After much speculation and plenty of teasing from Nothing, we’ve finally gotten a good look at the design of the Nothing Phone 1. The official images shared by Nothing have created a divide of sorts among fans due to the smartphone’s transparent back. Despite Pei’s insisting that the Phone 1 will be something of an iPhone killer, it certainly takes a lot of inspiration from Apple’s handset. It’s because of the conventional design that some fans are feeling a little bit disappointed, especially seeing how Nothing has been talking about its expectations for the Phone 1 to be the start of an industry-wide shake-up.
Earlier this year, the Nothing Phone 1 was formally unveiled during a livestream in which the company’s CEO, Carl Pei, discussed his goals for the smartphone. Regarding detailed information regarding the Phone 1, everything has been kept rather quiet. However, there have already been a few reliable leaks that indicate the product will compete favourably with other top flagships.
The Nothing Phone 1 features two main cameras on a vertical pill-shaped island directly next to a microphone and flashlight. There’s currently no word on the lenses that the cameras will have. Across from the cameras on the right side of the phone’s back is a red recording light that pulses on and off while the phone is recording video. It’s a nice touch but seems like the kind of feature that might get turned off by many, as the light might be seen in recordings. While we haven’t had an in-depth look at the smartphone in full, there appear to be three buttons on the sides — two on one side and one on the other — mirroring the industry standard of two volume buttons and one to lock the screen.
The lights serve several purposes — such as being notification indicators when the phone is lying face down and displaying charging information. As shown off by Brownlee, the lights are programmable and give device owners a variety of options when it comes to how the phone lights up for each type of notification. However, as many have pointed out, the lights’ practicality immediately disappears when putting a case on the Phone 1. Turning the Nothing Phone 1 over to the front, its unique design flair is all but impossible to see. It has a large display with slim bezels, rounded corners, and a hole-punch camera cutout in the top-left corner. It’s not a bad design by any means, but it also feels very similar to most other modern flagships.
The only truly unique elements of the Nothing Phone 1’s design are the light strips around the camera island and the wireless charging coil. The design of the three light strips has been teased in previous Nothing events for the Phone 1, and it’s certainly striking to see. A recent overview from tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee (aka MKBHD) shed some light on the functionality of LED strips.
Nothing hasn’t officially provided much information on the technical specs for its first smartphone. The only thing known for certain about what will be going on behind the display of the Phone 1 is that Nothing is partnering with Qualcomm as announced in a Tweet by Qualcomm president Enrico Salvatori in March. Because the tweet was posted before the Phone 1 reveal event, many speculated that the reveal would provide some solid information on what Qualcomm was providing to the Phone 1 in terms of processor.