There is nothing to look forward to. Nothing confirmed its plans to launch the Phone (1) during a Livestream event, which the company’s CEO Carl Pei said will mark the beginning of change for the sleepy smartphone market. The hardware of the Phone (1) is still unknown, but we do know that the Android-powered phone will use a Qualcomm SoC and that Nothing intends to compete with Apple by creating an ecosystem of interconnected devices.
Calling the Phone (1) “unlike anything else” may be a stretch, given that Nothing’s debut into smartphones will most likely be in the form of a candy bar running a customized Android skin.
However, the company has a unique, discrete way of hyping up its products, and we’re told that plenty of transparent material will go into the design of the Phone (1).
Although Nothing hasn’t revealed any details about the hardware, it’s safe to assume the see-through aesthetic of the company’s Ear (1) earbuds will be present here as well.
Nothing, on the other hand, did have a couple of screenshots for its customized Android skin to share. Work-in-progress designs for the home screen, widgets, lock screen, always-on display, and recorder app in Nothing OS.
The company’s description of its Android vision is reminiscent of the early days of OnePlus’ Oxygen OS. Nothing indicates that its Android skin will bring the best features of pure Android, distilling them down to just the essentials, and will have custom fonts, colors, sounds, and graphical elements. The company also mentioned that select models will be able to try out a preview of Nothing OS via a launcher that will be available next month.
Nothing’s CEO Carl Pei explained to The Verge how he hopes to achieve a “singular vision” for his products by bringing together the company’s software, marketing, and design teams. Pei also mentioned bringing on board Dyson’s former design head, Adam Bates, who now serves as Nothing’s design director and is tasked with making the Phone (1) stand out from the crowd of smartphones. With Qualcomm as a partner, Nothing and its team of over 300 people could potentially make things interesting for the Android market, similar to what OnePlus did a while back.
It remains to be seen whether the Nothing Phone (1) becomes a hit this summer and can sustain that momentum for future iterations, or if it, like the Essential phone, whose branding rights were acquired by Nothing last year, fizzles out.