Tag Archives: Nothing

Nothing Launches Phone(1) from London



Carl Pei (and a parrot) launched Nothing‘s Phone(1) today in London. Starting in a café, moving to a theatre and ending at the after party, it was a surprisingly brief run through of the new phone.

The big thing is the glyph feature on the back. Glyph’s will be familiar to anyone who has played Niantic’s Ingress but simplistically it’s four shapes on the rear of the phone: a circle in the middle, a vertical line bottom centre, an angled line to right and an oval C round the cameras. The glyphs are multifunctional and can synchronise with ringtones, indicate who is calling, show charging activity or simply act as a light while recording video. There are videos of the glyphs in action over on Instagram.

Moving to the rest of the phone, the body of Phone(1) has an aluminium frame with a Gorilla Glass 5 front. Everything that’s touched is made of premium materials and where plastics are used, over 50% is either recycled plastic or a bioplastic. In what’s believed to be a first, any tin used inside the phone comes from recycled materials.

There’s a 6.55″ AMOLED 2400×1080 pixel display supporting HDR10+ with a 120Hz refresh rate so it’ll be smooth too. There’s some clever trickery involving flexible displays to make the bezels even all round – now that’s an attention to detail.

Round the back, there are only two cameras but they’re both pretty good. Both are 50 MP sensors and the main camera is a Sony IMX766. The ultrawide is a Samsung JM1 with a 114 degree view. These sensors are widely used and should take decent photos. If you want to see some untouched photos from the Phone(1), there’s a selection here.

Inside is Snapdragon 778+ processor which provides stability whilst still being fast and smooth. Carl says, “Buttery smooth” – I think we’ve heard that somewhere else already but I’m sure it’s true. A 7-series processor fits nicely into the upper mid-range as per expectations. While it may be the current flagship for Nothing, it’s not going up against those £1000 top tier devices.

Powering it all is a 4,500 mAh battery. Wired charging is 33W so should charge from flat in a little over an hour. There’s wireless charging at 15W and reverse wireless charging is 5W.

NothingOS is obviously based on Android and Carl was keen to point out that Android is good with loads of natice apps. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel, as it were, so it stays close to the original. Nothing will develop software where they can add value, and in the first instance there’s extra software that works with Tesla Cars and NFTs. Both are hot at the moment, so quite understandable.

The Phone(1) is available in both black and white, and there are three RAM and storage combinations with prices to match.

  • 8GB + 128GB = UK£399 (this one seems to be only available in black)
  • 8GB + 256GB = UK£449
  • 12GB + 256BB = UK£499

There are some extras: a clear case is £25, a charger is £35 and screen protector is £19. The blurb suggests a screen protector is already applied to the phone in the box.

There will be open availability from 21st July but if you are really desperate to get one, hotfoot it round to the Nothing Kiosk in Convent Garden from 16th July.

Overall, The Phone(1) looks a good upper mid-range phone that’s priced a little below the competition: I’m thinking of the Xiaomi 12 and the OnePlus 9 though it’s a little more than the Nord 2. It will be interesting to see if the glyphs make interesting enough to stand out from the crowd.

Disclosure: I have a small shareholding in Nothing.


Save The Date for Nothing



Upcoming tech firm Nothing has announced the launch presentation for its new smartphone via a “Save the Date” invite for 12th July ’22 at 16:00 BST.

Not familiar with Nothing? Its noise-cancelling earbuds ear(1) went down a storm for the innovative design, sound quality and price, but the real interest in Nothing comes from its founder, Carl Pei, who previously started OnePlus way back in 2013 with Pete Lau. OnePlus’ close links with OPPO mean that some of the startup flair has gone and people have high hopes that Nothing will bring freshness to the somewhat stagnant smartphone market.

Nothing has some significant backers – Google Ventures, Casey Neistat (YouTuber), Kevin Lin (Twitch), Steve Huffman (Reddit) so there’s a good chunk of cash driving a respected team.

The new phone(1) will be Android (obvs!) and Nothing has released a teaser launcher that can be downloaded for many recent smartphones. It has a couple of cool touches and you could use it daily but it doesn’t offer anything very different just yet.

Personally, I’m very interested to see what Carl Pei’s team are going to produce with the phone(1). Sign up to be notified on the Nothing website.

Disclosure: I have a small shareholding in Nothing via community investment


Nothing Announces a Smartphone at the Heart of an Ecosystem



Nothing is Carl Pei’s latest venture after leaving the OnePlus smartphone company in 2020. Now employing 300 people in six countries, the first product, wireless earphones called ear(1), were very well received for their design, audio quality and price. The ear(1) are transparent and have sold over 400,000 units at a reasonable GB£100.

