Nothing Phone: Carl Pei’s anti-iPhone Android falls into the mainstream OnePlus trap, but that’s okay!
Nothing – a phone that seems to come out of nowhere, trying to achieve something…
doesn’t launch until July 12, but thanks to some new leaks, we already have a good idea of what Carl Pei’s new creation is in store for – Nothing’s specs, price and ambitions are all up in the air. close on the table now.
by Marks Brownlee. It’s two sheets of Gorilla Glass held together by an aluminum frame and a ton of glue. In other words – a familiar phone concept.
But undoubtedly, the most remarkable thing about the Nothing phone is its transparent back, covered with LED lights. Nine hundred of them, to be precise – that’s 9-0-0. They can light up in various scenarios, like when you’re charging the phone itself or when the back of the phone is being used to wirelessly charge your headphones; as a battery percentage indicator and even as a video recording indicator.
As you can see from the spec sheet, if we ignore the hype that’s built up around the Nothing phone over the last year, the simple way to look at it is as a mid-range Android device with lights LED and a cheeky name that opens up a million different pun possibilities. I call them opportunities
Carl Pei’s Nothing Phone 1: Flagship Killer 2.0 – OnePlus (almost) to start over…
The photo on the left was posted by Pei on Twitter. Cheeky.
Before we dive into the corny stuff and bops, I can’t avoid giving Nothing Is Great credit. marketing campaign. Of course, it’s a familiar marketing campaign. OK, painfully familiar.
But it’s the same Peid strategy that turned OnePlus into a hype machine… The slow-but-steady-paced mythical feature reveals itself on social media; the direct way in which the company likes to address its audience; and the over-performing nature, which is so typical for a startup. Check, check and check….
Unsurprisingly, it seems to be working well so far! The Nothing phone’s exclusive YouTube video has over 6.5 million hits, which is about as impressive as it gets for an unreleased first phone. However, there are a few things that might challenge Carl Pei’s idea of a Flagship Killer 2.0and some of them are quite obvious. Name them with me:
- The Nothing Phone won’t be available in North America (the OnePlus One wasn’t either)
- The Nothing phone will be sold through an invite-only system (like the OnePlus One)
- The Nothing Phone will not be a direct flagship competitor when it comes to general specs and price (despite flagship phone sales hitting a new high from Q1 2022)
The Nothing community (partly made up of OG OnePlus users) is behind Carl Pei & Co
Despite the availability struggles that are inevitable when you have a small team of 300, Pei & Co has the attention of almost 200,000 people who have signed up to pre-order the Nothing Phone 1. Here are some enthusiastic YouTube comments from March, when Pei announced the Nothing Phone:
- Focus on better repair ability. Do not super lock hardware.
- Same for software. Let people play with it, don’t make it a super closed system.
- Price appropriately. DON’T GET greedy. The money will come gradually with other services as well.
- Build a great ecosystem (I know you work for this).
- Always be young, energetic, don’t get lazy and make your product just to sell it. Make it innovative and compelling.
- Make an “X” model of your phone which can be super feature rich.. like your test bed for phone enthusiasts.
But will lightning strike twice for Pei and will that be good or bad?
Will Carl Pei’s Nothing fall into the same “mainstream trap” as OnePlus?
Black, black, black!
The answer is… absolutely no. Because, unlike the OnePlus 2013, Nothing already is a mainstream brand…
It’s a public secret – Carl Pei is gone OnePlus because its desired vision of what a “disruptive phone” is supposed to look like was no longer achievable at the scale OnePlus had achieved. However, while some might forget, OnePlus technically wasn’t Pei’s only attempt to create a brand with a focused mission.
If you remember how the OnePlus Nord launched, you would know it was a very similar campaign to the launch of Nothing Phone. The Nord was and is its own brand – it has separate social media accounts from OnePlus, and the pure existence of the budget Nord range is essentially OnePlus and Pei admitting that their most popular phones are no longer “flagship killers” , but simply florets.
Then if we go way back and watch the original OnePlus One we would see was a phone that had a real target audience and a clear mission too. The original OnePlus was the phone for Android enthusiasts and modders. It literally ran the highly customizable CyanogenMod instead of Google’s version of Android, a locked-down OS like Apple’s, or a messy overlay like Samsung’s TouchWiz.
But of course that had to change. As it grew, OnePlus started looking for wider appeal, but guess what! That’s what happens when a business starts to grow.
Nothing Phone (1): Carl Pei will never settle
Yesthe Nothing phone is a confusing “iPhone competitor” (according to Pei’s ambition), which has absolutely no chance of robbing iPhone users Apple. For one thing, the Nothing Phone 1 isn’t a flagship device and it still runs…Android. If you don’t believe in Cupertino’s gravitational pull, ask Android phone makers like Samsung and Google if it’s easy to compete with Apple…Reallythe Nothing phone seems like just another Android, trying to be something it’s not and that’s because of Pei’s eternal idea of things that have to be”fixed“and the phones that must”become fun“. His Twitter bio literally says, “Let’s make tech fun again!” »…
But who smartphone problems does the Nothing Phone go to fix? Is it easily fixable? Super tough? Is it the most durable phone ever? Will its battery last three days? Does it carry a revolutionary camera sensor like the Xiaomi 12S Ultra? Not really. And that’s OK!
Nothing Phone should be proud to be mainstream
I’m just trying to say that actually I As what the Nothing phone is becoming! It is an adequately priced device that looks attractive and different sufficient. For example, it has flat sides (ironically, iPhone-inspired), a bold rear look (totally badass in black), and somewhat chunky but symmetrical display borders, which I prefer over the opposite approach which is badly chosen by the manufacturers 9/10 times.
Yes! I say I like what I see! It took me a minute to get into the design, but I’m there now. However, it’s the bizarre notion behind the Nothing phone that makes it seem… embarrassed be what he is. It’s a consumer phone that tries to appeal to the masses by calling out other consumer phones to be…too mainstream. Just watch Pei passively and sometimes actively aggressive keynote, which is literally called… “THE TRUTH”. All in capitals.
Anyway, I hope the launch of Nothing goes smoothly… you know – despite Carl’s obsession with being the good guy. ‘Cause if after a whole season of teasers, we got another one rushed android phone full of bugs and a rear light show, existing value champions from established brands like the Galaxy S21 FE, Google Pixel 6 and The iPhone 12 (450-550 €), will make Nothing’s mission of success even more impossible than it already seems. Moreover, the Google Pixel 6A and Google Pixel 7 is also knocking on the door now…
But you know what…I’m rooting for nothing! Get Peid, Carl.