If nothing else, the phone (1) brought some fun
REVIEW: The jury is still out on the quality of the phone (1) compared to its peers, but its launch has certainly shaken things up.
Without fail, there are always a few days of the year that make everyone in the smartphone industry stop and take notice; the upcoming iPhone 14 launch will surely be one of them, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra launch events and Android 13 unveiling were also very notable. Yet these long-awaited days are written calendar years in advance so that, to quote an unusually poetic James Bond villain, they may seem to “appear with the tedious inevitability of an unloved season.”
While the products themselves tend to be impressive, they’re still variations on the same theme we’ve been hearing about for a long time, and thus don’t give us the thrill of newness; in general, names, designs, and even many internal elements can be confidently predicted from year to year.
For this reason, one of the pleasant surprises of the year was the launch this week of the Nothing Phone (1), the first smartphone launched by the London start-up, and which, curiously, has already reached levels of interest similar to those that are generally enjoyed only the latest and greatest product releases from Apple.
Whether you’re a fan of its unique design aesthetic, like my colleague Tom Deehan is, or a bit more skeptical about whether it can actually deliver the goods, like my colleague Alastair Stevenson is, the point is that this product got people talking like few have in recent memory.
This effect was not limited to the four walls of our office, of course, but to the four corners of the world, as the same debates raged on social media, with fans and detractors caught in the dark of the action. (And even the brand’s co-founder, Carl Pei, chimed in, with apparent glee.)
All this talk is a very good thing for the market in general, which can sometimes seem to be moving forward on received wisdom rather than taking many bold steps into the unknown (at least in recent years). The launch of this device made us ask ourselves some interesting questions, such as how important innovative design is to the appeal of a smartphone, whether a flagship chipset is really necessary for our performance needs, and what value for money can you find in smartphones? mid-range phones today. .
For industries to continue to innovate, it is important that discussions like this do not stop, but rather intensify, as consumers wonder aloud where they can best spend their money. If the bottom line is that they really (literally) want flashy phones, or that flagships are redundant as the mid-range progresses, then we could be in for some interesting years as the market shifts to accommodate these new tastes.
Our full review of the Nothing Phone (1) will be available shortly, after we’ve had time to put it through our rigorous review process to find out just how good it really is. That’s when we’ll have the last word and tell you if it’s just a curious novelty or if it’s really worth your hard-earned money. In the meantime though, it’s been a delight to see the excitement of something completely different come to the fore and stoke passions on every level like nothing we’ve seen in quite some time.
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