Nothing announces the Phone (1), slated for a summer launch
Nothing to look forward to: During a livestream event, Nothing confirmed its plans to launch the Phone (1), which the company’s CEO Carl Pei said will mark the start of change for the ‘sleepy’ smartphone market. Details around the Phone (1)’s hardware are still scant, but we do know that the Android-powered phone will use a Qualcomm SoC, and that Nothing wants to take on the likes of Apple by building an ecosystem of interconnected devices.
Calling the Phone (1) “unlike anything else” might be a bit of stretch, considering Nothing’s debut into smartphones will most likely be with a candybar form factor, running a customized Android skin. However, the company does have a unique, discreet way of hyping up its products, and we’re told to expect plenty of transparent material going into the Phone (1)’s design.
Although Nothing didn’t even share a glimpse of what the hardware will end up looking like, it’s safe to assume the see-through aesthetic of the company’s Ear (1) earbuds will be present here as well. On the software side, however, Nothing did have a couple of screenshots to share for its customized Android skin.
Nothing OS’ work-in-progress designs for the home screen, widgets, lock screen, always-on display and recorder app.
How the company describes its vision for Android is reminiscent of the early days of OnePlus’ Oxygen OS. Nothing says that its Android skin will bring the best features of pure Android, distilling it to just the essentials, and will have bespoke fonts, colors, sounds and graphical elements. The company also noted that select models will be able to experience a preview of Nothing OS via a launcher that arrives next month.
In an interview with The Verge, Nothing’s CEO Carl Pei shared how he aims to achieve a “singular vision” for his products by having the company’s software, marketing and design team work closer together.
Pei also remarked on bringing on board Dyson’s former design head, Adam Bates, who now serves as Nothing’s design director with the tough task of making the Phone (1) stand out from the smartphone crowd.
— Nothing (@nothing) March 23, 2022
Having secured Qualcomm as a partner, Nothing and its team of over 300 people could potentially make things interesting for the Android market, just like OnePlus managed to do quite a while back.
It remains to be seen whether the Nothing Phone (1) becomes a hit this summer and is able to sustain that momentum for future iterations, or if it fizzles out like the Essential phone, whose branding rights were acquired by Nothing last year.