Nothing Phone (1): Much hyped UK-made smartphone is launched

Event in London lifts lid on potential iPhone challenger

UK tech firm Nothing has released its new smartphone, officially named 'Phone (1)'.
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

An official launch event for Nothing Phone (1) took place in London on Tuesday, revealing one of the most highly anticipated smartphones in years.

The phone is being viewed by many as a cheaper, more innovative challenger to rival iPhone and Samsung devices.

London-based tech company Nothing was set up by Carl Pei, the former co-founder of Chinese handset manufacturer OnePlus. He says his company wants to make technology “fun” again.

At the official launch, called “Nothing (event): Return to Instinct”, Mr Pei said the look and feel of the device was equally as important as the design specs, as too much focus on the latter has turned off many consumers.

“We designed Phone (1) as a product we’d be proud to share with friends and family,” Mr Pei said.

“This simple principle helped us wander off the beaten path, tune into our instincts, and create an experience that hopefully marks the start of change in a stagnant industry.”

What is the Nothing Phone (1)?

The device has caught the attention of tech aficionados thanks to its quirky, minimalist design and its £400 ($477) price tag, significantly less expensive than both the iPhone 13 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22+.

So far, nearly 200,000 people have paid non-refundable deposits to secure the phone, a major vote of confidence in the brand.

The phone's frame is made from 100 per cent recycled aluminium and features an eye-catching translucent rear panel that shows off some of the device’s internal components.

Central to the phone is its Glyph Interface of LED lights on the back, which could be used as a portable ring-light or customised to be used as a “silent ring” for specific callers.

The device has a price starting at significantly less than either the iPhone 13 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S22+.  PA

What are its specs?

The phone runs the company’s version of Google’s Android operating system — called Nothing OS — and comes with a 6.5in OLED screen that supports a 120Hz refresh rate.

The phone also has two impressive two 50-megapixel rear cameras, features which are more likely to be found on £1,000 flagship phones.

The company says the device also supports lowlight photography in Night Mode and has a Scene Detection feature automatically tailoring camera settings to the environment where the device is being used.

Nothing says the Phone (1) battery will last 18 hours, or two days if left on standby, and supports fast charging — reaching 50 per cent power in 30 minutes.

How can I get it?

The Nothing Phone (1) will go on sale on July 21 in the UK, starting at £399, exclusively on the O2 network.

The device will also be available for purchase in central London from July 16 at a pop-up Nothing kiosk in Covent Garden.

It will also be available on partner carriers in India, the Middle East and the rest of Europe, and go on sale in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

However, it will not be available in the US or Canada in the “near term”.

Photos taken with the 'Nothing Phone' — in pictures

Updated: July 13, 2022, 4:29 AM