Since its launch in late 2020, the mysterious startup Nothing, created by former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has led a fairly private existence, however its second product, the Nothing Phone (1), is now confirmed to be coming. summer.
It remains to be seen how the phone (1) will serve as the heart of Nothing’s promised ecosystem, especially from a software standpoint, but there are already details on the phone’s software, feature set, and what hardware it might have when you get it. make. arrive at the end of this year. This is all we know so far.
When is Nothing Phone (1) released?
The company first confirmed that it was working on a smartphone at its March 23 event. Though CEO Carl Pei, who has left streaming, didn’t offer many details, beyond promising a summer release.
You can rewatch the March event stream, right here:
The event also saw the reveal of Nothing OS – the Android-based user experience to be sported by the Nothing Phone (1), which will be available “on select smartphone models” for interested fans to try out in the form of starter from April. .
How much does the Nothing Phone (1) cost?
The company’s debut product: the Nothing Ear (1) true wireless earbuds: they were competitively priced (£/US$99), while retaining premium features like ANC (active noise cancellation), putting them at the top end of what would be considered ‘budget’ within their respective product category.
If the same treatment were applied to the phone (1), we’d expect something in the £250/$300 region, however suspicions and leaks point to Nothing producing something a bit more luxurious.
If the phone came with the latest technology from Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, for example, competitive pricing would put it in the £700/$800/€750 region, going up against the likes of Realme’s revamped GT 2 Pro Y Google Pixel 6while undermining the inputs of more established players: like the Oppo Find X5 Pro, galaxy s22 Y iPhone 13.
What functions does Nothing Phone (1) offer?
The idea that Nothing Phone (1) will run on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is not entirely speculative, as the company openly announced a partnership with Qualcomm in late 2021. The latter’s involvement reportedly involves supplying to Nothing your Snapdragon hardware for use. in “future products” (according to a report from Forbes as of October 2021).
As for what this Snapdragon-powered Nothing smartphone looks like, the company has kept things cryptic for now, starting with a stylized teaser image that hints at the potential placement of the hardware in the phone (1).
What appears to be a pill-shaped camera module (reminiscent of the iPhoneX‘so, more recently, the Honor 50(multi-sensor setup) looks like it’s in the top left, a large item in the center resembles a wireless charging coil (but could just as well represent the location of the battery), while the vertical lines on the bottom are in reference to the power input. There is also an unknown item at the top right, represented by a diagonal line.
If you’re looking for something a little more tangible, in the lead up to the phone’s official unveiling, established tipster @evleaks shared the following image, which shows Nothing CEO Carl Pei showing Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon a mysterious device. ; taken in the private area of the stand of the latter company in MWC 2022.
Nothing to see here. pic.twitter.com/mzLeTVHSXm
March 7, 2022
However, even when cropping and enhancing the image, it’s hard to tell what the device actually looks like in Pei’s hands.
The March 23 event also neatly introduced some of Nothing’s other key hardware and manufacturing partners, with Samsung, Sony and Visionox making an appearance (see image below), hinting at who may be responsible for supplying the Nothing Phone ( one). screen, camera sensors and more.
On March 31, 2022, the Nothing’s official Twitter account teased another announcement. for the next day. However, as you can see below, it turned out to be an April Fool’s joke; the final design is likely to be very different:
Say hello to Just Another (1).
You’ve seen a phone like this before.
Experience edge-to-edge monotony. It is inspirational without inspiration. Completely unoriginal. And exactly the same as everything else.
— Other (@nothing)
April 1, 2022
However, just a day later (on April 2), Nothing posted another tweet, reminding fans of the summer arrival of the Phone (1). What really stood out, though, was the image embedded in the post, which shows a close-up of what appears to be white plastic in various partially recognizable shapes.
There’s what might be representative of a wireless charging coil to the right of the frame and something that looks a lot like a flex cable to the top left, while the head of a Torx screw is easily seen to the bottom left.
Other (1): come… never.
Jokes aside, it’s easy to follow everyone else, but that’s not who we are.
But then comes the phone (1), and it really doesn’t look like anything else.
– Nothing nothing)
April 2, 2022
This image may simply be a representation of the components usually associated with building a smartphone, but depending on how close Nothing wants to be, this image could be our first official look at the phone (1), or at least a development mockup. above the device.
With Teenage Engineering defining the brand’s industrial design language thus far and Dyson’s former head of design joining Nothing in more recent months, simplicity and minimalism seem to be bedfellows when it comes to phone looks(1) .
It’s a notion that clearly resonates with many fans, with various concept creators sharing their interpretations of what Nothing’s first smartphone since the company’s launch could look like.
The most popular concepts even gained enough momentum to receive Pei recognition and other team members; with Nothing’s lead designer Tom Howard reacting to the concepts of Over The Edge Agency, Povilas Grigas Y osho jainin a video posted on the company’s YouTube channel on March 11.
While Jain’s design, in particular, has received a lot of support from Nothing fans since its publication in late 2021, it was Grigas’s concept that seemed to strike a chord with Nothing’s Design Head. “It’s great to see some ideas about how we could work with the internals of things and bring them to the surface,” Howard exclaimed in the video.
After contacting Grigas directly, the Lithuanian design student, currently studying at Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, told Tech Advisor that his decision to create his Nothing concept phone (apparently inspired by old pacemakers, cubes of ice and jewelry) was born out of appreciation for the company’s vision. “I got into concepts because of Nothing… This project was probably the most fun of my life.”
Howard’s comments during his reaction video hint at elements the company’s design team could be focusing on with its debut smartphone, but details are still too ambiguous to be certain of anything at this stage.
no operating system
Before the company’s March event, Pei had shared an innocuous tweet that some interpreted to mean that he had moved from an iPhone to a Nothing-made device, which runs on Google’s mobile operating system:
back on android
— Carl Pei (@getpeid)
February 15, 2022
Fast-forward to the March 23 reveal and alongside the confirmation of the upcoming summer release of Nothing Phone (1), Pei also unveiled Nothing OS – the Android-based user experience that will debut on the company’s first smartphone.
In Pei’s words, Nothing OS “captures the best features of pure Android, distilling the operating system down to its essentials, where every byte serves a purpose.”
It’s a decidedly familiar approach, following similar principles to the OxygenOS user experience found on phones made by Pei’s former company OnePlus.
As seen in the screenshots above (and mentioned by Pei on the March 23 stream), there’s a distinct aesthetic to Nothing OS, conveying the retro-futurism already seen in the brand’s broader assets.
Purpose-built iconography and the company’s signature dot-matrix font are abundant, with a “smooth and seamless experience” manifested in elements such as the clock, which persists on the always-on display, the lock screen, and the home screen, offering greater coherence.
The sound design of the OS is apparently influenced by “Morse code, oscillators, and digital clocks,” while the user experience will reportedly be comparatively light on UI animations, quest to offer a cleaner and simpler browsing experience.
Pei also promised 40% fewer preloaded apps, targeting Google’s own experiences as the first port of call for most services, as well as tight integration, not just with Nothing’s products, but with devices and services as well. from other companies; with Apple AirPods and Tesla cars being verified during the March broadcast.
To round out the software side, Pei promised three years of Android OS updates and four years of security updates, which along with a summer release suggests the phone (1) will arrive with Android 12.
Take a look at our summary of the the most anticipated phones of 2022to see what else is coming besides Nothing Phone (1) this year and check back here regularly to see how the story unfolds.