The ear(1) was always intended to the be the first in a range products and in today’s Nothing presentation, Carl promised a revolutionary new smartphone, the phone(1) at the heart of an open ecosystem. The vision is interoperability in the style of Apple without the walled garden, attitude and price.

The new phone will be powered by a Qualcomm processor running Nothing OS. This Android-based OS will be fast and smooth, and stripped of bloatware. Hardware and software would be brought together as one, and design elements would be consistent across the phone. If it all sounds a bit familiar, it’s not terribly different from the vision for OnePlus before it snuggled up to Oppo.

That’s pretty much it. There was no unveiling of the device itself – all that was revealed is the pictogram on the right. The phone(1) is expected to go on sale in the summer.

And if you are thinking that this is all pie in the sky, it’s not. They’ve the financial backing to go with it to the tune of US$140 million and backing from the likes of Google, Samsung, Qualcomm, Sony, BYD and Visionox.

To get a taste of what’s on offer Nothing will be offering, the Nothing OS launcher will be available from April for installation on select existing devices.

I’m looking forward to it.


Nothing ear(1) ANC Wireless Earbuds PreSale Saturday



Earlier this week, Carl Pei’s new tech startup, Nothing, launched its first product, the ear(1) wireless active noise cancelling earbuds for a very competitively priced US$99 / GB£99.

Long time GNC readers will likely recognise Carl Pei’s name as one of the two founders of OnePlus, leaving the smartphone brand last year to start this new project with the financial backing of Google Ventures (now GV) along with a number of private investors, including Tony Fadell, creator of the iPod, and Casey Neistat.

The ear(1)s have comprehensively managed to step away from comparisons with other wireless earbuds with a unique design and a transparent charging case. Carl Pei said, “Nothing ear (1) is a breath of fresh air in a cluttered and indifferent market, setting the tone for our connected digital world to come. It marries advanced technology, precise engineering, and groundbreaking design at an unbelievable price.

I have to admit that when I first saw the design, I thought the NOTHING ear(1) logo on the side of the earbuds was actually a small LCD display that would, say, show the tracks being played or the podcast being listened to. Sadly this isn’t the case but it would be really neat if it did.

In terms of specs, the ear(1) earbuds have active noise cancelling, wireless charging, IPX4 water resistance (sweat and splash), in-ear detection, over five hours of battery life and 34 hours of listening with case recharging. The 11.6mm drivers have been tuned by the audio nerds at Teenage Engineering for balanced bass, mid, and treble performance. Bluetooth 5.2 provides wireless connectivity. Nothing provides a complementary app to customise the audio experience of the ear(1)s and to help you find them when they’ve fallen down the back of the sofa.

If, like me, you missed the keynote launch during the week, the event is available on YouTube for viewing – the Sound of Change.

However, what you might not want to miss is a presale of the ear(1)s over at nothing.tech at 1400 BST on Saturday 31st August for purchasers in the UK and US. It is a limited drop and I don’t know exactly how the sale will go down, but it’s probably worth registering on the web site in advance.

If you miss this opportunity, the ear(1) earbuds will be going on general sale from 17 August, though there will be some other opportunities to get in on the hype through a couple of fashion sites like HBX, Mr Porter and Kith. Clearly, the ear(1)s are for the cool kids.


Ear 1 Coming From Nothing



Ex-OnePlus founder Carl Pei’s latest venture, Nothing, has revealed that there’s not long to go before their first product, Ear 1, arrives in June. Described as true wireless earbuds, the final design hasn’t yet been revealed other than through a teaser poster and clues from Carl, “Ear 1 combines notes of transparency, iconic form, and refined functionality. It is the starting point that will define the artistry, confidence and craftsmanship that will carry our products and services for years to come.” Looks a bit like something out of Monument Valley (the game, not the location), if you ask me.

In his blog post, Carl muses on the journey so far and the direction of travel and there are definite echoes of OnePlus, “But more than that, we believe the earphones market was begging for differentiation, a space where we can elevate design and deliver value from day one. ” Where have we heard that before?

The Ear 1 has been designed in partnership with Stockholm-based teenage engineering who have been designing and developing highly acclaimed audio equipment for over ten years.

Intend as the first of many products, Ear 1 is only the beginning, the first step in a long and exciting journey ahead, and Carl jokes about the next model being the Ear 2. I’ve been a fan of OnePlus for years and I’m hoping to see similar success with Nothing. No doubt the Ear 1 will be well designed, sound great and come with a competitive price tag.

Not long to go to find out.