Skip to main content

The Nothing Phone 1 really looks like a transparent iPhone

Nothing has finally given us an official glimpse of its first smartphone, the Nothing Phone 1, which is slated to launch next month. The design is fresh and borrows from the transparent aesthetics that the brand introduced with the Nothing Ear 1 true wireless earbuds last year.

There are some similarities with the iPhone X owing to the dual-lens camera array positioned in a pill-shaped camera island. However, the standout elements are the illuminating light strips underneath the transparent rear panel. These form a distinct pattern by wrapping around the camera lenses and the wireless charging coil.

Nothing Phone 1 official render
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The branding is quite minimal, and there is no word on if Nothing will offer its first phone in colors other than white. Given the fact that this is a transparent design, there is always a possibility of swapping the clear glass with see-through black glass and matching paint job on the sides.

So far, the innards of the Nothing Phone 1 have remained a secret, with the only official confirmation being the presence of a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip ticking under the hood. There is also no word on whether Nothing has gone with a wide + ultrawide pairing for the rear camera — or if buyers will find a telephoto zoom camera instead of the ultra-wide-angle snapper.

There’s also heavy iPhone 12 inspiration given the decidedly flat sides. It’s no surprise, though, as Nothing’s head Carl Pei name-dropped Apple as one of the inspirations behind Nothing’s intent to chase its own product ecosystem. So far, Nothing only has wireless earbuds and the upcoming Phone 1. The company is tight-lipped about what’s next, but it won’t be a surprise to see it enter the smart home market or even the computing segment down the road.

Leaks are harder to contain nowadays and many of you have been waiting for a long time. So here it is. This is phone (1) design.

More to come. Tune in on 12 July. https://t.co/aOqmhLylCI

— Carl Pei (@getpeid) June 15, 2022

The road ahead isn’t rosy

On the software side, the Phone 1 will run Nothing OS, an Android skin that focuses on minimalism with a few neat product integrations in tow. My colleague Tushar Mehta tried out the beta preview of Nothing’s launcher, and remarked that it “feels suitable for nothing upon the first look.” While stock Android purists might appreciate the stripped-down approach of Nothing OS, eschewing standout features in the name of minimalism just might backfire.

For now, it’s unclear which segment the Nothing Phone 1 is aimed at, but it won’t be easy making an impact — especially after riding the hype train for months. The U.S. market could use a competitive midrange phone, but in the presence of devices like the Google Pixel 6a, Samsung’s Fan Edition phones, and the iPhone SE, the road ahead won’t be easy.

As for the Asian markets (and also Europe to some extent), Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo won’t easily give any ground to Nothing. If the Nothing Phone 1 is aiming for flagship glory, it would be even harder for customers to put their trust – and a fat wad of cash – in an upstart instead of established players like Apple, Samsung, Google, and OnePlus.

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
An absurd new phone is coming to crush the iPhone and Android
A render of the Up Mobile smartphone.

Just when you thought Web3 -- the name given to a decentralized version of the internet -- had been consigned to the history books, along comes a new smartphone project to try to convince you otherwise, and, in an attempt to ensure it appears as up-to-date as possible, adds another buzzword to the list: AI.

What I’m talking about is called the Up Mobile, and if mention of Web3 and AI together weren't enough, it also has some blockchain technology inside for good measure. If this were Buzzword Bingo, someone would be shouting "House!" right about now.

Read more
I think I found the perfect iPhone screen protector
An iPhone 15 Pro with Anker screen protector on.

Every smartphone brand touts having some kind of protection for its phone displays, trying to convince you that you don’t need a screen protector. Samsung and Google use various versions of Corning Gorilla Glass, while Apple has its own Ceramic Shield glass. Durability-wise, these glass panels should be mostly resistant to scratches and scuffs and less likely to shatter if dropped.

But I’m here to tell you that if you’re anything like clumsy old me, then a simple screen protector can save you from a lot of unnecessary headaches.
My history of having butterfingers

Read more
5 phones you should buy instead of the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Mint Green color along with a Samsung notebook and a cermaic bowl with lemons.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE has much going for it -- including a bright AMOLED display, four promised Android upgrades, fast wireless charging, and a competitive price. And yet, the Android landscape is filled with excellent alternatives to it, many of which are even more compelling purchases. With that in mind, before you pull the trigger on an S23 FE, we'd recommend shopping around a bit first.

The following alternatives have various features that make them suitable substitutes for the Galaxy S23 FE. Some are less expensive, others offer more features, and some are newer. With that in mind, here are a few phones with think you should buy instead of the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE.
Samsung Galaxy S24

Read more