Nextbit, a small startup run by former Google and HTC employees, is set to announce a brand-new smartphone on 1 September.
Normally, news of a small company launching its first smartphone is worthy of mild interest at best. Most young companies lack both the capital and the chops to truly offer a worthwhile alternative to Apple and Samsung.
Nextbit's forthcoming debut phone could be different.
For one thing, the company is being run by industry veterans. Company co-founders Tom Moss and Mike Chan both worked on early versions of Android at Google, while Nextbit's chief product officer is one Scott Croyle, former design chief at HTC during the time of the HTC One M7 and HTC One M8.
Also, Nextbit is being backed by Google Ventures.
Now that Nextbit has our attention, it will be announcing its first smartphone on 1 September. "It's going to be friggin' awesome," said Moss in a recent interview with cnet.
The company hopes that its knowledge of Android and its HTC-like design skills – the HTC One M7 and HTC One M8 remain two of the best-looking Android phones ever – will combine to give its new phone the edge. But the company also claims to be "doing something different", which will counteract the "phone fatigue" being felt among consumers.
Another iPhone copy this won't be.
It's likely that the phone will belong to the newly established "affordable" premium tier, costing between $300 and $400. Think OnePlus 2 level.
The boldest claim about this mysterious new handset, however, is that it will get better over time. While the performance of most phones – okay, ALL phones – degrades over a two-year period, Nextbit claims that its phone will be different.
The key to this design feature will be the company's clever manipulation of Android. "Your phone will perform better over time and function at a higher level because of this software enhancement," Moss says.
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Another clue is found in Nextbit's earlier work. It was established as a software startup, working on a cloud-based Android data-transfer tool. The company will use its cloud smarts to remove storage issues, and to produce "a device that can adapt to you."
It's also suggested that, having hired one of the leading catalysts for the current obsession with classy metal phones, Nextbit will pursue a new kind of premium design.
It's all very intriguing. We look forward to seeing what Nextbit has up its sleeve on 1 September.
See what we thought of the OnePlus 2 in the following hands-on video: