Forget Nothing Phone 2a — sub-brand CMF tipped to release its own cheaper phone

Nothing Phone 2a vs Pixel 7a.
(Image credit: Future)

In September of 2023, Nothing launched a budget-sub-brand called CMF with the goal of “making great design more accessible.” Up to now, CMF has made a few pairs of wireless earbuds. The company has also made a well-designed smartwatch that "just works and does what it sets out to do quite well." 

If new leaks from Notebook Check are to be believed, CMF is getting into the smartphone game. The phone so far called the CFM by Nothing Phone (1), looks to be a slightly cheaper version of the Nothing Phone 2a.

Parent brand Nothing already makes a one of the best cheap phones around in the Nothing Phone 2a at around $349, and the higher-end Nothing Phone 2 isn’t that much more expensive at $599 for the base model. So a CMF branded budget phone is a new direction for the sub-brand. 

Frequent Android leaker, MlgmXyysd, tipped most of the core specs on X recently, and there are many similarities to the Phone 2a.

The CMF Phone (1) will have a slightly smaller 6.67-inch OLED screen compared to the 6.7-inch AMOLED on the Nothing Phone 2a. It is supposed to feature a MediaTek Dimensity 7200 chipset, the same as what’s in the 2a.  And finally, the CMF Phone (1) also appears to have a 5,000 mAh battery, similar to the 2a, though only 33W fast charging instead of 45W. These days 5,000 mAh seems to be the standard for any new phone coming out, including budget and mid-range ones.

For storage, the CMF Phone (1) will have 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of storage with a microSD card slot. Again it's similar to the 2a, though the 2a does offer a 12GB RAM version.

When it comes to the cameras, the CMF Phone (1) will have a 50MP main camera, though the front camera is slightly weaker at 16MP. As we've seen in our Nothing Phone 2a versus Pixel 7a photo shootout, this is an area where Nothing's phones tend to underperform.

Yet, one difference appears to be in the materials for the phone. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the CMF Phone (1) will not be accompanied by the same dazzling LED light Glyph interface that Nothing phones have. Though the leaker notes that the plastic back will be replaceable, so we imagine that CMF will sell different backs for a little bit of customization. 

According to the leaker, the CMF by Nothing Phone (1) will launch in July 2024 with a price of $249 and $279 based on which storage capacity customers pick. The Nothing Phone 2a is currently being sold for $349 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage. 

If this is true, it's a strange move by Nothing and CMF, but we suppose that there's incentive of paying less for a phone.

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.