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Officially unveiled – is the Nothing Phone 1 really an iPhone killer?

The Nothing Phone 1 is a smartphone with which OnePlus founder Carl Pei pursues a completely new concept. The new device is now official, and it was already rumored to be an “iPhone killer” in the run-up. It is supposed to convince with seamless connectivity and an open platform.

Until today, hardly any manufacturer can hold a candle to Apple in the high-end smartphone segment. Above all, the potent hardware in almost perfect coordination with the iOS operating system makes the overall package unbeatable for many. Unfortunately, this also applies to the high price. Some of the corresponding devices cost well over 1000 Euros. However, the hardware manufacturer from Cupertino could now face competition from OnePlus. The newly founded company Nothing has presented its first smartphone, the Phone 1.

“Nothing” wants to attack Apple

The name doesn’t sound spectacular at first. However, there is no newcomer behind the London start-up, but Carl Pei. The former OnePlus co-founder is anything but unknown in the industry. In the past few years, OnePlus was considered one of the brands with the most attractive price-performance ratio. All the more interesting now is the question of what development Nothing will take.

The manufacturer at least relies on well-known names in terms of hardware suppliers. Qualcomm, Samsung and Sony are on board, for example. Due to the mentioned manufacturers, it is obvious that external know-how is used especially for processors, displays and the camera. Nevertheless, the Nothing Phone 1 is different from other smartphones. And this is not only evident in the unusual design, but also in the system.

The Nothing Phone 1
The Nothing Phone 1 Photo: Nothing

Nothing Phone 1 with clean Android and Glyph interface

“Nothing” means “nothing” in German. This motto is reflected in the operating system. The Nothing OS used in the Phone 1 is a system that does without any bloatware, i.e. without any superfluous apps. Android is here in its purest form. Widgets, fonts, sounds and wallpapers were developed especially for the new smartphone. With its open platform, the Nothing Phone 1 is supposed to offer users the possibility to configure the smartphone individually according to their wishes as far as possible.

Carl Pei already emphasized the seamless interaction between hardware and software in Apple devices in the run-up to the presentation of the Nothing Phone 1. The company now wants to follow this up with its own device, but unlike the model from California, it relies on seamless connectivity between different manufacturers. The Nothing Phone 1 is supposed to connect easily with Apple AirPods or Tesla vehicles, among others.

At the same time, it brings a method of operation with the so-called Glyph Interface that other smartphones do not offer in this way. The back of the device, which looks almost naked, is equipped with over 900 LEDs that can light up in different light patterns. With these patterns, users can see who is calling, how high the battery’s charge status is, and whether app notifications are coming in without looking at the smartphone itself. Individual contacts can also be assigned a glyph pattern so that the Nothing Phone 1 lights up individually when calls are received.

Hardware in the Nothing Phone 1

The Nothing Phone 1 is equipped with a 6.55-inch OLED display that supports HDR10+ and offers an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz. Thus, the smartphone is also suitable for gamers. A Qualcomm processor provides the necessary performance. Although it is not the top Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, the Snapdragon 778G+ is a very solid chip from the upper mid-range that is optimized for gaming. It not only delivers a fast performance, but also supports 5G. Users can also choose between different storage versions in the Nothing Phone 1. 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of internal storage are available.

The smartphone has a total of two cameras on the back. That is less than Samsung and Xiaomi, for example, offer in a numerical comparison, but the sensors’ cooperation and software count in the end. Both offer a resolution of 50 megapixels, whereby the main camera is equipped with the very good Sony IMX766 image sensor.┬áThere is also dual image stabilization and an f/1.8 aperture.

The design of the Nothing Phone 1 is particularly striking, which is mainly due to the transparent back. The frame is made of recycled aluminum and gives the smartphone stability. According to the manufacturer, 50 percent of the plastic elements are also made from bio-based or recycled materials.

Prices and availability

The Nothing Phone 1 will go on sale July 21 via the nothing.tech website and at select retailers. The following models are available:

  • 8 GB / 128 GB for 469 euros
  • 8 GB / 256 GB for 499 euro
  • 12 GB / 256 GB for549 Euro (available late summer)