It really says a lot about the state of today’s mobile industry that one of the year’s most highly anticipated Android smartphones is set to come from a small company founded in 2020. Even worse (or is it weirdly better?), the Nothing Phone (1) continues to be almost completely shrouded in secrecy following multiple teasers from CEO Carl Pei and even a press event that didn’t amount to much in terms of actual device features and capabilities.
Whether you agree with Pei, who just so happened to co-found OnePlus nearly a decade ago, about handset designs needing a hard reset or… not, it’s definitely intriguing to hear a relatively high-profile startup committing to a radically different approach.
An affordable device like nothing you’ve seen before
These are not just empty promises, mind you, as the rapidly approaching first-ever Nothing-branded smartphone is officially confirmed to rock a “translucent case”
revealing the device’s “inner workings.” According to both Carl Pei and Tom Howard, the company’s head of design, achieving the perfect transparent aesthetic proved a little more challenging than just building a phone like all others on the market today and making its backplate see-through.
A sketch depicting one of many transparent designs considered for the Nothing Phone (1).
That’s because Nothing wanted to “celebrate” the very best of a handset’s 400+ internal components, many of which are normally layered below other parts and thus tricky to bring into the spotlight. Ultimately, the London-based consumer technology outfit chose the wireless charging coil as its “hero”
, playing with the rest of the transparent design “like a puzzle.”
The end result could see daylight on July 21, at least according to an unnamed European retailer cited as a source by the folks over at Allround-PC in Germany
). Unfortunately, we don’t know if that’s supposed to be a proper announcement date, the day when pre-orders kick off on the old continent, or even a full-on commercial release date, and for its part, Nothing continues to stick to a vague “summer” launch commitment.
Perhaps more excitingly, the Nothing Phone (1) is rumored to target a “price range around 500 euros”, which means its potential audience is much wider than that of the ultra-high-end iPhone 13 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
No actual specs confirmed just yet
Obviously, that also means this trend-defying and completely unconventional device will not be powered by one of the fastest mobile processors out there. On the bright side, Nothing has already announced a partnership with Qualcomm, so the hot new upper mid-range Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
silicon could very much be on the table.
If you add wireless charging support and the recycled aluminum frame also confirmed already to the $500 or so Nothing Phone (1) equation, the bang for buck is starting to sound pretty impressive… even if you don’t consider the “inside out” design guaranteed to set this bad boy apart from all the summer 2022 competition.
The Nothing ear (1) come with a transparent design of their own.
Said transparent design, by the way, is likely to remain a Nothing staple for years to come after debuting on the company’s first true wireless earbuds
(and first product period). The long-term goal is to create a “coherent vision” similar to what Apple has been doing with its iPhones and unlike what essentially all Android device manufacturers are doing, trying too many things at once without sticking to a “consistent way of designing products.”
Of course, the Nothing Phone (1) will run Android on the software side of things, but even that is fine-tuned (in the form of Nothing OS
) to adhere to Carl Pei’s philosophy according to which “products should be simple at a glance” while giving their users “more back” as they spend more time with them.