The Nothing Phone (1) Arrives Tomorrow: What You Need To Know

There hasn't been this much hype about a single phone in a long time. Nothing sprang to the public's attention with its unique marketing, drumming up excitement for a phone that'll follow the Nothing Ear(1) earbuds. With a lineage hailing from Oppo and OnePlus, the startup made a lot of noise about challenging the status quo, though a lot of this is considered hype and buzz, especially after a series of official teasers from the company. That said, negative publicity is still publicity, and even the criticism only served to pique curiosity about the Nothing Phone(1). The wait is almost over, and in less than 24 hours we will finally see if this model is something worth craving or if it's really nothing at all.

A considerable amount of Nothing's rhetoric revolves around stripping the smartphone industry down to its essentials. This is supposed to be reflected in the product's design, embracing minimalism and transparency as metaphors for how smartphones should be made and how smartphone companies should conduct their businesses. It also rejects excesses in hardware, preferring to go with "good enough" and then milking as much as it can from those ideas.

It's a message that many from Apple's camp are already familiar with because it's the exact same one the company has been proclaiming since the first iPhone. Of course, Apple already had industry clout when it launched its first smartphone, something Nothing doesn't have despite its pedigree. The challenge now is whether the company will be able to live up to its own hype, especially in an already overcrowded Android smartphone market.

Cautiously optimistic about Nothing Phone's specs

There were plenty of expectations that the Nothing Phone(1) would have a transparent back, and to some extent, that is what happened. The rear glass panel is transparent, but your view of the phone's internals will be blocked by a white or black plate — depending on the colorway — that will be home to a unique glyph light notification. Nothing already took a big hit for this disappointing reveal, but we'll have to wait and see if the glyph will be enough to sell the design.

The phone's specs are, unfortunately, another point of contention, particularly the Snapdragon 778G+ processor that effectively brands it as a mid-range phone. Despite being an older chipset, Nothing explains that it was custom-made to add wireless charging capabilities. More importantly, this goes in line with the company's strategy of using a processor that's simply good enough and inexpensive and then squeezing the best performance out of it. The Phone(1) will have an extremely minimalist user experience to match, but an earlier bet still left plenty to be desired when it came to having any sort of impact.

The advantage of this strategy is that the Nothing Phone(1) could launch for as low as $390, which is pretty tempting even for a mid-range model. Getting your hands on one, however, could turn out to be messy, as the company is employing the same invite-only system that made OnePlus both famous and frustrating. Now all that remains is for Nothing to fully reveal what's left to see whether there's anything to really make phone users take that leap of faith. It's all or nothing at this point, and it's going down on July 12 at 11:00 a.m. ET (via Twitter).