Cryptic would be an understatement when describing Carl Pei’s Nothing. Up until a week ago, the company was slowly building anticipation for its upcoming smartphone, the Phone (1), by trickle-feeding its audience and supporters, mostly little snippets of nothing. That all changed when Nothing decided to show off its smartphone’s party trick at an in-person event. Today, we get to hear a little more about the phone and its LEDs, thanks to a new video posted by MKBHD.
MKBHD gained exclusive access to the Nothing Phone (1) and showed off the front and the back. While the front looks like your typical Android smartphone (though with equal bezels), the rear looks unique. The most unique feature of the phone isn’t its clear back design, but its LEDs. The phone uses just over 900 LEDs to make its unique pattern called the Glyph Interface. There is a small C-shaped pattern that surrounds the camera and a larger C-shaped pattern that surrounds the wireless charging pad. There is also a shape that looks like an exclamation mark towards the bottom and a dash in the top right-hand corner.
The Glyph Interface isn’t just a pretty light show and offers functionality. The LEDs will pulse whenever you receive an incoming notification and it can also glow when you begin to wirelessly charge. The lights can also show the status of your charge, giving you a visual indication of just how much of the battery is juiced up without having to turn on the display. The LEDs don’t stay illuminated constantly and can be reactivated just by wiggling the phone.
The Glyph Interface will have a set of ten ringtones that will also offer synced LED patterns. Users will also be able to pair light patterns to specific contacts. The customizations can even be done in apps, giving users an idea of what kind of notification has arrived. While it might sound dull, this is important, with it being considered the evolution of the notification LED. The Glyph Interface can even be used as a fill light when taking photos or videos. Last but not least, there is also a blinking red LED that shows people when you are recording.
This is quite a concept, but one has to wonder how long the honeymoon period will last. It will be interesting to see just how far Nothing can take this movement and to see how many stay along for the journey. The company will hold an event on July 12. If you’re a little anxious and can’t wait a few weeks, you can always take your chance and bid on the first 100 handsets that are now up for auction. Just be careful, as it looks like the handset doesn’t offer global support, with the company stating that it may not function fully or at all in North America. You can check Nothing’s website to confirm carrier compatibility.