EV-Maker Polestar Is Making a Smartphone as a Companion to Its Cars

The smartphone, with up to 1TB of storage and a 50-megapixel camera, includes a digital car key that'll automatically "wake up" the car when a user is nearby.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
Hand holding a Polestar smartphone.

A Polestar smartphone shown in Beijing. The company has unveiled a phone that'll run on an operating system that can connect seamlessly with Polestar's EVs.

Bloomberg/Getty Images

Electric-vehicle maker Polestar has a new product, and it isn't another car. This time, it's a smartphone. The Swedish automaker said Tuesday that it plans to release a phone in China that's designed around the "FlyMe Auto" Android-based software from partner and corporate cousin Xingji Meizu Group, a phone-maker.

The smartphone, which offers up to 1TB of storage and a 50-megapixel camera, is designed to act as a companion to Polestar's in-car infotainment system, including through a digital car key that'll automatically "wake up" the car when a user is nearby. The company is taking orders now in China, charging roughly $1,019 for the device. 

A Polestar spokesman said the company has "no plans to bring the phone to other markets at this stage."

A Polestar mobile phone is shown inside a car.

A demonstration of in-car connectivity for the Polestar smartphone.

Bloomberg/Getty Images

At first glance, it may seem odd that a carmaker is releasing a smartphone, but this is far from the first time a company has attempted to jump between the two industries. 

Read more: Best Phones to Buy for 2024

Apple famously spent a decade developing an EV, in addition to its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, before shutting down the project earlier this year. Alphabet, which owns Google, has also developed its own self-driving technology powering robotaxis in some US cities. Meanwhile, as Bloomberg noted in its article about the Polestar phone, Chinese tech giants Huawei and Xiaomi have begun to make their own cars that link with their devices.

"We also need our defensive measure as the auto industry incorporates more intelligent technologies and consumer electronics," Xingji Meizu Chief Executive Officer Shen Ziyu told Bloomberg in an interview. Polestar is owned by Swedish carmaker Volvo and Chinese carmaker Geely.

In Chinese marketing materials, Polestar is promoting artificial intelligence technologies for the handset, powered in part by one of Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon chips. Polestar said its AI will be able to answer questions; edit and curate photos; and help users more easily reply to chat conversations.