Nothing Phone (1) makes its first real-life appearance

A screenshot of a video showing the Nothing Phone 1 with its LED back lights flashing
(Image credit: Rafael Zeier)

As the Nothing Phone (1) inches closer to its full reveal, a few more details have been revealed thanks to the phone's first in-the-metal appearance.

Swiss tech journalist and YouTuber Rafael Zeier was one of several lucky people able to see the phone in real life at an event in Basel, Switzerland. He was kind enough to record the experience for anyone to see on YouTube, giving us another glimpse at this highly-hyped smartphone.

We already saw the basic design of the phone in an announcement that Nothing made recently, but this video gives us a much better look at the rear LED lights. You may recognize them as the strange symbol that Nothing teased us with before revealing the phone's full rear design.

These LED surround the deal rear camera module, a line that points towards the charging port, and another decorative line pointing to the top right corner. Seeing these light up is both figuratively and literally flashy, but we want to know if these lights serve any particular function. 

It's possible they're just decorative, like the RGB lighting on some of the best gaming phones. Another likely option is that these will light up when you get notifications. The notifications alert light has all but disappeared from the best Android phones you can buy today. So having it return in this form would certainly make the Phone (1) stand out among its peers.

The video may have confirmed another feature for the phone: optical image stabilization for the cameras. The loud music in Nothing's venue is visibly making the lens of the upper of the Phone (1)'s two cameras shake around, suggesting that this will be the main camera of the pair. OIS is a common feature on leading phones these days, so it's a good sign that Nothing's got that covered.

Nothing announces availability for the Phone (1)

We still don't know a huge amount about the phone. But if you're already interested in ordering a Phone (1), Nothing's explained how you can do so, and get a hold of some unique models.

As announced on Twitter, the first 100 Phone (1) units, each engraved with their production number, are going to be sold via online auction site StockX from June 21 - 23. Given the site's focus on bidding for highly collectible items, it's possible these phones may be sold for what people are willing to pay rather than their MSRP. 

We're bound to find out the full details on July 12, the actual announcement of the Phone (1). However, given Nothing's concerted efforts to generate excitement for its phone already, be prepared for more teasers and small announcements to be drip-fed to the public leading up to then.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is 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.