Nothing Cellphone 1 reminds us that smartphone design innovation is not lifeless

Nothing Cellphone 1 reminds us that smartphone design innovation is not lifeless

Nothing Phone 1 The Glyph

Design is a phrase that is come to imply a lot that it is also a phrase that has come to imply nothing.Jony Ive

Once we discuss smartphone design, we regularly say and listen to issues like, “design is subjective,” “design is a private alternative,” and so forth. Sure, design is polarizing. Virtually each smartphone design ballot we put out at Android Authority divvies folks up into opposing camps. However there are occasions once you simply have to return out and respect one thing for the great it brings. Within the case of the Nothing Cellphone 1, it’s the design.

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Jony Ive’s quote above completely describes the issue with how smartphones look as of late. Only a few telephones can really distinguish themselves from the remainder, even much less so when huge manufacturers and their sub-brands merely take the identical design and slap a unique title on it. I’m you, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi. Whereas telephones, particularly within the mid-range section, boast many so-called design feats, most of them fail to transcend tweaking rear cowl colorways, textures, and the digital camera module form and placement. Design really has come to be a phrase meaning little or no within the smartphone panorama.

It is like a notification system on steroids.

And in comes Nothing with its clear again and the “Glyph” interface that appears radically completely different from something on the market proper now. In dictionary phrases, the phrase “glyph” originates from Greek structure, however its extra fashionable which means is “an emblem that conveys info non-verbally.” Within the case of the Nothing Cellphone 1, the Glyph is one thing that conveys info with out having to mild up the show of the cellphone.

Nothing Phone 1 charging light MKBHD

The charging indicator behind Cellphone 1.

The LEDs behind the system can beam in numerous patterns and sync up with completely different sounds. It’s like a notification system on steroids, pulsating for incoming calls, messages, app alerts, and extra. I particularly just like the neat charging progress bar (pictured) that glows on the backside of the rear cowl. Your complete factor also can mild up without delay to behave as a fill mild for the cameras. And due to Nothing’s community-led strategy, the interface shall be open for folks to construct extra customized results. That ought to be attention-grabbing.

Truthfully, that is probably the most innovation I’ve seen in smartphone design shortly. Not solely does the Cellphone 1 give us a peek beneath its hood, but it surely additionally has some enjoyable options related to its distinctive design. Not like Xiaomi’s Mi 8 Explorer Version, which peddled transparency however as an alternative gave us a bunch of pretend circuitry on the again, Nothing has created an attention-grabbing but practical rear cowl.

Nothing has created an attention-grabbing but practical rear cowl that shines in a sea of sameness.

Don’t get me improper. I’m not dissing all different smartphone OEMs and their design decisions. The well-established manufacturers make telephones that attraction to the mass market, and in that, they must kind of play it secure with their decisions. Which means equipping telephones with a few cameras on the again, a giant show up entrance, and varied colour choices.

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Nevertheless, Nothing is a startup and getting into a tricky market. The worldwide chip scarcity may be very actual, leading to launch delays, potential product cancellations, and rising element costs. Nothing additionally faces an uphill battle in a market overcrowded with choices. On high of that, the Cellphone 1 isn’t anticipated to be a flagship killer just like the early OnePlus telephones, despite the fact that Carl Pei is behind it.

Nothing Phone 1 glowing live image

So what does a brand new firm do to face out in such an surroundings? Making simply one other common cellphone is certainly not the reply. It’ll get misplaced in a sea of similar slabs. Experimenting with industrial design is Nothing’s greatest wager to shine by way of the monotony. It’s the one factor the agency can depend on to make a distinction, particularly provided that the Nothing launcher doesn’t actually have loads going for it proper now.

The design might not attraction to everybody, however Nothing does not have to fret an excessive amount of about that.

Even in case you consider that the Cellphone 1’s rear cowl setup is a glorified gimmick, it’s nonetheless a intelligent one. The corporate could also be overhyping the cellphone and its design might not attraction to everybody, but it surely doesn’t have to fret an excessive amount of about that. Nothing is a newcomer and, as such, can afford to paint exterior the traces. The Cellphone 1 received’t have a giant manufacturing run to start with, too, so it’s not just like the agency can have lifeless stock on its arms in case the design doesn’t discover plenty of followers. It might probably afford to focus on a selected area of interest, identical to Pei’s first enterprise, OnePlus, did again within the day.

For OnePlus, it was Cyanogen OS. The primary cellphone shipped with the business model of CyanogenMod — the most well-liked community-developed customized ROM again then. Not solely did that entice the software program’s loyal devotees, but it surely additionally appealed to individuals who most well-liked a clear, stock-like aesthetic. The Glyph and the clear design of the Nothing Cellphone 1 comply with the identical recipe — they simply accomplish that with {hardware} as an alternative of software program.

You’ll be able to see Pei has a singular design theme in thoughts for a wider ecosystem.

Add to that the truth that the Nothing Cellphone 1 compliments the design of the corporate’s first product — the Ear 1 buds — and you’ll see Pei has a theme in thoughts for a broader ecosystem. In an interview with Wallpaper, Pei expressed his appreciation for Apple’s “coherent imaginative and prescient” for its merchandise. “For those who had a desk stuffed with merchandise from one other producer, you don’t actually see that,” he stated, stressing how Nothing desires to create a design language of its personal for its ecosystem.

Associated: Nothing is borrowing all the appropriate strikes from the early OnePlus playbook

Nothing Phone 1 in hand

Tying it with a bow is what Nothing has to do now. Latest rumors point out that the Cellphone 1 will function a Snapdragon 700-series chipset. That robotically places it in a pool of less-powerful telephones. Positive, Qualcomm’s mid-range chips provide complete 5G capabilities and sufficient energy for each day wants — the Pixel 5 is a main instance of a great Snapdragon 700 sequence system — however they lack the processing speeds and digital camera prowess that solely flagship SoCs can provide. No different specs of the Cellphone 1 have leaked to date, however the image being painted just isn’t one thing we haven’t seen earlier than.

What do you consider the Nothing Cellphone 1 design?

5957 votes

So getting that design proper, ensuring it really works as supposed, and guaranteeing it doesn’t horribly deplete the cellphone’s battery is one thing we hope Nothing has paid shut consideration to. As a result of it could be its solely and largest pawn within the sport. For now, I like what I see, and so do a lot of our readers who voted in our ballot above.

Up subsequent: If the Nothing Cellphone 1 isn’t low-cost, it is going to fail