The Nothing Phone (1) is now available to order, but if you’re in the United States, you’re out of luck. But if you want that unique look for your phone, the skin and case maker Dbrand has announced its own ‘Something’ set of cases and skins in typically punchy fashion.
“Some might accuse us of theft,” Dbrand writes on its product page. “Here's our counter: we stole nothing,” the page continues, arguing that the company is “uniquely qualified to rip off an industrial design aesthetic and ‘creatively reinterpret it’ for other devices.”
That’s just three devices at the time of writing: the Pixel 6 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. But the site does invite potential buyers to put their phone request in if it’s not listed.
Each one shows what the phone’s internals look like under the surface, and in the case of the S22 Ultra, you can even see the S-Pen represented in the cross-section. Though, of course, this is just a picture of the insides: physically undock the S-Pen, and it’ll still be there on the case.
Still, sketchiness of the proposition aside, this may offer the best of both worlds given the limitations of the handset being imitated. In our Nothing Phone (1) review, we praised the unique design but were left underwhelmed by both its overall performance and camera image quality. Say what you want about the three phones Dbrand is currently supporting, but none of them suffer from those particular defects.
Of course, the unique design of Nothing Phone (1) isn’t just to catch admiring glances from passers-by. It has a very useful functionality to it as well: glyphs — white LED strips arranged around the components — light up in patterns to give you notification information without you needing to look at the screen. The flashing pattern can be customized per each contact, and it even works as a charging or Google Assistant indicator. It is, as we said in our review, something that seems like more than a hallow gimmick.
That can’t be matched by Dbrand, and there’s also the open question of whether Nothing agrees with the company’s legal defense. Though it’s worth noting that the last company that took issue with Dbrand was Sony over unlicenced PS5 plates. While Dbrand initially took its Darkplates down, they reappeared with just enough changes made to dodge legal action. At the time of writing, Darkplates 2.0 are still available to buy.
“We may be in a maximum security prison by the end of the year, but at least your PlayStation 5 will have an indisputably original design,” the official page reads.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.