Update: June 27, 2022 (02:09 AM ET): We’ve added a bunch of information about the Nothing Phone 1’s Glyph interface, the way the company plans to sell the device, and more. Read on for all the latest.
Original article: May 27, 2022 (7:30 PM ET): In late 2020, we found out Carl Pei was leaving OnePlus, the company he co-founded several years earlier. Eventually, Pei announced his new company: Nothing. The firm with the funny name quickly released a well-received set of true-wireless earbuds called Nothing Ear 1. Now, in 2022, the company is poised to launch its second hardware product: the Nothing Phone 1.
Here’s everything we know so far about the Nothing Phone 1. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll find a few things we hope to see when the phone finally lands.
When will the Nothing Phone 1 release date be?
After months of teasing, Nothing finally confirmed a launch date on June 8, 2022. The Nothing Phone 1 will be arriving on July 12, 2022, with a so-called “Return to Instinct” event taking place at 11:00 AM ET.
The company didn’t reveal any other details, but we’re guessing that an actual release to market will take place a short while after the launch event.
Don’t expect to get your hands on the phone right away, or at all, if you’re in the US. The company has confirmed that it won’t launch Phone 1 in the US. Furthermore, the device will go to Nothing’s community members and early supporters before becoming widely available. The company said that they have a limited production run to begin with, so the Phone 1 will be sold via an invite system.
What features and specs will the Nothing Phone 1 have?
Nothing has doled out plenty of details about the Phone 1’s design. However, the company is still pretty tight-lipped about its hardware specifications. Expect the company to keep the hype machine churning all the way up until the phone’s release date. Until then, though, here’s what we do know.
From the beginning, it was assumed Nothing’s first smartphone would feature the transparent casing of the Nothing Ear 1 earbuds. On May 24, Nothing confirmed this to be true. It did so through a Wallpaper interview with Pei and lead designer Tom Howard.
However, the duo stopped short of actually showing off the entire phone at the time. Instead, all we got was the design sketch you see above. It gives you an idea of how the company is trying to make the innards of a smartphone look cool from the outside, which is something most other designers don’t need to think about.
Nothing would go on to post a teaser image on its Twitter account, before Flipkart posted an image of the entire rear cover on June 15. The picture shows the transparent back, along with a dual rear camera system, a wireless charging coil, and the Nothing logo in the middle. We can also see flat edges, a power button (presumably doubling as a fingerprint scanner), and a pair of volume keys. Check out the image below.
On June 16, a video showing the blinking back of the Nothing Phone 1 went live. The company showcased the device to a few journalists at an event in Switzerland. The clip shows the phone sitting inside a plexiglass enclosure. All you can see is the back of the phone which has a number of glowing LEDs. Check out the video here.
Later on June 21, hand-on videos of the Nothing Phone 1 went up detailing its design as well as the rear Glyph interface. The LEDs at the back of the Phone 1 can light up in different patterns and sync up with different sounds. They pulsate for incoming calls, messages, app alerts, reverse wireless charging, and more. There’s also a charging progress bar (pictured) that glows at the bottom of the rear cover when the device is connected to power. The entire back can also light up at once to act as a fill light for the cameras. Nothing says it will also open the interface up for people to build more custom effects.
Unfortunately, we’re missing any rumors about dimensions, weight, screen size, etc.
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
We know that the Nothing Phone 1 will feature a Qualcomm-created chipset. However, Qualcomm makes a ton of mobile processors, and it could be any one of them. We don’t know if the Phone 1 will have the mighty new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 or something weaker, such as the Snapdragon 778G or the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. A recent rumor suggested it could be the former.
We also know the phone will run on an Android skin known as Nothing OS. We’ve already seen a sneak preview of Nothing OS running on a Samsung phone. The launcher is very basic at the moment, with its only novel feature being the ability to resize icons and folders on the fly. Other than that, it is a bare-bones launcher.
The phone will come skinned with Nothing OS and get three Android upgrades.
One rumor points to the phone having a 6.55-inch FHD+ OLED panel with flat edges along with a center-mounted punch-hole cutout. That sounds par for the course these days, and official images do show flat edges. But we’ll need to wait for more leaks and official disclosures to hear whether this is indeed the case.
Nothing also confirmed that Nothing Phone 1 will see three Android upgrades and four years of security patches. This almost matches Google’s commitment to Pixel software support (Google offers five years of patches). It is a little behind Samsung’s commitment, though, which is four Android upgrades and five years of patches. Still, it’s good news that Nothing is making a firm commitment from the very beginning.
The device will get a dual rear camera system, but we don’t have any other details. We hope this means the phone has a main camera and either a telephoto or ultrawide shooter as the secondary camera.
Unfortunately, that’s about all we know about the phone so far. The amount of RAM, internal storage options, and other details elude us for now.
What will the Nothing Phone 1 price be?
There have been plenty of shaky rumors flying around about the alleged price of the Nothing Phone 1. However, we haven’t given any of them much credence since the sources are vague, weak, or completely unmentioned.
We have already written about how we hope the phone has a low price. For what it’s worth, the unsubstantiated rumors we’ve heard do point to a mid-range price. However, until we know more about the specs and design, it will be impossible to know what Nothing’s plans are.
One thing we do know, however, is where you’ll first be able to buy the phone. 100 units of the device hit StockX for auction on June 21.
You can now join the Nothing Phone 1 waitlist for pre-orders in India.
Finally, we also know that Nothing will produce Indian variants of the Nothing Phone 1 in India. This is good news for that market as it will likely make the phone cheaper than it would be if it made the device elsewhere.
Nothing Phone 1: What we want to see
Since Pei left OnePlus, the company has changed significantly. Whether or not you think that’s a good thing (here’s what we think), it’s very clear that Pei played a big part in OnePlus’ original success. Therefore, many OnePlus fans have high hopes for Nothing and its first smartphone as they hope Pei brings the original spirit of OnePlus back.
With that in mind, here are some things we hope to see from the Nothing Phone 1.
A price-appropriate camera
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
We have no idea what Nothing is planning to charge for the Phone 1. As such, we can’t really say we’re hoping for a 100MP+ wide-angle lens and a periscope telephoto sensor since that would make the phone a $1,000+ premium device.
Instead, we’re hoping the phone’s price matches the quality of the camera hardware and the output of that camera. If the phone costs between $500 and $600, it needs to have a terrific wide-angle lens paired with a similarly good ultrawide lens, like the Google Pixel 6. If Nothing cuts down the quality of those two sensors in order to throw in macro lenses or other gimmicks, it will be very disappointing.
See also: The best camera phones you can get
Nothing also needs to deliver a solid camera app. It is very unlikely Nothing’s first smartphone will have the best camera experience of the year, but a reputation for poor camera quality still dogs OnePlus because its initial offerings were so poor. Nothing can’t repeat that mistake, so the Phone 1’s camera needs to be at least decent on launch day.
That’s everything we want to see from the Nothing Phone 1. What do you hope for most? Be sure to let us know in the comments.