Nothing's 'The Truth' event was its most significant to date in the company's short history, and it officially announced its first handset, the Nothing Phone (1).
It wasn't a huge surprise, as in recent months, rumors and leaks around a phone had increased, peaking last month when a photo posted on twitter supposedly showing Pei demoing an undefined handset to Qualcomm CEO, Cristiano Amon during MWC 2022.
Although the Nothing Phone (1) was announced, very little detail was actually revealed - we didn't even get to see the device, just a logo that will appear on its rear.
You can see how the event went down below, from our Nothing event live blog.
Nothing so far
So, what do we know about Nothing's journey to date?
- 2020: founded by former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei
- 2020: raises $7 million in seed funding
- Feb 2021: raises $15 million in Series A funding round
- Mar 2021: raises $1.5 million in community funding round
- Mar 2021: Concept 1 earbud revealed
- Jul 2021: Ear (1) earbuds launched, Nothing's first product
- Oct 2021: Raises $50 million in extended Series A funding round
- Mar 2022: raises $70 million in Series B funding round
- Mar 2022: 'The Truth' roadmap reveal
Hopefully today we'll get a much better gauge on future product plans.
Watch today's Nothing event live
Alongside following our commentary on the event, you can also watch today's livestream on YouTube.
Will we see the Nothing Phone today?
Quite possibly. Rumors have intensified in recent weeks, even though there's still very little that's actually leaked about the phone. However, a TechCrunch report (opens in new tab) citing sources who confirmed the handset's existence was swiftly followed up by a photo posted to Twitter by @evleaks (opens in new tab) potentially showing the phone in the hands of Carl Pei.
Nothing's first product wasn't a phone
With Carl Pei's history embedded in smartphones at OnePlus, a few eyebrows were raised when Nothing's first product was a set of wireless earbuds.
The Nothing Ear (1) true wireless earbuds featured a partially transparent casing in an attempt to set them apart from the competition.
While they are a solid set of buds, and we noted in our review they were "comfortable to wear and distinctive" in their look, they didn't manage to break into our best true wireless earbuds roundup - will the Nothing Phone fare better when shooting for a place in our best smartphones list? Time will tell.
- Read our in-depth Nothing Ear (1) review
Carl is awake...
... and he's tweeting. He wants the truth. So do we. Let's hope we get it today.
Tell me the truthMarch 23, 2022
Are you ready... for The Truth?
It's a bold statement, naming your event 'The Truth' and Nothing will need to deliver some significant announcements to live up to the hype it's attempting to generate.
While some may remain skeptical around the company's marketing strategy, it's worth noting that at Pei's previous employer, its 'Flagship Killer' tagline for the early OnePlus phones helped propel the brand to relevance in an already crowded market.
Are you ready for The Truth?Live today 14:00 GMT.#NothingeventMarch 23, 2022
One hour to go
With an hour to go before the big event, why not take a peek behind-the-scenes of the filming for today's livestream.
In the video below, Carl Pei says "now we're coming out to really tell people what we're doing. This be a pivotal moment."
Let’s get transparent.While we’re getting ready for the #Nothingevent on 23 March, we invite you to come behind-the-scenes of the shoot.Watch the new Nothing Updates here.March 18, 2022
"Talking about our next product"
Nothing will definitely talk about a product during its event, and while all rumors point towards a phone, we won't know for sure until Pei takes to the stage.
But that's not all, as we'll also learn about the company's "long term vision" - although just how detailed that will be remains to be seen.
How many will be watching?
It will be interesting to see how many people tune in live for the event. We know it's been pre-recorded, so it's only 'live' in the sense the video will start playing at 2pm / 10am ET / 7am PT today.
Currently - with 20 minutes to go until it starts - there are just over 1,700 people waiting. Will that figure significantly jump up as we get closer?
What do we know about the Nothing Phone?
If (and it's still very much if) the Nothing Phone is revealed today, we'll find out if the handful of rumors and teasers were accurate.
Previous reports point towards the handset featuring a Qualcomm SoC (system-on-chip) and a cheeky tweet exchange a couple of months ago between Pei and the official Qualcomm and Android accounts suggestions the phone will run Android - hardly a surprise, as it was never going to be iOS or Windows Phone (RIP good buddy).
Viewership over 5k
There are now more than 5,000 people eagerly waiting to watch the livestream, and while this is quite low compared to bigger brands, Nothing will hope that its dedicated fan base has turned out in force to support.
1 minute to go
And we're off! Nothing is showing off positive quotes from Ear (1) reviews.
Actually, hold that thought. The livestream appears to be experiencing issues and has returned to a non-playing state. Curious.
