UK-based tech start-up Nothing has unveiled its first smartphone, which the company says “marks the start of change in a stagnant industry” as it seeks to challenge Apple and Samsung.
The Nothing Phone (1) goes on sale July 21 in the UK, starting at £399, exclusively on the O2 network.
The phone runs the enterprise version of Google’s Android operating system – called Nothing OS – and comes with a 6.5-inch OLED display that supports 120Hz refresh rate and dual rear cameras of 50 megapixels – all the high-end features often found on £1000 flagship phones.
The phone (1) also comes with an eye-catching translucent rear panel that shows off some of the device’s internals and houses a number of small LEDs that can flash in unique patterns to indicate call and app notifications and the phone’s charging status.
Nothing’s chief executive and founder, Carl Pei – who previously co-founded smartphone company OnePlus, said: “We designed Phone (1) as a product we would be proud to share with our friends and family.
“This simple principle has helped us think outside the box, listen to our instincts, and create an experience that hopefully marks the beginning of change in a stagnant industry.”
However, industry expert Ben Wood warned that despite the company’s hopes of being disruptive, the smartphone market is “frighteningly competitive” and Nothing “has a mountain to climb”.
Mr. Wood, smartphone expert and chief analyst at CCS Insight, said: “The smartphone market is fiercely competitive and is dominated by Apple and Samsung who have incredible resources.
“The rest of the addressable market is a tussle between many Chinese manufacturers desperate to grab a share, making it even more difficult for a new entrant to break into the segment.
“Add to the current macroeconomic situation and the pressure of the cost of living and it means that succeeding will be a huge challenge. Carl Pei has recognized this himself, so his ambition and determination are to be admired.
“It’s arguable that the market doesn’t need another smartphone maker, in fact in the current climate consolidation is probably more likely, but as someone with a passion for mobile phones, that’s great to see a company like Nothing step up to try and do something a little disturbing.”
Mr Wood also praised the company’s preparation for launch, which included teasing about the phone and its features to help develop early supporters, but added that “sustaining long-term sales will be the challenge. “.