Nothing Phone (1) hands-on video just revealed its killer feature

A screenshot from a hands-on video of the Nothing Phone (1), showing the phone's rear LEDs lit up
(Image credit: Marques Brownlee)

More Nothing Phone (1) details have been revealed thanks to a hands-on video from Marques Brownlee (opens in new tab). In his footage we finally get to see the phone from all angles, and learn exactly what the unusual lights on the back are for.

Those weird lights are in fact called the "glyph interface," and it's a lighting system made of over 900 LEDs. These sync with your notification and ring tones, and can be customized for different apps or contacts. 

They can also indicate that you're using wireless or reverse wireless charging or be turned on as a strangely-shaped flashlight. We're also presuming these lights can be used to take photos in low light without engaging the flash. 

One of the lights that make up the glyph can also show the phone's approximate battery charging percentage when plugged in if you shake the phone a little.

A screenshot from a hands-on video of the Nothing Phone (1), showing the phone's charging indicator LED

(Image credit: Marques Brownlee)

We also get to see the front of the Phone (1) for the first time in Brownlee's video. It's not nearly as exciting to look at as the back. But it's still interesting to see Nothing's gone for a left corner punch-hole for the selfie camera, and has given the phone fully symmetrical bezels, like the iPhone 13 has.

A screenshot from a hands-on video of the Nothing Phone (1), showing the phone's front

(Image credit: Marques Brownlee)

We still don't know a lot of the Phone (1)'s actual specs though. What the camera sensors are, what the display's size and refresh rate is, how large the battery is and how fast it charges, and which Snapdragon chipset powers it all are all still mysteries.

It may not matter though, as we've heard some potentially bad news from leaker Evan Blass (opens in new tab), which has now been confirmed by Nothing. He claimed that there could be no U.S. availability for the Phone (1), which is backed up by the fact that the StockX page for the Phone (1) through which the first 100 units will be auctioned off warns U.S. bidders that the phone's not fully compatible in North America.

A screenshot from a hands-on video of the Nothing Phone (1), showing the phone's back

(Image credit: Marques Brownlee)
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Nothing gave the following statement to PCMag (opens in new tab), confirming that the Nothing Phone (1) is not coming to the U.S.:

"While we’d love to bring phone (1) to the entire community around the world, we're focusing on home markets, including the UK and Europe, where we have strong partnerships with leading local carriers. It takes a lot to launch a smartphone as you know, from ensuring the handset is supported by the country’s cellular technologies to carrier partnerships and local regulation, and as we're still a young brand we need to be strategic about it."

It's not a surprise that Nothing would skip the American market due to its heavy reliance on carrier partnerships. But this is still a major bummer. 

There is a silver lining though, as Nothing says that "We have big plans to launch a U.S. supported smartphone in the future."

We'll know all the details and specs next month, at the full reveal scheduled for July 12. In the meantime, check out our Nothing Phone (1) hub for everything we know so far. 

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.