Startup digs into Android’s guts to supercharge its smartphone

Get ready for the Nextbit phone. Photo: Nextbit

Get ready for the Nextbit phone. Photo: Nextbit

Nextbit, a startup smartphone maker led by Android veterans and a former HTC design chief, today confirmed that it will launch its “friggin’ awesome” debut device on September 1. The device will offer supercharged Android software that only gets better with age.

OnePlus is proving that with the right product, you can start a smartphone company that competes against the latest devices from Apple and Samsung and enjoy plenty of success. Nextbit hopes to do the same, and it has the talent to make it happen.

Nextbit’s CEO is Tom Moss, entrepreneur and two-time Googler, and its CTO is Mike Chan, a former Android software engineer. The startup’s vice president of product design is former HTC design executive Scott Croyle, who is one of those credited for the design of HTC’s flagship One series.

Nextbit’s first phone “is going to be friggin’ awesome,” Moss told CNET. Priced between $300 and $400, the device promises to address the frustration with storage limits by using cloud technology, and get better over time thanks to regular software updates.

Nextbit also says it’s “supercharging” Android for its new device, but it won’t radically alter it like Amazon has for its Fire Phone and tablets. The device will still have access to Google apps, and of course, the Google Play Store.

That’s pretty much all we know about Nextbit’s new phone at this point; we’ll have to wait until September 1 to find out what it looks like, or what kind of features it will bring. But at less than $400 off-contract, we can expect it to be equipped to take on devices like the OnePlus 2, and Motorola’s new Moto X Style and Moto X Play.