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Nothing Phone (1), the OnePlus heir smartphone with a transparent back

In recent weeks there has been a lot of talk about Nothing. It is an English company, based in London, active in the tech sector and founded by Carl Pei. A name that has made the history of the smartphone market, being one of the key figures of OnePlus together with Pete Lau. In 2020 he left his creature to embark on this new adventure, in which other illustrious personalities have invested: from the inventor of the iPod Tony Fadell to the co-founder of Twitch Kevin Lin, passing through the CEO of Reddit Steve Huffman, up to to the well-known American youtuber Casey Neistat.

Last year Nothing launched its first official product, a pair of true wireless earphones (completely wireless, like Apple’s AirPods). Characterized by an excellent quality / price ratio, they are called Ear (1) and we have told you about them in our full review. Now the time has come for the first smartphone, which will be called Nothing Phone (1) and will be officially presented in July. As happened in the early days of OnePlus, however, the company has already released several details on the device, also showing its design.

Nothing Phone (1) design

And it is the aesthetic aspect that is the distinctive feature of this smartphone. The back is indeed transparentand this resulted in the need to take care of the inside of Nothing Phone (1) as well. This explains the presence of a series of LEDs positioned around the photographic compartment and the wireless charging coil. These will light up with the arrival of notifications if the device is placed on a surface with the screen facing down. A great attention to detail therefore.

Technically we should be dealing with a mid-to-high-end smartphone. On the front there should be a 6.55-inch OLED screen, while the hardware platform should be based on the Snapdragon 778G + processor (this means compatibility with the new 5G network standard). The software part will obviously be entrusted to Android 12, customized with the Nothing OS proprietary graphic interface. Just as it happened with OnePlus and its OxygenOS, and exactly like the Chinese company there will be three years of guaranteed updates of the operating system (and four of updates for security).

Nothing Phone’s invitation system (1)

The similarities with OnePlus do not end with the software part. Nothing Phone (1) in fact, at least in the first months of sales, it can only be purchased through an invitation. Exactly the same method used with the historic OnePlus One, which has certainly contributed to increasing its fame. Carl Pei’s new company has not yet clarified how this system will work, simply specifying how the intention is to guarantee the possibility of buying first of all to members of the community.

Yes, because just like OnePlus, Nothing’s first step was to focus on the online community of enthusiasts. A forum was therefore created (accessible at this link) in which the company has established a real direct line with users. And the bottom-up marketing conceptwith which Carl Pei revolutionized the industry at the time of OnePlus and which he now wants to propose again with his new creature.

Certainly a courageous choice but probably also dictated by the situation linked to lack of semiconductors. The invitation system, in fact, allows to slowly increase stocks and to guarantee the current brand (in this case Nothing) a certain media attention. Exactly as happened in 2014 with the OnePlus One, the smartphone that went down in history as a “flagship killer”, thanks to the high-end technical specifications coupled with a particularly competitive price (starting from 269 euros).

The main competitors

In case the technical specifications of Nothing Phone (1) are confirmed, a positioning around between 300 and 500 euros is conceivable. A particularly crowded price range, although the particular attention to design is not so easy to find in this segment. At present, the first competitor could be considered the Realme GT Master. Based on the Snapdragon 778G, it features a vegan leather back shell.

The same finish that characterizes the rear of the Oppo Reno7. In this case it is a product with a less powerful processor (the Snapdragon 680), but which can still count on an excellent AMOLED screen and on a photographic sector with the main sensor of 64 Megapixels.

In any case, in the coming weeks the curtain will be raised on Nothing Phone (1) and we will be able to have a clearer picture on this smartphone. Who knows that Carl Pei will succeed in the miracle again.


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