OPINION: This week we’ve had a variety of buzz across the Trusted Evaluations workplace thanks largely to the arrival of the Nothing Telephone (1).
In case you missed the months of promoting, that is the primary smartphone from Nothing, the most recent begin up from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei.
The rationale it’s brought on such a buzz is as a result of Pei, who undeniably had nice success with OnePlus in rising it from a small unknown model right into a family identify in tech, pulled a variety of the identical methods he used to get folks thinking about his outdated firm’s early handsets.
Particularly, he placed on a black t-shirt and did the very best Steve Jobs impression I’ve seen prior to now half decade, releasing a collection of cryptic promotion “leaks” and utilizing buzzwords like “revolutionary” with out revealing any onerous particulars in regards to the telephone for months forward of its launch.
Admittedly, I discovered the entire circus relatively entertaining – particularly his use of Jobs’ speech patterns on the telephone’s unveiling the place he claimed “telephones are boring” and that he and his agency “would make them enjoyable” and “fascinating” once more with out saying something concrete about how – and there’s no denying it appears to have labored.
When he pulled a few of the similar methods he did with OnePlus, from limiting the machine’s preliminary availability to pick pop ups and a raffle-like early join system on Nothing’s web site, pre-orders rocketed by way of the roof. This wave of pleasure even broke by way of to my private life, with the Nothing Telephone (1) being the primary handset that’s not a Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone that has even gotten my non-tech pals excited sufficient to ship WhatsApp messages asking about it.
However now that our cellular editor Max Parker has lastly gotten his arms on the handset, I’ve to say… I simply don’t get it.
Whether or not it’s the collection of late nights I’ve spent offers spreadsheets for Prime Day 2022, or the actual fact the UK’s presently going by way of a heatwave that white-walker-like Scots like me are merely not made to outlive, I simply can’t discover something to get enthusiastic about with the Telephone (1).
To be clear, I haven’t used it but. Our evaluate unit is with editor Max Parker. However, so far as I can inform it’s only a bathroom normal mid-range handset with a reasonably heavy new Android pores and skin and a see-through again with LED lights that may be set to play completely different patterns. There’s no never-before-seen options (gaming telephones from the likes of Asus and Black Shark have had pointless RGB lighting for ages), and the elements are all off the shelf. There’s no customized Tensor silicon just like the competing Pixel 6a, and searching on the characteristic record I’m genuinely flummoxed how that is a lot extra thrilling than all the opposite £399 handsets flooding the market.
That is very true once I look again at different newcomers to the telephone market and the improvements they introduced. Let’s take Razer for instance. When it tried to enter the telephone promote it a minimum of got here with a novel promoting level. Particularly, the agency hit the market operating releasing the Razer Telephone – the primary telephone I’d ever seen with a excessive refresh price display screen bespoke made for gaming.
Certain the handset didn’t promote, however a minimum of it was distinctive. These days there are a great deal of gaming telephones, just like the not too long ago launched ROG Telephone 6 Professional, which debatably picked up the place the Razer Telephone left off. Most telephones additionally now have excessive, generally variable refresh price screens by default, exhibiting the agency was on the very least forward of its time.
The Nothing Telephone by comparability at greatest jogs my memory of Wiley Fox’s efforts. For these too younger to recollect, this was a brief lived telephone firm that made a collection of distinctly common telephones utilizing off the shelf cobbled collectively mid-range telephone elements. Their solely distinctive promoting level was that they have been “British”, a reality they thought was sufficient to drive gross sales and curiosity – hurrah…
That’s why, regardless of the hype, I’m presently discovering Nothing to get enthusiastic about with the Telephone (1). Hopefully this can change when Max Parker finishes reviewing it for us and delivers his definitive verdict – however I’m not holding my breath.