OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei left the BBK Electronics-owned company to start his own tech venture called Nothing. The company released its first product, the Ear (1), last year. The first wireless earphones from Nothing gained a lot of attention and received great reviews. But it was quite evident that the company didn't want to make just smartphone accessories.
At an event earlier this year, Pei revealed that Nothing is ready to enter the smartphone market. He announced that Nothing will be launching its first Android smartphone — aptly named Nothing Phone (1) — in the Summer of 2022. A lot of leaks, rumors, and information about the Nothing Phone (1) have since appeared on the internet. Here is everything we know about Nothing's first smartphone, based both on leaks and Nothing’s official communications.
Release Date and Availability
Nothing recently announced that it will officially unveil the Nothing Phone (1) at its "Return to Instinct" event on July 12, 2022, at 11 AM ET / 8 AM PT / 4 PM BST / 8:30 PM IST. The event will be live-streamed on Nothing's YouTube channel. You can sign-up on the company's official website to receive updates and live stream information about the Nothing Phone (1)'s launch. The company says that it has a lot of exciting details to share at the event.
Talking about the actual smartphone availability, there is currently no word on when the Nothing Phone 1 would go on sale. Some speculate that the smartphone will go on sale as soon as the event concludes while some claim that the Phone (1) could be a bit delayed due to supply chain issues. Another thing that remains unknown is the Nothing Phone (1)'s price (more on this down below). However, one thing that Nothing has revealed about the smartphone's availability is that it will be available in limited quantities. Just like the OnePlus One, Nothing Phone 1 will also be available for purchase via invite-only. If you're willing to purchase the Nothing Phone 1, you can register on the company's official website to pre-order the phone (1).
Nothing Phone 1 won't go on sale in the US
Update 22 June 2022: Nothing has confirmed that Phone 1 won't launch in the United States (via PCMag). The company says it is focusing on focusing on home markets, including the UK and Europe, where it has strong partnerships with local carriers and retailers. In the United States, not being able to crack carrier partnerships has been the major roadblock.
Nothing says that you can try to use the Phone (1) in the US, but it may not work well. The device should work in a limited capacity on T-Mobile, but you won't get VoLTE service on AT&T while the phone won't work at all with Verizon. Thankfully, the company says that a US-supported Nothing Phone (1) model is in the works and it could launch later this year. Read the official statement down below:
We have big plans to launch a U.S. supported smartphone in the future. For now, a limited number of our private community investors in the U.S. will be able to get their hands on phone (1) through a closed beta program. In the meantime, if readers really want phone (1) to be available in the US as soon as possible, they should call their carrier to let them know about us.
Nothing Phone 1: Price
While Nothing is yet to officially reveal anything on the Phone 1's pricing, a listing on Amazon Germany has revealed the price tag of Nothing Phone 1. The listing reveals that the base variant of the Nothing Phone 1 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will retail in Europe for €469.99 (~$490). Nothing Phone 1 with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage will cost €499.99 (~$520) while the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage model will retail for €549.99 (~$570). According to Mukul Sharma, pricing for the Indian market will be lower than the leaked European pricing. As a recap, here's the leaked pricing of the Nothing Phone (1):
|8 GB RAM + 128GB Storage||€469.99 (~$490)|
|8 GB RAM + 256GB Storage||€499.99 (~$520)|
|12 GB RAM + 256GB Storage||€549.99 (~$570)|
Design and build
Carl Pei touted that Nothing Phone (1) will keep the same design language as its previous product, the Ear (1), with a transparent back that shows off some of the phone's components. After teasing about the smartphone's design for some weeks, Nothing finally revealed the looks of the Phone (1) earlier this week.
The design of the Nothing Phone (1) is quite different in comparison to the smartphones currently found in the market. The phone sports a transparent back that shows off its industrial elements, like screws that hold some of the panels in place and the wireless charging coil. The Nothing logo, engraved in the dot matrix font, can be found in the bottom left corner. The image also shows off the Phone 1's dual-camera array in the left top corner. Along with the design, Nothing has also revealed that the frame of the Phone (1) will be built out of recycled aluminum.
Some YouTubers and media partners got a chance to take a look at the Nothing Phone (1) in person. YouTuber Rafael Zeier posted a video on his channel showcasing the back of the smartphone in full. The phone surely looks more appealing in real-life images than it does in the renders. The video also shows that the white strips near the camera module, the wireless charging coil, and towards the top right corner are in fact LEDs that glow. While the actual use case of the glowing LEDs is still unknown, it does certainly add an overall appeal to the Phone (1). You can watch the video right here.
Update 21 June 2022: Soon after 100 limited edition units of Nothing Phone (1) went on sale on StockX, YouTuber Marques Brownlee posted a video on his channel showcasing the full design of the Nothing Phone 1. Popular tech content creator Ben Geskin posted an image showcasing Nothing Phone 1 from all the angles, which you can check out above.
