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ConnectedNio launches its 1st smartphone, starting at $890

Nio launches its 1st smartphone, starting at $890

The Nio Phone is a phone built around Nio’s vehicles, offering an interaction with the vehicle that no other device can offer. The phone will begin shipping on September 28.

Nio (NYSE: NIO) has launched its first smartphone, hoping to increase the appeal of its electric vehicles (EVs) by offering a revolutionary way for phones to interact with vehicles.

The EV maker launched the Nio Phone, a flagship Android-based smartphone that brings a refreshing interaction with vehicles, at the Nio In 2023 Innovation Day event today.

The device starts at RMB 6,499 ($890), slightly higher than the RMB 5,999 starting price of Apple’s iPhone 15, which was released earlier this month. Nio aims to launch one smartphone per year in the future, just like Apple.

The Nio Phone is offered in three variants:

The version with 12 GB ROM and 512 GB storage is priced at RMB 6,499.

The 12 GB+1 TB combo is priced at RMB 6,899.

The 16 GB+1 TB combo is priced at RMB 7,499.

Nio offers Apple Care-like services for the Nio Phone for RMB 699.

It also offers a service similar to Apple’s iCloud cloud storage, which costs RMB 38 per month for 1 TB of storage.

The Nio Phone went on sale at launch and will start shipping on September 28, said William Li, founder, chairman, and CEO of the EV company.

The Nio phone comes with Sky UI, an Android-based mobile operating system. The device’s system will not integrate any commercial ads like many other Android devices.

The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, which is the processor that powers the mainstream flagship Android phones today.

Li emphasized at today’s launch event that the Nio Phone is a device built for Nio owners and will offer a new car-centric connectivity experience.

The Nio Phone offers an action button that allows users to quickly launch more than 30 functions related to vehicle control. This includes controlling vehicle functions such as adjusting the air conditioning temperature and switching on/off seat massage.

The computing power of the Nio Phone can be shared to the Nio vehicle and display a virtual phone on the vehicle’s center screen and use the apps installed in the Nio Phone.

The device is being marketed most for its UWB (ultra-wideband) technology, which provides a better phone-to-vehicle link, thus ensuring better vehicle unlocking and many more other experiences.

The device uses Samsung’s 6.81-inch curved screen with 2K resolution and supports 1-120 Hz refresh rate.

The Nio phone has a 5200 mAh battery and supports 66 W wired fast charging, 50 W wireless fast charging, and 10 W reverse charging.

The device can still unlock Nio vehicles within 48 hours when the battery is drained.

In an interview with China Entrepreneur Magazine late last year, Li said that Nio phone is not meant to compete with Huawei or Xiaomi.

If half of Nio’s users buy Nio Phone, the desired goal will be reached, Li said at the time.

Nio delivered 19,329 vehicles in August, giving it a cumulative total of 383,908 since its inception, data monitored by CnEVPost shows.

Nio will develop one phone a year, like Apple, Li said last July.

This article was first published by Phate Zhang on CnEVPost, a website focusing on new energy vehicle news from China.

CnEVPost is a website focused on the coverage of the new energy vehicle industry in China. As with our original intent for CnTechPost, there are a lot of interesting things happening in the Chinese EV industry every day, but they are not covered by the mainstream English language media. We're here to keep track of what's happening in the Chinese EV industry and strive to be the first to publish what we see in English.