Nothing will release its first handset, the Phone 1, this summer, the company confirmed on Wednesday ahead of its “The Truth” livestream. In the usual marketing style of its CEO, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, Nothing shared a handful of details about the upcoming device while promising to reveal more over the coming months.
You’ve speculated, and now you know.
Nothing phone (1) is officially coming.
It’s unlike anything else.
Sign up for the latest updates on https://t.co/pLWW07l8G7. pic.twitter.com/Lo4UPkk7MT
— Nothing (@nothing) March 23, 2022
It announced the phone will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset and run Nothing OS, a modified version of Android that “captures the best features” of Google’s mobile operating system while distilling it “to just the essentials.” The company promised Nothing OS would offer a fast and smooth experience, with a user interface that features “bespoke” fonts, colors, design elements and sounds. Nothing will offer a preview of its software vision in April through a launcher those with select Android phones will have the chance to download.
In short, it seemingly looks like Nothing hopes to continue where OnePlus left off before Pei departed the company and it merged with Oppo. By that point, many longtime OnePlus fans felt the company had effectively stopped catering to them with its decision to expand into the budget phone market by offering what they saw as rebranded Oppo devices. While most assumed Nothing would eventually announce a phone given Pei’s history, those assumptions became a lot more real at the start of March when a report came out that Nothing had shown off a smartphone in private meetings at Mobile World Congress. Just days later, leaker Evan Blass shared a photo of one such meeting Pei took with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon where you can see Pei holding what looks like an unannounced phone.
Pei positioned the Phone 1 as part of a broader ecosystem that will be open to other brands. He said his hope was to create an ecosystem that would feature Apple-like cohesion between different products and services while at the same time allowing people to use whatever devices they want. “This is the start of an open and diverse product ecosystem that gives people real choice,” he said. “We’re building the most compelling alternative to Apple.” But exactly how Nothing plans to achieve that vision Pei was specific about.