Carl Pei, the guy that founded OnePlus, has started a new company called Nothing. Later this summer, its first phone will get a release date. But what will the Nothing Phone 1 specs be like?
Carl Pei founded OnePlus, saw where it was going, and decided to leave. He then founded Nothing, released a pair of earbuds, and the company is now limbering up to release its first phone, the Nothing Phone 1 – it’ll get a release date this summer.
But what will the Nothing Phone 1 be like? How will it differentiate itself from the myriad other “cheaper” Android phones on the market that are readily available from brands like RealMe, VIVO, OPPO, and, of course, OnePlus? As it stands, no one really knows.
The market is NOT the same as it was when Pei oversaw the launch of OnePlus. Back then, people were mad about custom ROMs and there was a very real void in the market for high-specification, cheap Android phones. That void has now been filled; it is now the most competitive segment of the entire industry.
With this in mind, it is difficult to see how a brand new phone from a brand new phone brand could hope to succeed. Let’s be frank, here, as well. Google – a company with more expendable cash than most countries – has been toiling for the best part of half a decade to get its Pixel phones off the ground. And that’s Google.
Still, Pei has done it once before, so perhaps he can work his magic twice. Lightning doesn’t often strike twice, especially in the tech world. But Pei must have a pretty specific vision for how the Nothing Phone 1 will fit into the macro market. It cannot be just another flagship Android phone – we already have too many of them.
Nothing Phone 1 Specs
Perhaps the most important aspect of the Nothing Phone 1 is the question of what kind of specs it will feature. We know it will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, likely the Gen 1, and we know it will run its own, new operating system – Nothing OS – but apart from that, nothing much else is known about the phone.
I’d expect an AMOLED display, likely QHD, plenty of RAM – up to 8GB – and probably 128GB of storage for the base model. I’d also like to see SD support on this phone too. And Pei wants to make a lot of new friends, some really fast wired and wireless charging.
BBK – the company that owns OPPO, OnePlus, RealMe, and VIVO – has all the best charging tech, and they’re presumably underwriting the whole Nothing project, so it’d make sense to leverage some of its IP inside the Nothing Phone 1. Having 65W wired and wireless charging would be nice, especially if the price is competitive.
Nothing Phone 1 Design
One interesting turn of events relates to the Nothing Phone 1’s design. According to early leaks, the company will use the same see-through design it used on its Nothing headphones on the phone as well. If true, this would mean the Nothing Phone 1 would have a clear chassis, allowing you to see all of its internal components.
No other phone has done anything like this before, save for a Xiaomi phone I tested a few years back, but that was only on the back of the phone, and even then, it wasn’t the real internals anyway. If Nothing can produce a truly transparent phone that actually looks good, I think it’ll be niche enough looking to win over plenty of early adopters.
How Much Will Nothing Phone 1 Cost?
Again, nothing is currently known about the Nothing Phone 1. All we know is that it’ll run on a Snapdragon CPU, potentially have a transparent design, and Nothing OS for its UX. We have no idea on pricing, though, given Pei’s previous ventures, I’d be willing to bet that the Nothing Phone 1 will be aggressively priced. It all just depends on how aggressive the company decides to get?
Of course, it could go the other way. The phone could be a flagship phone, priced around $1000. This doesn’t seem likely to me, however – Nothing has no market share, no brand visibility, and zero customers at present. Coming to market and asking people to pay $1000 for an unknown phone from an unknown brand is, well… stupid. No one would buy it.
And if the Nothing Phone 1 does come to the US, it’ll need to get carrier support. Without this, the phone will really struggle. This is a big deal nowadays more than ever, so if Pei wants this phone to fly he will need to get the carriers on board. Unless, of course, Pei makes the phone so cheap that people flock to buy it online, direct from Nothing.
I’m hoping for a unique-looking phone with killer specs and a decent camera for less than $500. That’s my hope for the Nothing Phone 1. If it can do this, undercut OnePlus, and make a case for NOT getting an iPhone 13 or iPhone 14, I think Pei will have done himself proud. My only concern is whether anyone will actually care? Most people – like nearly everyone most of us know – now use one or two brands for their phones: Apple and Samsung.
And if brands like Google and LG cannot get a foothold in the phone market, or even OnePlus, what hope, exactly, does Nothing have? Finger’s crossed Pei has something totally unique up his sleeve because, in order for this phone to be successful, the marketing and positioning of the phone are going to have to be insanely perfect.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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