Technology company Nothing is building a smartphone and it’s coming out this summer. While Nothing may be new to you, you could be familiar with its co-founder Carl Pei, who is better known for co-founding OnePlus before starting Nothing. With the announcement of the phone comes confirmation of a new Android operating system, all built around Nothing’s commitment to intuitive, seamless-to-use tech, from which the company takes its name.
The phone will be called the Phone 1, stylized as Phone (1), a continuation of the naming theme seen on Nothing’s first product, the Ear 1 true wireless headphones. The news was shared during an online event called The Truth, and while the phone’s full specifications are still unknown, Pei has shared some interesting details about what to expect.
Perhaps least surprising is that the Phone 1 will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Nothing announced a partnership with Qualcomm in October 2021, and Pei was photographed with Qualcomm executives during Mobile World Congress, where it was rumored he showed off a prototype of the phone behind closed doors.
The design of the Nothing Phone 1 was not shown, and only the odd shape in the image above was presented as a hint of what’s to come. Pei promised the design is something to look forward to, but it’s hard to visualize based on the abstract teaser, although having seen the Ear 1 headphones, it’s reasonable to expect transparent plastic to be used to enhance the equally inevitable minimalist design.
Less expected is the announcement that Phone 1 will use an Android-based operating system called Nothing OS. Phones running Android are nothing new, but Nothing refers to the software as an “open and seamless ecosystem that will effortlessly connect and integrate Nothing products and products from other world-leading brands,” which suggests it may be something like Huawei’s HarmonyOS, just without being tethered to a single brand. Pei wasn’t shy about which company it considers its main competition, naming Apple as the brand it’s targeting with its growing ecosystem.
We won’t have to wait until the Phone 1 is released before trying Nothing OS, as it will be available as a launcher for selected Android phones starting in April. Nothing says the software will have a “coherent interface,” and include custom fonts and sounds, while also taking the best features of Android and integrating them into an operating system built around the essentials.
As smartphone operating systems get more complicated, we are keen to see how Nothing OS fits with the company’s ethos of making tech more accessible. During the presentation ,Pei showed several examples of how the operating system will look. Expect to see fonts using the same pixelated style from the Ear 1, a lot of minimalist screen designs, and simple animations. The software will receive three years of Android OS updates, and four years of security updates, which matches several other manufacturers, but isn’t as extensive as Samsung’s five-year commitment.
Pei also said Nothing will open another round of community-based investment should you want to get involved at a deeper level than simply buying its products. Starting April 5, it hopes to raise $10 million from the new community round. This follows its first community investment effort in March 2021, during which it raised $1.5 million.
The Nothing Phone 1 is expected to launch during the summer, but an exact release date has not been announced yet. The Nothing OS launcher will arrive in April, and we will bring you more news when we have it. In the meantime, find out why we’re excited about Nothing and its first smartphone.
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