Nothing Phone (1) release date and price just tipped to challenge Google Pixel 6a

An unofficial render of the Nothing Phone 1, using an official screenshot of the display, on a red background
(Image credit: Ben Geskin/Nothing)

The smartphone industry has grown progressively smaller over the last few years. Apple and Samsung dominate the conversation in the US, with Oppo, Xiaomi and others taking control in other parts of the world. But startup company Nothing wants to challenge the current incumbents.

The up and coming phone maker teased the Nothing Phone (1) in March, but there was very little detail provided. Carl Pei showed his penchant for the dramatic — once a hallmark of OnePlus, which he helped found. But the "event" did drum up some hype for the phone, said to launch in Summer 2022.

Nothing Phone (1): A transparent design

We've recently learned a bit more about the upcoming Phone (1). We'll start with what Nothing has confirmed. Speaking with Wallpaper, Carl Pei and lead designer Tom Howard revealed some sketches for the Phone (1), which you can see below.

nothing phone 1 prototype sketches

(Image credit: Nothing)

The Phone (1), like the Ear (1) earbuds, will sport a transparent back with the wireless charging coil serving as a focal point of the design. Nothing says that the device's design was inspired by the 1972 New York subway map, which represented a complex network of lines in an easy-to-understand and decipher visual representation.

The interview concludes with Nothing mentioning that the Phone (1) will have a Snapdragon processor and run Android. The device will use recycled aluminum for the frame.

Nothing Phone (1) release date and price leak

Moving onto speculation, we have a leak on the possible release date and price. This comes courtesy of German outlet Allround PC. We caution you to take this with a grain of salt, since the publication has not proven itself as a reliable source of leaked information to our knowledge.

However, Allround PC claims that a "European dealer" gave it this info. Supposedly, the Phone (1) will launch on July 21, 2022 for about €500, which translates to roughly $533 / £426 / $756 AUS. If true, we wouldn't expect a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, unless Nothing expects to go the old-school OnePlus route of offering a smartphone with flagship specs for hundreds less than the competition.

If this leak is true, it looks like July will be an unusually busy month for smartphones. The Pixel 6a is also due to launch in late July with its pre-orders opening on July 21. Is Nothing hoping to steal some of Google's thunder? The Phone (1) will have a lot to prove if it wants to unseat the Pixel 6a, which will likely be a little powerhouse for $449.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.