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Nothing Phone (1): 5 things to know about the super-hyped smartphone

One of the most talked about phones has arrived - this is what you need to know.

Nothing Phone (1): 5 things to know about the super-hyped smartphone

It's getting increasingly difficult to stand out in the smartphone crowd but if one person can do it, it's Carl Pei. The ex co-founder of OnePlus has been busy of late, creating Nothing. Note that this is a proper noun and the name of his company.

UPDATE: The Nothing Phone (1) is now available to buy from Selfridges in the UK and on contract through O2. You can also buy the phone through the Nothing official store.

We have had one launch - and different colour iterations - from Nothing so far, the decent-looking and sounding Nothing Ear (1) true wireless earbuds.

They are low-cost buds with a transparent design. We've tested them and they manage to hold their own against the bigger, more established manufacturers in the headphone market.

Pei and Nothing hope to recreate this success in the ever-crowded phone market. Enter, the Nothing Phone (1). This is Nothing's first stab at making a smartphone and, design-wise, it follows the same transparent look of its earphones.

Is its see-through chassis Emperor's New Clothes, though, or can the Nothing Phone (1) really deliver on its hype? Here are 5 things to know about the new handset...

1. The Nothing (1) phone is set to light up your life

Nothing Phone (1): 5 things to know about the super-hyped smartphone

The Nothing (1) phone uses something called a Glyph interface which offers up unique light patterns to light up the phone when it gets calls, notifications and the like. These lights, made of 900 LEDs, flow around the camera array, the circle design on the back and two thin bars next to this.

It's a nice idea and give the phone a sense of uniqueness in the market. There are different Glyph patterns available, so you can know at a glance what kind of message is heading your way (and, in turn, ignore it if you like).

The lights can also be used if you want silent notifications - so you will get a message indicator without the buzz - and offer studio lighting when using the camera.

2. Nothing hopes to be one of the most Open phones around

Nothing Phone (1): 5 things to know about the super-hyped smartphone

The Nothing Phone (1) uses an OS called Open and Nothing is billing it as "only the best of Android. No bloatware. Just speed and a smooth experience."

This will be good news for fans of Pixel handsets, which currently offer up the purest Android to date.

Nothing also notes that "most-used apps load super-fast; the rest are frozen to conserve power." And that you can "control third party products from Quick Settings as easily as Nothing ones."

One of the apps you will be able to control through Nothing's interface is the Tesla app, so you can unlock and lock your car with ease. You will also be able to check things like the battery on your AirPods at a glance and not have to go through a third-party app to do this.

3. The new Nothing phone is NFT friendly

Nothing Phone (1): 5 things to know about the super-hyped smartphone

Now, depending on which side of the fence you are with NFTs, the Nothing (1) phone is set to act like a gallery for your NFTs, with the Nothing (1) offering 5 different sizes to show off your NFTs and track their prices on your home screen with the native NFT Gallery.

Given where the NFT market is right now, this may not be the draw that Nothing thinks it is for users, but if that is indeed where the future of collecting is going - and you happen to have NFTs coming out of your ears - then this may well be the phone for you.

4. Nothing reckons you only need two cameras

Nothing Phone (1): 5 things to know about the super-hyped smartphone

While most phones favour a triple-lens setup on the back of their device, Nothing reckons two cameras are better, noting: "Better quality isn’t more cameras." And that "this extraordinary dual camera has two advanced 50MP sensors that can shoot exceptionally stable videos.

There's studio lighting built-in (thanks to its fancy Glyph lighting) and Night Mode on board. If you want wide-angle shooting, then there's a 114° field of view and all-important scene detection to help you with your shots.

5. Nothing is promising 'beauty' and 'power' with the Nothing (1)

Nothing Phone (1): 5 things to know about the super-hyped smartphone

The beauty is to do with the look of the phone. You have to admit that it at least stands out from the regular black rectangle crowd. The see-through chassis looks great in both black and white and this is complemented with a 6.55-inch OLED display which boasts HDR10+ and an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate.

Interestingly, the OLED used is flexible but it's used for a flat design which means you actually get symmetrical bezels.

Sustainability seems to be key with this handset, too, with Nothing noting that the Nothing (1) is made with 100% recycled aluminium and that it is "leading the industry with over 50% of the plastic components coming from bio-based and recycled sources."

Power-wise, the phone is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ chipset (fast but mid-range), 18 hours of battery and fast charging where you can fill 50% of the phone up in 30 minutes. Given the likes of OnePlus are boasting better speeds than this, it's not the speediest charging phone but it's pretty fast. The addition of wireless charging is also a bonus.

RAM and storage start from 8GB RAM + 128GB memory but this goes up to 12GB RAM + 256GB memory.

The Nothing (1) phone is set to cost £399 for the 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB will cost £449 and the 12GB/256GB will be £499.

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