Nothing is a new consumer electronics brand created by former OnePlus co-founders Carl Pei and the company’s first commercial product was the Nothing Earbuds 1 with a lot of teasers about the Phone 1 being announced several times even though we never knew what the device was going to look or feel like.
But when the Nothing Phone 1 finally got announced, we got to see the interesting thing the company has been designing all this while. First of all, I marveled at the approach taken by the company.
The Nothing Phone 1 is designed with interesting aesthetics with the integration of the so-called “Glyph” flash that flashes based on notifications that you get on the device.
Also, the transparent back panel of the device seems similar to the design of the company’s earbuds which is also very interesting. even though the design looks pretty similar to an iPhone 13, I like how minimalistic yet premium-looking the Nothing Phone 1 is and that is why it will likely garner the attention it so much needed being a new product.
However, some people might still be skeptical about the new brand and whether or not they should buy one. Also whether it is going to rival other established smartphone brands like Apple’s iPhone 13 series or even the Galaxy S22 series but I’m going to give it my own take as far as things go currently and the potential growth trajectory the Nothing brand could take to cement itself in the smartphone market in the near future.
First of all, the Nothing brand
As weird as the name might sound, Nothing is the name of a new consumer electronics company founded by a former co-founder of OnePlus which back then started as a niche smartphone and was often referred to as the “Flagship killer” because of its interesting premium-grade features at an affordable price point until the brand got purchased and needed to move towards profitability.
Nowadays, one can argue that OnePlus is already established and competing with other big players in the smartphone market. Many have also foreseen such a future for the new Nothing brand founded by one of the guys that formed OnePlus but I digress.
The first consumer electronics device released by Nothing was its Earbuds 1 which was announced back in 2021 with some cool features and a unique approach – a transparent casing.
This same approach would extend to the new Nothing Phone 1 with its transparent back panel that reveals some internals – not the entire ugly-looking internal components though but a well-crafted overlaying of the internal components – however that sound to you.
The point is Nothing made the back glass transparent even though there is still an extra layer of covering that can serve as a protection for the internal components of the device. But things you see include the camera module unit, which is surrounded by some LED lights, the wireless charging section also surrounded by LED lights, and a lot of screws.
Nothing’s approach to the Phone 1 is to create a unique-looking device that can rival or rebel against what is mainstream at the moment. Although you might have to constantly flip your Nothing Phone 1 over in order to see how the back looks, at least, the front is the same as we’ve seen before. A big flat display with symmetrical bezels just like the iPhone 13 and a hole-punch camera cut-out at the top-left corner of the screen.
So is Nothing Phone 1 another “Flagship killer”? I guess not because of the approach the brand has taken with this first device being affordable and offering mid-tier hardware specs and features. So nothing screams “flagship” about the device apart from the design (more in a moment).
What’s exciting about the Nothing Phone?
Depending on who you ask, the new Nothing Phone 1 in my opinion could soon have its own fanship who are enthusiasts that wants a device that looks pretty unique compared to the boring designs we currently have on conventional smartphones.
The Nothing Phone 1 will be able to achieve this thanks to the amazingly unique design aesthetics of the device as well as the over-simplified user experience of the device. Thankfully, the device runs the current Android 12 OS out of the box with the Nothing OS layered on top of it, which to me screams “customization” which is something I love to do all the time.
In terms of the hardware design, one can argue that it’s polarizing due to the “transparent” approach taken by the company but the back panel isn’t just transparent for transparency’s sake. The numerous LEDs at the back of the device which are arranged to form a certain pattern can be used for several things ranging from notifications to flashlights.
In fact, according to many reviewers, the “GLYPH” light can be used in place of the camera’s flash even though it’s spread out and can’t really match the prowess of an actual camera flash.
The back of the Nothing Phone 1 is where the majority of the fun takes place. However, the LEDs only come in white color and that’s all. Compared to your typical gaming smartphones which often integrate the RGB design into their LEDs, Nothing just made the colors white – it might be a good thing or maybe the company is also trying to steer clear of the gaming smartphones’ path.
However, the GLYPH light can be customized to whatever it is you’d like it to be thanks to full-blown settings to change the lighting pattern and so forth.
Ok, I’ve said a lot about the externals of the device, what about the internal components, well, just as I’ve mentioned earlier, the device is pushing mid-tier and that’s why it came with a Snapdragon 778G+ processor which shouldn’t be a problem for day-to-day usage and even intense gaming shouldn’t have any effect on the performance of the device.
There’s also 5G.
The display of the Nothing Phone 1 is built on OLED technology and the size is 6.55-inch. The device’s peak brightness can reach about 1200 nits and the display resolution is 1080p x 2400p which makes it full HD+. It also has HDR10+ and a fast 120Hz refresh rate even though the display isn’t based on the LTPO technology.
The Android experience of the Nothing Phone 1 is neat and there’s no bloatware of any kind. Apart from a few tweaks here and there, Nothing literally left the UI AS-IS.
This is a mid-ranger
Once again, the Nothing Phone 1 isn’t your typical “premium” smartphone and that said, the device costs about…wait for it…..GB£399! Yeah, that’s how much it costs. With so many features and its cool design aesthetics, the device is pretty affordable and that could in fact be one of its core marketing strategies.
The sales of the device in the United States are yet to be confirmed and there’s no official price in US Dollars just yet. But a direct conversion of that price to US Dollars is about US$475 (AU$700).
In comparison, the iPhone SE 2022 is about US$429 while the upcoming US-only Google Pixel 6A is about US$449.
If you reside in the UK or the EU, then you can get the device but there isn’t an official sale in the United States even though you can import it. The consequence of doing so is that you might never get proper network support especially the 5G network for the device.
Do you want to buy the Nothing Phone 1?
Anyone can purchase the Nothing Phone 1 if they want to and the device offers some great values at its low-tier price point. I love the fact that the device offers some cool specifications and a brilliant yet rebellious design approach all of which make the device more interesting and funky.
I think the Nothing Phone 1 can be a great smartphone for anyone that doesn’t want to spend too much on a good experience even though the device is just a mid-ranger. Despite its brilliant display, the camera capacity can’t match other top-tier devices on the market but it’s certainly not mediocre.
I believe the Nothing brand will continue to make awesome and unique-looking devices moving forward and their first product already proves that.