Needless to say, the chat on the YouTube livestream is popping off with viewers experiencing the same issue. Hopefully we'll be up and running soon.
And we off again... sort of
We're watching on a few different devices, and while the stream has started on one - running through those Ear (1) review quotes, we're still getting nothing (lol) on other devices.
Two minutes to go... maybe?
On the screen scrolling through review quotes there's a countdown clock with two minutes left on it. Hopefully, soon, we'll get something.
My words appear on-screen!
And I stand by them - don't let me down, Nothing!
We're off... finally
"Today's product system are dull, closed" says Carl Pei.
He is explaining his love for technology dates back to the first Android phone - the HTC dream, as well as walkmans and more.
But he claims the excitement in new tech has disappeared and no one is innovating.
"I believe in something bigger"
"History has chosen us" Pei continues. "If not us, then who?"
"Let me update you on Nothing." The firm has 300 people working across six countries. Its supply chain is ready, and has partnered with Google, Samsung, Qualcomm and Sony.
There's plenty of capital (money) as well, with tens of millions of dollars of funding already raised.
In March 2020 Nothing raised $1.5 million in seconds through community investing.
Ear (1) buds
Now Pei is talking about the Ear (1) earbuds, and they've sold almost half a million to date. But Ear (1) was just a warm-up - "we're not an audio company".
"We're building the most compelling alternative to Apple" Pei claims. "There's no alternative to Apple, consumers have no choice."
Nothing's ecosystem will be open - it'll feature Nothing products, but also products from other manufacturers.
Nothing Phone (1) confirmed
Pei has officially confirmed the name of the first smartphone from the firm - the Nothing Phone (1).
Pei hopes the Phone (1) will "wake up" the smartphone market. Design wise "it's unlike anything you've seen before" apparently - but if that's purely relating to a transparent body - we have seen that before, so Nothing needs something a bit more up its sleeve.
We're being teased about its looks, but we're not being shown the actual phone. Sigh.
The Nothing Phone (1) will run NothingOS, which is a light interface over the top of stock Android, which will apparently offer a "fast and smooth" experience. We're being shown some screenshots of the interface. It's all very grey and black. Simple, minimalist... maybe a little dull.
From April, you'll be able to test-drive the new NothingOS interface on supported phones, to give you a taste before the handset launches fully "later this summer".
New community investing round
For those who want to invest - and risk money - Nothing will be opening a new series of community funding soon.
And that's it - short, sweet and perhaps not as substantial in terms of announcements and reveals as we were hoping for.
Nothing Phone (1): what we know so far
We've collated all the Nothing Phone (1) information that's currently been announced into one handy article, just for you. And, of course, we'll be keeping it continually updated as more details are revealed in the coming months.
A close as you'll get, for now
This is a close as you'll get to seeing the new Nothing Phone (1) for now, a brief 18 second teaser video which focuses on the logo which will appear on the rear of the handset.
What is does suggest, however, is this logo could be illuminated - and if the casing of the phone is transparent these lights may highlight visible components inside the device.
You’ve speculated, and now you know.Nothing phone (1) is officially coming.It’s unlike anything else.Summer 2022.Sign up for the latest updates on https://t.co/pLWW07l8G7. pic.twitter.com/Lo4UPkk7MTMarch 23, 2022
The Nothing Ecosystem
Pei has taken to his Twitter (thread below) account post-launch to roll through the wider-goals for Nothing, and at the heart of it sits the 'Nothing Ecosystem'.
The company wants to build a product ecosystem that rivals Apple, but unlike the Cupertino, California-based firm, Nothing wants its offering to be open to devices from other companies, rather than being restrictive to outsiders.
The Phone (1) sits at the heart of the ecosystem, as our smartphones rapidly become the devices we use to control everything else in our lives - from our smart home, to our vehicles to our tech accessories.
Pei writes: "Our product ecosystem will be different. And open. We will first focus on core product categories, products on which people spend the majority of their time on screen starting this year with the smartphone.
"We will then build a product ecosystem consisting of both Nothing products and products from other world-leading brands, created to effortlessly integrate with each other.
"Finally, we will enhance the user experience through services, while building it all with our community."
It's a bold statement and mission, and there's a long way to go to achieve this goal. It's not the first company to try and rival Apple's ecosystem, and it'll be a while before we can tell whether it's successful or not.
This is it. It’s now official. 🚨This summer we will be launching our first ever smartphone - phone (1). 📱While it is going to be unlike anything you have seen, and I am super excited about it, this is just the start of the Nothing story. 👇 pic.twitter.com/5CGKf3sNklMarch 23, 2022
Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals!
Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.