How long does it take a fledgling hardware startup to deliver a major Android update to its first smartphone? In the case of Nothing, we’re looking at several months and a turn of the calendar into 2023. As noted by Android Authority, the company has confirmed that its impressive Phone 1 will receive Android 13 “in the first half of 2023.” That could disappoint at least some buyers who’d hoped the near-stock Android device would get the latest version sometime this year.
“Before releasing, we want to fine tune the software upgrade with Nothing’s hardware,” the company’s statement reads. Android 13 was released for Google’s Pixel lineup last week, with Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, Sony, Xiaomi, Asus, and other companies planning to roll out the update “later this year.” So, by holding off until 2023, Nothing is putting itself behind the pack. Here’s the full statement:
We are always working hard to improve the Phone 1 user experience. To ensure this, operating system updates will be made available for regular download. In regards to Android 13, this will be launching for Phone 1 users in the first half of 2023. Before releasing, we want to fine tune the software upgrade with Nothing’s hardware. We will be sure to keep you updated with further information.
Last week, Nothing co-founder and CEO Carl Pei tipped off that the Phone 1 won’t be seeing Android 13 anytime soon when he responded to a question on the subject with a total nonanswer.
Coming after last year’s significant redesign, Android 13 is largely a refinement release that improves day-to-day performance and stability. So far, it’s gotten high praise from Pixel owners based on what I’ve seen across social media and Reddit. Many are reporting smoother animations and a better overall experience.
But there are some new features included, such as per-app language selection, a revamped media player, support for Bluetooth Low Energy, and the ability to stream messages from Android apps directly to a user’s Chromebook.
Among Android phone makers, OnePlus is often the fastest company other than Google to roll out big Android releases — for its latest flagship, at least. The wait can be longer for older devices. Samsung has gradually picked up the pace across its lineup. But if you’ve got, say, a Motorola or Sony phone, specific update timing can be something of a crapshoot.
It could always be worse: Qualcomm’s Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is still stuck on Android 11 despite its $1,500 price tag, with updates now coming so few and far between that people who took a chance on buying the phone are convinced it’s been abandoned.