’m about to tell you not to purchase any new Android phone, affordable mid-range or expensive flagship, until the Nothing Phone 3 comes out. I know, I know, waiting for the next best thing will get you in a toxic loop where you’ll keep waiting for something better. But the Nothing Phone 3 might be worth waiting for.

This Android phone will sit at the high end of the mid-range due to its price. But the specs will be those of a slightly lower-tier flagship handset. It sounds confusing because it is. It all boils down to the purported Phone 3 specs and the price Nothing is looking to charge for it.

Nothing isn’t ready to make a true flagship that will compete against the likes of the Galaxy S24 models. It likely never will. The Nothing Phone 2 from last year featured an already old Snapdragon flagship chip. It was a flagship device by 2022 standards.

Nothing Phone (2a) Front
Nothing released the Phone 2a mid-ranger in early March. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Nothing will continue this approach with the Phone 3, if 91mobiles is correct. Industry sources who work closely with Nothing reportedly told the Hindi blog that the Phone 3 will rock Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor.

That’s not a better version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in the Galaxy S24, despite what the “S” in the name might imply. It’s a slightly worse variant of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 that should still deliver on-device genAI features, strong gaming support including ray tracing, fast connectivity, great camera features, and top performance.

It won’t be as good as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but the differences will probably be invisible to regular users.

Yes, the chip is confusing. But it’ll allow vendors like Nothing to create almost flagship-level devices that will have much better prices than actual flagships. More importantly, the Snapdragon 8s might be a much better value than the Exynos in the Galaxy A55 or the Tensor G3 in the Pixel 8a.

If you want to buy an Android device and keep using it for years to come, the chip should be a priority.

The same blog post mentions the price of this purported Nothing Phone 3 device. Apparently, Nothing is targeting the 40,000 ($480) to 50,000 ($540) rupee bracket. This is just a rumor, and we’re looking at estimates for a key market for mid-range Android phone vendors.

But if the figures are accurate, Nothing will likely target similar brackets internationally. And, let’s face it, a $500+ Nothing Phone 3 sounds like an incredible deal, right around what you’d pay for the Pixel 8a, which might cost more than its predecessor.

There’s no release date in this report, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Nothing launched the Phone 3 this summer. The company started teasing something on X a few days ago, as seen in the clip above. It’s a frog leaping around, which seems like not a big deal. But 91mobiles observes Nothing used a parrot and an octopus to tease the Phone 1 and Phone 2 releases.

If the Nothing Phone 3 is set to launch in the coming months, we’ll get plenty of teasers until then, directly from the company.

I will also say that the Nothing Phone 3 might not turn out to be that great. Or affordable. If that’s the case, and you’ve waited for nothing, pun intended, there will be a great silver lining in all of this. Some of the Android phones that hit stores in the first half of 2024 will get even better deals as time passes by.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.