The Android industry is a hard nut to crack, but former OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei has built buzz around his most recent firm since 2020. Here’s what to expect when Nothing releases its debut product, the Phone (1), later this summer.
Carving out a market share for this new Android OEM will be difficult given the exit of HTC and LG from the smartphone industry and the rising Samsung-Apple oligopoly in the US. But with support from GV (previously Google Ventures), the general public, and celebrities, what would be on Nothing’s first smartphone?
EVERYTHING TO EXPECT FROM THE NEWEST ANDROID Subscribe to 9to5Google on YouTube for more videos VIDEO NOTHING PHONE (1):
SPECIFICATIONS, HARDWARE, AND DESIGN
Although Peis’ ideal design for a modern Android phone is unknown, we can quickly rule out a few possibilities. First off, there is no sign that a foldable or bizarre Essential GEM-style hardware is on the horizon. Being that OSOM has also scheduled a smartphone launch for later this year, it will be interesting to watch what Nothing does with the Essential brand. But as of right now, it’s unclear what Nothing has in store for the Essential line.
Pei has also said that on the Android side of the equation, there is no competition for Apple. We might dispute his statement considering that Samsung has a separate product portfolio that directly communicates and collaborates with one another, but it may be a clue at some future intentions for the Nothing Phone (1) and the larger Nothing series. Before it was shut down, Essential was developing a smart speaker. Maybe we’ll come across that again at some point.
The Ear (1) earbuds might be seen as the introduction to the Nothing ecosystem and as a preview of the smartphone hardware to come. We only know that the conventional smartphone paradigm is being followed, despite a possibly contrived photo of Nothing CEO Pei holding a handset prototype beside Qualcomm head Cristiano Amon at MWC22.
However, a few of the hardware components are alluded to in some abstract teaser graphics from the company. Although they are not quite apparent, the outline placeholders do suggest a pretty typical rear panel structure with a wireless charging coil, a camera nodule in the upper-left, and battery wiring for rapid charging. We must emphasize that this is just our opinion, although Pei has stated that the design itself is unique compared to other works.
Online, some bizarre plans for cellphones with entirely translucent casings have surfaced. While this is undoubtedly an intriguing appearance, transparent smartphones are nothing new. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro, which debuted back in 2019, was the most recent instance. The Nothing Phone (1) design will surely be influenced by prominent team members from companies like Dyson and Teenage Engineering.
The possible camera capabilities of this future item have not been widely disclosed. It’s possible that the software and design, rather than the camera, are the primary focus points. This would likely resemble the OnePlus launch process, where the internals and software experience take precedence over the camera, and it might be enough to persuade previous supporters of Carl Peis’ old enterprise to switch sides.
The Snapdragon CPU will be used in the Nothing Phone (1) thanks to a previously disclosed agreement with Qualcomm. However, no information was provided about the hardware’s placement during the Truth live stream. This means that it’s uncertain if it will feature a premium processor like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that many flagship Android phones have been using throughout 2022 or a little less powerful chipset like those that many inexpensive Poco handsets have been introduced with over the previous several years. Recent chip shortages might potentially have an impact on the processor that Nothing’s first smartphone uses.
Should Nothing be more concerned with the software experience, the Pixel 5 is a fantastic current example. Without making a significant impact, it launched with modest internals but kept the premium feel frequently associated with contemporary top smartphones. It is a way to cut production and sales expenses without significantly affecting performance. This could entail switching from the top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU to one from the Snapdragon 7XX series or Snapdragon 8XX series.
The Always-on display features received particular focus during the initial Phone (1) teaser keynote. As a result, it is almost certain that the Nothing Phone (1) will come with an AMOLED display since LCD panels are unable to provide this capability.
OS, features, AND MORE WITHOUT ANY
We already know that the Nothing Phone (1) will run Android, and Pei claimed that it was built to provide a quick, slick, and intimate experience. A recent preview of the new launcher suggests that this, code-named Nothing OS, will be a simple, unobtrusive experience that resembles the Pixel Launcher.
It’s not immediately clear how Android 12 and Android 13 will change on this third-party skin, but the iconography, typography, and overall experience are fairly similar to what you’ll find on the Google Pixel series. It will be intriguing to watch Nothings take on Material You and Dynamic Color if a monochrome look is maintained.
One can also guess that a high-refresh-rate display would be a top objective for such a gadget in order to provide a quick and fluid experience. We’ve seen premium OnePlus phones in the past provide nearly absurdly high amounts of RAM paired with a flagship chipset. A high RAM allocation would undoubtedly assure smooth transitions between apps, and a screen running at 90 or 120 Hz would make animations and user interface elements feel snappy.
Some of the fonts and widgets have a monochromatic, digital retro-minimalist appearance. We saw some of the UI concepts, a Recorder app mockup, and some potential lock screen designs at the Truth keynote. There isn’t much here that differs too significantly from what we’ve seen previously on other launchers and third-party Android skins, although it is different.
Because there are allegedly 40% fewer apps pre-installed on the Nothing Phone (1), pre-installed apps are also under fire. This could be a key selling point for people seeking an experience that is extremely lightweight and barely differs from AOSP builds, given that bloat has begun to infiltrate virtually all third-party Android skins.
Regular OS upgrades for three years and security updates for four years have been promised. Although this is consistent with the rest of the Android market, it still lags behind companies like Google and Samsung. It might be a barrier, but as long as updates are delivered on time, it shouldn’t be a significant issue.
RELEASE DATE, PRICES, AND AVAILABILITY At this point, all that is known is that the Nothing Phone (1) will be available this summer. It’s also unclear when the pre-order, delivery, or real launch event will take place. If this anticipated summer unveiling slips into October, the smartphone may face tough competition from a wave of flagships scheduled to appear in late-2022.
The price mostly depends on how this product is positioned in the larger Android market. It might easily approach a four-figure asking price if it were a flagship Android device. Modest pricing is one approach to ensure that some flaws, should they exist, are less of a deal-breaker for customers and would surely assist develop fan loyalty.
What do you anticipate from the initial Nothing phone? Do we need a new player to disrupt the market, or is Carl Pei just using this as an opportunity to generate hype? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.
FTC: We employ automatically earning affiliate connections. More.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news: