Nothing is set to release its new environmentally-friendly smartphone. Is it worth the hype?

Until recently, tech start-up Nothing has remained somewhat under the radar.

That changed when the company, which was founded in 2020, announced its newest Nothing Phone (1), which has quickly gained attention from tech enthusiasts and consumers alike.

On June 16, the company unveiled the design of the phone — which is the firm’s second-ever product launch – to a private audience during the Art Basel event in Switzerland.

Here’s everything we know so far about the newest handset billed as one of the most environmentally-friendly to be released on the market.

What makes the Nothing Phone (1) so different?

At first glance, the model seems to be similar in design and features to the iPhone 12 – with flattened edges, side button layouts and dual rear-facing cameras.

The phone features a transparent back and was inspired by artists like Massimo Vignelli who designed New York’s subway map and made a complex system look like art.

“We were inspired by our childhoods, the rush of engaging with our first-ever tech products – like the transparent Gameboy, or even old cassette tapes,” Akis Evangelidis, Head of Marketing and Co-Founder of Nothing, told Euronews Next.

He adds that modern tech design has “become cold and doesn’t trigger the same sense of excitement as it used to”.

The design team is fronted by Adam Bates, a former designer for Dyson.

What really sets this product apart, however, is Nothing’s commitment to sustainability.

“We can’t deny the importance of sustainability at this stage, especially within the consumer tech industry,” Evangelidis continued. “We really don’t want to be another brand caught up in greenwashing”.

The phone is made up of a 100 per cent recycled aluminum frame which makes it light and robust, while over 50 per cent of the phone’s plastic components are made with bio-based or post-consumer recycled materials — an industry-leading percentage.

Packaging for the phone will also be made from bio-friendly soybean ink, recycled fiber (bamboo, trees and sugarcane) and entirely without plastic components.

“We want to support our customers, and tech users alike, in making an informed decision while we keep on finding new ways to improve on tech sustainability,” Evangelidis told Euronews Next.

“For years now, it felt like all the artists had left the industry. All we’re left with are cold, unexciting and derivative products. It was time for a fresh take.” said Carl Pei, CEO and Co-founder of Nothing in a statement.

“Phone (1) was designed out of instinct, making a product for ourselves and more importantly that we would be proud to share with our loved ones. Can’t wait for people to start experiencing it.”

The Nothing phone will run off a custom version of Android, backed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset.

While many may hope that the phone will use the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, it’s perhaps more reasonable to expect the more affordable Snapdragon 7 Gen 1.

In a tweet posted on June 15 announcing the new product, which showed the design of the back of the phone, Pei said, “leaks are harder to contain nowadays and many of you have been waiting for a long time. So here it is.”

When will the phone be released?

Nothing has yet to set a concrete date on when the smartphone will go on sale.

The company first confirmed that it was working on a smartphone in March 2022, at the time only confirming the launch will take place in the summer of this year.

Since then, the release date has gotten a bit more specific with the promise of a launch event for the phone on 12 July at 4 pm BST (5 pm CET).

There are rumours that the product will be available to order as soon as the event concludes; However, others suggest the launch could be a bit delayed due to supply chain issues.

However, you can technically buy the phone before its launch.

The company has teamed up with StockX to auction the first 100 serialized units of phone (1) with all proceeds going towards a community-managed fund.

The special phones will be engraved and serialized, available in a 48-hour auction beginning 21 June at 2 pm BST (3 pm CET).

How much will the Nothing Phone (1) cost?

With the release of the phone yet to come, Nothing has yet to put a solid price tag on the product. However, judging from previous releases by the company, it’s expected to be more affordable than its competitors.

The Ear (1) headphones, for instance, were priced at $99 (€94.09), leagues below their counterparts in price while retaining premium features like active noise cancellation.

If the same ethos is applied to the company’s newest product launch, we can expect the Phone (1) to come in at a mid-range price whilst not sacrificing the premium features you’d expect from leading smartphones in the industry.

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