As promised, Nothing Phone (1) doesn't come with a chin beneath the display. In fact, the phone comes with uniform display bezels and a punch-hole camera on the top-left corner. The YouTuber also revealed that there are more than 900 LEDs present on the rear of the smartphone. These LEDs have various use cases. For instance, these LEDs can be used as a charging indicator, for highlighting unread notifications, acting as a flash, and even shimmering with the phone's ringtone. Users can customize the look and what the LEDs do using the "glyph interface" option in the phone's settings.
Not much is known about the Nothing Phone (1)'s display right now, but some leaks and rumors have suggested that the smartphone will feature a 6.55-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. The display will be flat with no curved edges. Some rumors also suggest that the display on the Phone (1) will support up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Moreover, like most of the latest smartphones, you can also expect the display of the Nothing Phone (1) to support HDR 10 (or HDR 10+) certification. Protecting the front and glass back will be Corning's Gorilla Glass, according to leaker Abhishek Yadav.
One display spec that Nothing has revealed about the Phone (1) is that there will be no chin on the bottom. Most Android smartphones, especially in the mid-range segment, have some sort of chin (bezel) on the bottom. Nothing claims that the Phone (1) will have "no chin". TechDroider came up with a visual representation showing what the smartphone's display would look like. You can check out the render above.
Just like the display, not much is known about the camera system of the Nothing Phone (1) right now, but we expect the company to reveal more details in the build-up to the launch. Some vague reports claim that the Phone 1 will come with a 50MP primary camera (with f/1.8 aperture) and a 16MP ultra-wide sensor, but we would recommend you to take this information with a pinch of salt.
Other than that, the video shot by Rafael Zeier shows that the primary camera of the Phone 1 will support Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). The design unveil has also shown us that there will be only two cameras on the back of the phone. We hope that the second camera sensor isn't a gimmicky 2MP macro lens. A 32MP camera sensor, housed in the punch-hole cutout, will reportedly take care of selfies.
Nothing Phone 1 will run on a customized version of Android called Nothing OS. Carl Pei talked a lot about how lightweight and seamless Nothing OS will be. During the first event, Pei claimed that Nothing OS will be based on an open and seamless ecosystem that will effortlessly connect and integrate its own products and products from other world-leading brands.
The company says that Nothing OS will combine the best of Android with its "iconic design language." It will be a fairly lightweight operating system and the company will rely on Google apps instead of shipping its own stock apps. The user's most-used apps will sit in the phone's cache so the app opening and closing time will feel instant. Nothing is also ensuring that the Phone 1 will receive three Android upgrades and four years of security patches.
To build some hype about the Nothing OS, the company released a custom launcher, called the Nothing Launcher, on the Play Store to give its potential customers a taste of how Nothing OS will look and feel like. The launcher comes with the same custom icons, widgets, and bespoke fonts that the Phone 1 will come with. You can check out our hands-on with Nothing Launcher and what it offers right here.
Moving onto the specs, Nothing has revealed (via Input Mag) that the Phone (1) will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ processor. Nothing says that it is skipping the flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset as the 778G+ provides apt power and performance at a lower price. Snapdragon 778G+ is an octa-core chipset with four high-performance ARM Cortex-A78 cores and four power-efficient ARM Cortex-A55 cores. In addition, the chipset features Adreno 642L GPU and an X53 5G modem.
The Snapdragon 778G+ on the Nothing Phone (1) would also come with two exclusive features: wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. The company claims Qualcomm has added these features to the Snapdragon 778G chipset (making it Snapdragon 778g "+") only for the Phone (1). Other than Snapdragon 778G+, the Nothing Phone (1) will feature 8/12GB of RAM and 128/256GB of internal storage. There is no word on the battery capacity, but a recent leak indicated the phone could support 45W PPS Fast Charging. The wireless charging speed will reportedly be capped at 15W. Take a look at the rumored Nothing Phone 1 specs down below:
|Category||Nothing Phone 1 (Rumored)|
|Display||6.55-inch, 120Hz, OLED, 1080 x 2400 pixels|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+|
|Rear Camera||50MP (Primary) + 16MP (Ultra-wide)|
|Front Camera 1||32 MP|
|Charging||45W, Wireless charging support|
|Materials||Recycled aluminum mid-frame|
|Announcement Date||12 July 2022|
What we want to see
A smartphone that lives up to the hype: Nothing has been building up the hype about its Phone 1 for quite some time now. But we have seen a lot of smartphone brands hyping up a product just to fail. We hope Nothing Phone 1 offers what the company has been claiming for the past few weeks, especially with Carl Pei on their side, who played a huge role in OnePlus' original success.
Low Price: With many (excellent) smartphones available in the mid-range, such as the Google Pixel 6 and the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, we hope Nothing Phone 1 is also priced fairly. To enter the smartphone space is tough nowadays, but a low price could help Nothing quickly gain popularity among Android customers. We hope Nothing Phone (1) doesn't fall short of expectations and offers value for money.
Timely OS updates: Software experience can make or break a smartphone. With Nothing claiming that its operating system will be "lightweight" and "close to stock Android", we hope the company can deliver a premium software experience with Nothing OS on the Phone 1.
What are your expectations from the Nothing Phone (1)? Pen them down in the comments section below!