Nio, one of the top 15 EV brands in China, has just launched its first smartphone to the market. It says the phone was developed to be used exclusively with its electric cars.
“We want our phone to connect seamlessly with the car and bring a better user experience to our car owners,” founder and chief executive officer William Li said at the event. The phone will be sold via Nio’s online store, though initial deliveries may be limited due to supply constraints.
The high-end smartphone boasts a few autonomous controls built into the phone, features a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display from Samsung Display with a resolution of 3,088 x 1,440 pixels, a peak brightness of 1,750 nits and supports an adaptive refresh rate of 1-120 Hz.
Inside, you will get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. Imaging-wise, the triple rear camera comprises a 50MP IMX707 lens with OIS, a 50MP IMX766 Ultrawide sensor, and another 50MP IMX890 telephoto lens with OIS.
5,200mAh battery and 66W fast charging come standard with the phone, along with 50W fast wireless charging and 10W reverse charging. The phone runs Android with Nio’s own SKY UI skin.
Li said the Nio Phone had more than 30 car-specific functions and had broken new ground with connection technologies. The functions include self-parking, a digital key fob, a remote battery charge indicator, and full control of the in-cabin infotainment system.
While having a bespoke smartphone for an EV is cool and all, Tesla‘s app on iOS and Android can do all the car functions that the Nio Phone can, and this makes the Tesla brand not as restrictive as Nio. Additionally, this is not the first brand that has either developed in-house phones or went into a phone collab to be used with their EVs.
Geely actually bought the phone brand Meizu and launched a 2023 line of smartphones that works with the brand’s cars, starting with the Lynk & Co 08. Polestar is planning to launch their own smartphone linked to their EV sometime in December with the launch of the upcoming Polestar 4.
Lastly, Nio’s EVs can already be unlocked with third party smartphones – in this case Oppo, OnePlus and Vivo. Cars with the updated NT 2.0 platform and newer models by Nio can be unlocked with the Oppo Find N2 series, Find X5 Series, Reno 9 series, Oneplus Ace series and a whole bunch of Vivo models. The phones can be used to unlock the cars remotely.
The Nio Phone will be priced from CNY 6,499 (about RM 4169) and it will start shipping on September 28 as pre-orders are live now.