Why Nothing Phone excites me more than the iPhone 14 or the Samsung Galaxy S23

Nothing, the company founded by Carl Pei of OnePlus, recently announced the Nothing Phone (1), developing its best-selling headphones, the Nothing Ear (1).

We don’t have many concrete details for the Nothing Phone (1) yet, other than a few things. Talk to The edgePei revealed that the Phone (1) will run an Android skin developed by Nothing, called Nothing OS, and will target iPhone users.

The Nothing Phone (1) will arrive in “summer 2022”, therefore quite early and probably before the iPhone 14 (which will arrive in September or October). Its specs are quite likely to be top of the line, including a large display.

Pei himself also hinted that sound was one of the goals of the phone (1). “Our sound design is really cool,” he told The Verge, “so check that out.” Given that the only device Nothing has released is a pair of headphones, that makes sense.

But other than that, not much is known. Despite that, however, I’m excited about the Nothing Phone (1) even more than the incoming iPhone 14 and Samsung Galaxy S23 smartphones, and here are the main reasons why.

Nothing Telephone 1

(Image credit: Nothing)

Competition is good

Different competing smartphone manufacturers are good for users. It’s a fact.

Samsung and Apple (and sometimes Google) have been pushing each other for years to introduce the latest and greatest features, a big win for anyone buying a smartphone.

Nothing that enters the arena is a plus from this point of view, especially if the phone (1) includes new features that are not present (or at least not highlighted) on the iPhone models and galaxy.

If the focus is on sound, as Pei puts it, that could inspire Apple and Samsung to push their devices’ speakers even further.

Nothing OS looks interesting

We’re very familiar with “vanilla” Android, found on the Pixel line, and Samsung’s One UI, but Nothing OS – the upcoming Android skin – seems like an interesting concept.

Admittedly, we really haven’t seen much of it, and one thing that Android smartphones have consistently struggled with is delivering smooth performance like iOS.

Nothing on their own says the OS will include “just the essentials, where every byte has a purpose”, so hopefully it will be lacking in any kind of bloatware.

Pei is working with former Dyson design chief Adam Bates to create Nothing OS and Phone (1) and has praised the vacuum maker for its simple, elegant designs.

Nothing wants to build an ecosystem

One of Pei’s main goals is to build a ecosystem – not just a single device. The goal is similar to Apple’s overall ecosystem around the iPhone.

There are no plans to produce devices itself and add integrations from outside partners, like Apple, and has already laid some of the groundwork with Ear(1).

We’ve seen many brands of course trying to create ecosystems, and some like Xiaomi have done this while trying to appeal to the mass market in terms of price, really aiming to democratize technology. But nothing could be different.

Pei’s latest venture, OnePlus, made a name for itself with its flagship mobile phones, and although it had a few attempts to create other technologies, these arguably never really caught on and became almost as successful. The OnePlus Watch, for example, has never been closer to seriously challenging the Apple Watch. So if Pei can building a true Nothing ecosystem of products that offer unique, innovative and connected experiences, without breaking the customer’s bank balance, is going to be huge.

Of course there is a long way to go: the walled garden of Apple was not built in a day. But in the next few years, maybe Nothing will be able to impose itself.

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