Have you seen the smartphone that looks like a transparent iPhone? It's actually the Nothing Phone 1. Spearheaded by Carl Pei, one of the co-founders of OnePlus, Nothing is a tech startup company with, so far,one product: a pair of $99 wireless earbuds — called the Ear 1 — that have a unique see-through design and boast premium features (like active noise-cancellation and support for wireless charging).
The Phone 1 is the company's second product and first-ever smartphone. After months of teasing, Nothing has given us a first glimpse of the Phone 1 via a "hands on" video from YouTuber MKBHD and by launching an official product page on its website. There's no word on how much the Phone 1 will cost just yet, but Nothing says it will be available to buy on July 12.
The Phone 1 similar to an iPhone 13 in terms of its general design (specifically its size and vertically stacked camera modules), but it has a transparent back. Its most unique feature, however, is a notification system that relies on an integrated lighting system on the smartphone's back — it looks very Tron-esque. The idea is that the back of the Phone 1 lights up so you can see every time you get a notification or phone call, even when the screen is faced down.
The lighting system is called the "glyph interface" and it consists of 900 individual LED lights that are situated on the back of the Phone 1. The lights are located on the bottom of the Phone 1 near its USB-C charging port, as a circle around its wireless charging system (yes, it supports wireless charging), around its camera module, and in the top-right corner (opposite of the cameras).
Depending on what the Phone 1 is doing — charging, wireless charging or using its camera — dictates which lighting section of this glyph interface lights up. And there is a section within the Phone 1's Settings app that allows you to customize and control these lights. You can program them, or specific light patterns, to signal various actions or notifications. For instance, you can assign a specific light pattern to a specific contact in your phone so you can tell who is calling or texting just by the light pattern.