Everything we know

Everything we know about the Nothing Phone (1)

Mark your calendar: Nothing’s Phone (1) will launch on July 12.

Nothing Phone (1) concept design by Ben Geskin
Concept by Ben Geskin
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Nothing’s first smartphone, the appropriately named Phone (1), will be revealed on July 12. The “Return to Instinct” event will be held live in London where the company is based and livestreamed on its website starting at 10 a.m. BST / 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT.

The tech startup sent the below teaser image to Input with an image of what’s clearly a parrot’s back/wings. What does a parrot have to do with the Phone (1)? Probably nothing. The company has used insects in its marketing imagery for its Ear (1) wireless earbuds. Why? I’ve heard because it “looks cool.” Hey, we’re all for different here at Input (*looks around at our website design*).

This is clearly a parrot’s back.Nothing

The Phone (1) will be the second product from Nothing and founder Carl Pei (formerly of OnePlus). Last summer, Nothing released the Ear (1) wireless earbuds designed by the tech geniuses at Teenage Engineering.

Resembling AirPods Pro, the semi-transparent Ear (1) launched to great hype — and fell short on delivery, despite outpricing rival wireless earbuds at $99.99. In my Ear (1) review, I said I was disappointed by the buggy hardware and software. Nothing later seemingly fixed many of the connectivity issues on its Ear (1) Black Edition.

For Nothing’s sophomore release, it’s releasing the Phone (1), an Android smartphone that’s running a customized version of Android called Nothing OS.

Phone (1) tech specs and what we know

Confirmed Phone (1) tech specs

Though all will (hopefully) be announced on July 12, there are some things we know about the Phone (1)’s hardware. Nothing’s Twitter account confirmed the below tech specs :

  • Recycled aluminum mid-frame
  • Transparent back
  • Wireless charging
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • Dual rear cameras
  • No chin

What will the Phone (1) look like?

The only people who know that are Pei and Nothing’s staff. Yes, Wallpaper shared the aluminum build and transparent materials. But this teaser image Nothing shared in March might provide a clue.

Monocle? Wireless charging coil? It’s really hard to say.Nothing

The lines? All clues point to them being outlines for the camera, antenna, wireless charging coil, and charging connector, which will most likely be USB-C.

Phone leaker and concept artist Ben Geskin mocked up a 3D concept of his interpretation of the teaser outline and it sort of lines up:

The sketches in this image Nothing shared with Wallpaper might be a hint:

Will the Nothing Phone (1) look anything like these sketches?Nothing

Peep closer, and you’ll see on the far right there are some digits suggesting that the Phone (1) might come with a 64-megapixel camera and display with a 90Hz refresh rate. All speculation, of course.

Worth re-circulating, though, is something Pei told Wired back in 2020:

“Most consumers are not going to be able to tell the difference between a 90Hz display or a 60Hz one, or OLED or LCD. They don’t really know what optimizations we’ve done on the software. Consumers like really glitzy things they can quickly understand.”

Take that for what you will.

Nothing also tweeted this image in April.

These look like flat ribbon cables and maybe part of a wireless charging coil (right)?Nothing

Geskin thinks it might be the Phone (1)’s flat ribbon cables and a piece of the wireless charging coil. Naturally, Geskin made a render extrapolating off this macro shot. What will the Phone (1) not look like? Pei shot the following artist design down. Not like this.

As we inch closer to the Phone (1) launch, the Nothing marketing team is busy teasing the smartphone. The latest tease on Twitter shows two more birds (Blue Budgie parakeets) sitting atop a sliver of the Phone (1):

The tweet reads “Curious? So are they.” Let’s enhance the Phone (1) teaser to see what we’re looking at:

This is clearly an sliver of the top of the Phone (1).Nothing

There are a couple of things we can see here: the aluminum band with antenna cutouts (almost certainly for 5G, because what phone would release without 5G in 2022?), a portion of the camera, and a look at some of the screws and ribbon cables (???) for other phone components.

On June 15, Nothing’s Twitter and Instagram accounts shared the whole backside of the Phone (1):

Confirmed: The Phone (1) is transparent.Nothing / Instagram

The image confirms the symbols and shapes as corresponding to the different Phone (1) tech components. There’s a “C” in the upper left corner that wraps around the dual cameras. As predicted, the Phone (1) has dual and not triple cameras. What combo will that be? Main wide lens + telephoto lens? Or main wide lens + ultrawide lens?

One thing we don’t know: Will the symbols and shapes light up? There’s been speculation that they do light up for notifications or alerts. That would be pretty cool!

In its “Preparing for phone (1) ft. Carl Pei | Nothing Series #1” video, you can see a glimpse of the Phone (1) in Pe’s hand right at the 14:47 mark.

What does the Phone (1)’s Nothing OS look like?

Our own Ian Carlos Campbell installed the Nothing Launcher beta on a Google Pixel 6 and, well, it's definitely a beta alright. He called the custom ringtones and wallpaper “pretty cool” but overall “Nothing’s launcher comes with its fair share of missing features.”

Below are a few screenshots of the Nothing OS.

Nothing
Nothing
Nothing

And here’s a screenshot of the Recorder app, clearly drawing inspiration from Teenage Engineering’s iconic OP-1 portable synthesizer (recently updated as the OP-1 Field).

A Recorder app in Nothing OS.Nothing

Want to try the Nothing launcher for yourself? You can download it for the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S22, Pixel 5 or Pixel 6, and OnePlus phones from the Google Play Store here.

How much will the Phone (1) cost?

That’s a good question and we hope Nothing has a good price come July 12. A rumor from Allround-PC claims the Phone (1) will cost under $500. If true, that might also inform what kind of Snapdragon chip Nothing plans to use. Will Nothing use a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or the newer 8+ Gen 1 chip or will it go with a mid-range Snapdragon chip for the Phone (1)? The margins would be really thin or a loss per unit if the Phone (1) has a flagship Snapdragon chip.

Pei has downplayed smartphone tech specs before. The last phone he worked on before leaving OnePlus in 2020, the Nord, was a mid-range Android phone with a midrange Snapdragon chip.

Which carriers will sell the Phone (1)?

Pei has only confirmed O2 for the UK. “Let’s make the phone (1) launch a memorable one,” he tweeted, tagging Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer, Mobile at Virgin Media O2.

How to watch the Phone (1) livestream

Right on YouTube. Here’s the livestream video. Bookmark it so you don’t forget.

What will the Phone (1) packaging look like?

I sure hope it’s as nice as the Ear (1) unboxing experience. The exterior tear and the silver box inside leaves a strong impression.

The Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition unboxing experience is *chef’s kiss*. Evan Rodgers / Input

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