Nothing Phone (1) Glyph Interface: All About Those Lights On The Back

Ahead of the launch of the Nothing(1) phone, an exclusive new look at the London-based startup’s first smartphone finally gives some insight into the unconventional design on the back of the phone. The exclusive look at the phone is courtesy of YouTuber MKBHD, who showed off the Nothing(1) phone from all angles in his new video.

The video also gave a first look at the front of the Nothing phone (1) which has uniform bezels and a punch-hole camera aligned to the top left. It also offered a preview of the lighting setup on the back of the phone, which Nothing calls the Glyph interface.

Nothing phone (1): What is the Glyph interface?

The Glyph interface on the back of the phone consists of five light strips, said to be made up of over 900 LEDs, on the back of the phone that glow together or in combinations to give users more information on things like charging, notifications and calls when the phone is placed on the back.

This is coupled with a Glyph interface settings page, where you can configure the lighting strips as desired. This includes setting up lights to show you how charged your battery is, indicating when wireless reverse charging has been engaged and more.

How will the Glyph interface work?

The phone interface settings page (1) will allow users to set various items related to these LEDs on the back. These include adjusting the brightness of the lights themselves, some built-in buzzers that illuminate various parts of the light strips in sync with the music from the buzzer, and a Flip-to-Glyph feature, which can trigger the Glyph interface so that it only works when the phone is flipped.

We can also see that the Glyph interface can be configured to kick in or shut down at a particular time of day.

What can the Glyph interface do?

Return to glyph: When the phone is placed upside down, the Glyph lights may flash to indicate incoming calls or notifications.

Reverse wireless charging indication: The Glyph lights around the wireless charger may light up when you use the phone to wirelessly charge accessories such as the Nothing headphones (1).

Glyph lights are integrated with reverse wireless charging and wired charging. (Image source: YouTube/MKBHD)

Charging indication and progress bar: The Glyph lights near the bottom of the phone include a circle and a stripe. When the phone is charging, the circle lights up to indicate the same, while the strip above doubles as a progress bar to show you how much the phone has been charged.

LED Flash: The full set of Glyph lights can light up together at full brightness to act as a system of LED flashes when taking photos or shooting video at night. So the phone doesn’t have a dedicated flash module, because the whole Glyph interface is the flash module here.

nothing phone 1, nothing phone 1 lights, nothing phone 1 glyph interface, glyph interface, The entire Glyph interface also doubles as a powerful camera flash when you need it. (Image source: YouTube/MKBHD)

Recording indicator: In addition to the white Glyph LED lights, there is also a red LED under the diagonal light strip at the top right of the phone. This flashes at intervals when you use the phone to record videos of yourself, letting you know that recording is in progress.

Ringtones Glyphs: Glyph lights can be used in tandem with the ringtones preset on the phone (1) to illuminate parts of the Glyph interface in sync with the ringtone. You can also assign particular ringtones to contacts and the lights will let you know who’s calling when the phone is upside down.

nothing phone 1, nothing phone 1 lights, nothing phone 1 glyph interface, glyph interface, Glyph ringtones will sync ringtone music with phone lights to alert users. (Image source: YouTube/MKBHD)

Other Features: The Glyph interface can also be turned off automatically during bedtime mode and there’s also a Google Assistant feedback option that we don’t know much about yet. Our guess is that it lights up on the back whenever Google Assistant is voice-triggered so you know the assistant is listening even when the phone is upside down.

While these are the only features we are likely to see at launch, nothing may add more functionality for the Glyph interface in the future via software updates, although this is not yet confirmed and we will know more during the launch event, which kicks off on July 12 next month.