Nothing Tech’s super-mysterious Phone (1) is hands down one of the most hyped phone releases of this year. With its stripped-down, transparent, and boxy design, the phone will be making its global debut, live, on July 12 2022.
Here’s everything we know so far.
After months of buzz, rumours and speculation, ‘Nothing’ has officially announced the Phone (1) will be unveiled online on July 12 at 4pm BST (11pm MYT). Details about the phone and how to purchase it, have been shrouded in secrecy until now. According to reports, Nothing recently started reaching out to select fans to join a preorder waitlist via an invitation code, which gives them 48 hours to place a deposit and reserve the phone. Shortly after, the waitlist was opened to the public via Nothing’s website on June 24. The response has been phenomenal — Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus and ‘Nothing’ CEO, tweeted on June 26 that there are already more than 100,000 names on the preorder waitlist.
The London-based Nothing has been focusing on Europe and the UK, but the phone will also be released in Asia, with Malaysia, Singapore and India among its markets. It won’t be made available in the US, unfortunately.
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A privileged few have already officially bought the phone. Nothing dropped the first 100 units of phone (1) last week in a 48-hour auction it held in collaboration with StockX from June 21 to 23, and the top bid was over £2,000 (RM 10,800). For an additional dash of exclusivity, each phone was engraved with a number corresponding to the ranking of its owner’s bid. The highest bidder, for instance, had his or her phone marked with the number one.
Still confused about the hype around the Nothing Phone (1)? Much like limited-edition sneaker drops, the allure lies in the exclusivity and mystery surrounding the device since it was first teased in March this year and the complexity of being able to own it. Back then, Pei stated his vision for the product to be a “compelling alternative to Apple” and described it as the “most important product” for his company. Paired with a few sneak peeks of the phone’s stripped-down, minimalist aesthetic, this quickly made the Nothing phone (1) the next must-have item for hypebeasts around the world.
Nothing Phone 1: Specs, price, release date and more
Visually, you’ll either love or hate the design. It’s transparent and stripped-down, putting all its industrial elegance on display. Taking centre stage is its back, which features a Glyph interface with pretty LED embellishments that are illuminated in different sequences upon receiving notifications, when someone’s calling, and when the phone is charging. When the phone is flipped facedown, it activates a silent mode with lights-only notifications. There’s also a function to schedule the lights to switch off on certain days or times. The phone supports wireless charging.
Nothing’s design director is actually former Dyson design lead, Adam Bates, so we know where this skeletal/machine elegance is coming from.
Given Carl’s prior association with OnePlus, we sort of have an idea of what they’re aiming for. As of now, Phone (1) is confirmed to use Snapdragon OS chipset and will be introduced with its very own Nothing OS based on Android 12. Interestingly, even though it could take after OnePlus, it could end up being a competitor.
According to Pei, Nothing’s goal is to do what Apple does: to create a unique product experience and stand out in the market for that. Otherwise, they’ll simply be jumping into a space that’s turning increasingly homogenous and competitive. While calling it “The real start of Nothing’s journey”, the brand strives to make tech fun again and is an invitation to “unlearn everything the industry has taught us.”
In our opinion, Nothing certainly has what it takes to create a unique smartphone experience and an ecosystem around it, going head-on with the giants of the smartphone world. Its appeal, visually and physically, stands out.
Also, considering Carl Pei is at the helm, we’re sure he has the secret sauce to turn this into a success. Saying this after looking at what he’s done with OnePlus, who knows? This could either be the next big thing or simply another tech gimmick full of hot air.
“Smartphones used to excite us, now they’re mundane. We hope that the Nothing Phone (1) is the wake-up call this industry needs,” Pei boldly declared at the phone launch event in March. With just a couple of weeks left to its official unveiling, we can only wait in anticipation — and try to get our names on that preorder waitlist that’s getting longer with each passing day.
(All images: Nothing)
An older version of this story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India