Early design sketches reveal the Nothing phone (1)’s unusual new look



Early design sketches of the Nothing phone (1) have been published by Wallpaper magazine, giving us our best look yet of the hotly anticipated handset.

Most phones don’t make their design debuts in classy cultural monthlies, but Carl Pei and his colleagues have been keen to emphasize from the start that the Nothing phone (1) will not be like other phones.

In an exclusive interview with Wallpaper magazine, co-founder Carl Pei and the head of design at Nothing, Tom Howard, revealed some early sketches of the phone and revealed insights into its innovative look.

The above image, which is our best look yet at the mysterious device due to be revealed this summer, shows that the brand will take a similar approach as with the Nothing Ear (1) true wireless headphones, with a transparent back that shows off the internal components.

Speaking on the design and engineering challenges that this engenders, Tom Howard said, “From a design perspective, we really wanted to bring the inside out, and that meant working with the engineers to start from first principles. There are over 400 components in a smartphone, assembled in layers. We wanted to celebrate the ‘good ones’, the things we thought were really interesting to emphasise… From an industry perspective, you’re looking at components that the end user normally never sees, so you almost have to overhaul the entire manufacturing process in order to highlight them.”

Interestingly, Howard named subway maps as one of the design team’s influences, due to how they clarify and declutter an otherwise complex system of lines and connections.

Speaking on the Nothing’s design philosophy, Carl Peri said, “One of the issues we saw with the tech industry was that nobody had a consistent way of designing products. Apart from Apple – you can see their coherent vision. But if you had a table full of products from another manufacturer, you don’t really see that. From the very start, we wanted to have a very distinct and iconic design language of our own.”

Prior to this in-depth interview, the only insight we’d had into the Nothing phone (1) was the cryptic hieroglyph above which was unveiled when the device was first announced. We still know very little of how the device will turn out, though it seems that the run-up to the launch may be peppered with similar breadcrumb clues as those above in order to increase hype.

We do at least know that it it will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip; possibly even the newly-announced Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. What’s more, we’ve also had a look at the beta version of the Nothing OS launcher, the phone’s user interface, which is a very basic and bare-bones affair similar to stock Android that did not do much to whet our appetite for the phone.

Expected to be unveiled this summer, the Nothing phone (1) will be an O2 network exclusive in the UK, and will also be available via Flipkart in India and on Telekom Deutschland in Germany.



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