The Nothing Phone 1’s Glyph interface may be hot air, but that might be all it needs to succeed

Nothing has fed us more and more details about its elusive first smartphone over the past few months. We already know all about it, away from some specification details. This strategy has accumulated in an exclusive MKBHD hands-on video showcasing the Phone 1’s unique Glyph interface on the back, showing how a number of strategically placed LED strips pulse, flash and light up to give you notification lights. unique, among other things. It might be flashy, and it might be party stuff that gets old pretty quickly, but it’s still something the phone industry desperately needs these days.


Smartphones have become a commodity. The days of experimentation are over, with today’s most exciting phones being foldable. One of the more original manufacturers with interesting ideas, LG, has exited the market, and even Samsung has grown to focus on a clean software experience in favor of the old gadget-packed TouchWiz UI. For many markets around the world, smartphone upgrades have become iterative. The only things that change are display sizes, front and rear camera locations and numbers, and slight performance and speed bumps.

Boring as you might find Nothing’s marketing strategy, the new company is one of the few that has at least tried to create a unique smartphone without losing its mass-market appeal – a problem that has plagued many LG phones. , including the company’s latest phone. , the LG wing. From everything we’ve seen on the Phone 1, it’s not really something that requires you to relearn or rethink how to use your smartphone, and all your apps will work on it as expected. Its shape, size and component placement are remarkably similar to the iPhone 12, making it an instantly familiar handset for the vast majority of people. It just extends the proven formula with a key differentiating feature – the transparent back with its Glyph interface.

The LG Wing looks interesting, but is it really practical for the vast majority of smartphone owners?

This strategy allows Nothing to attract a large audience and create just enough novelty for people to ask others on the street what phone they are using. what apparently happened more often than I would have thought. The Phone 1, for all intents and purposes, makes smartphones interesting again without even remotely trying to reinvent the formula.

Probably the best thing about the Glyph interface is that it wipes away if you don’t want to use it or once you get bored. There’s probably nothing that will require you to use its flashing lights and melodies for your notifications and calls, as you’ll almost certainly be able to mute it like any other phone.

If the Phone 1 lives up to its promises, you still get an excellent and exclusive mid-range smartphone with a reserved version of the Android UI, with a neat transparent back. The Glyph interface is basically a marketing feature that fades away once you get your hands on the phone, and you might only use it to watch your battery level when charging (or charge something else wirelessly on it).

The company played on this unique backplate lighting design from the start, as seen in the original Nothing’s Phone 1 teaser.

Speaking of a mid-range phone, the decision not to go for a more affordable device is certainly a wise one. The flagship market is increasingly saturated and dominated by Apple and Samsung, so it’s difficult for a budding brand to break into this premium space right off the bat. A premium, one-off mid-range device (rumored to cost around €500 or ~$530) is a much better sell, as buyers won’t stand to lose a 4-figure sum on a flop. Other brands have also succeeded with this low-to-high end strategy, if you just look at Xiaomi.

This all-encompassing strategy of combining high-end looks with mid-range hardware and pricing (plus that good old limited availability we know from OnePlus) just might work for nothing. After all, it’s a company with little to show for it other than a few (admittedly good) headphones in the form of the Ear 1, so it has to generate some Warning. It’s just a shame Nothing fails to enter the US market with the Phone 1, but hey, the hype is there. MKBHD’s Phone Practice 1 is already one of his most watched videos this year, with nearly 6 million views at the time of writing. If the company can keep the suspense high, it could well have a nice trajectory to enter the carrier market with its next phone (Phone 2?). It seems that nothing is happening Something right.