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Carl Pei teases Android 13 beta for the Nothing phone (1)

Nothing Phone (1) next to a neon glowing number 13
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Update (Aug 24, 3:00 pm ET): Android 13 beta is expected to arrive before the end of the year.

What you need to know

  • Nothing CEO Carl Pei issued a statement regarding the rumored delay with the Nothing Phone (1)'s Android 13 update.
  • Pei said the update won't arrive until the first half of 2023.
  • Nothing promised three Android OS updates for the lifetime of the phone. This would be the first major update.

If you picked up a Nothing Phone (1) — or still plan to at some point soon — you might want to tender your expectations of when the phone will be receiving its first big operating system update. That's because the company says it won't be delivering the first big update to Android 13 until sometime in the first half of 2023.

In a statement issued to Android Authority (opens in new tab), Pei says "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."

As we noted in our Nothing Phone (1) review (opens in new tab), Nothing promised three major Android OS updates for the lifetime of the phone. The Android 13 update will be the first major update for the phone, which is expected to receive Android 15 before support officially ends several years from now.

We expect that Nothing's Glyph interface — that's the name the company gave the fancy lights on the back — probably has something to do with the long lead time on this update. Nothing told Android Central back in July that the company plans to expand the Glyph Interface's functionality in the future, and the Android 13 update could very well be the key to those new features.

It's definitely one of the better cheap Android phones available in many markets thanks to a long support promise, great price, and excellent design and performance, but it doesn't appear that Nothing is too concerned with being the fastest vendor to get Android 13 to its portfolio. If that bothers you, there are some really great alternatives to the Nothing Phone (1) (opens in new tab) that'll get the Android 13 update more quickly.

Google has already released Android 13 (opens in new tab) for its Pixel series of phones, and Samsung is in the process of publicly beta testing its Android 13 update (opens in new tab), called One UI 5, for phones like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Many other OEMs are expected to deliver the update by the end of the year, making Nothing one of the slower companies to provide the next major Android update.

Update

Carl Pei has provided additional commentary on the state of the Android 13 update. Taking to his Twitter account, Pei reiterates that the company is taking its time to bring the update for the Nothing phone (1), highlighting the swift updates that have arrived since the phone launched. In addition, he says in a response that Nothing is "definitely looking to create some fun and interesting software experiences."

Pei notable teases the Android 13 beta for Nothing OS, which he states will arrive before the end of the year.

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Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
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