Nothing, a UK-based company, has launched an Android phone that it hopes will re-energize the smartphone market.

The eye-catching Nothing 1 has a translucent back with hundreds of light-emitting diode (LED) lights that serve as notifications.

Nothing raised more than $144 million (£122 million) in funding for the handset’s development.

iPhone designer Tony Fadell, YouTuber Casey Neistat, and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin are among those who have backed the project.

Carl Pei, the 32-year-old Chinese-born developer of Nothing 1 and co-founder of the highly respected smartphone startup OnePlus, told BBC News that he intended to “make tech fun again” for investors and customers.

The £399 phone, which is made in China and India and costs approximately half as much as an average iPhone, has reportedly had more than 200,000 requests for pre-orders, according to the business.

The business also aspires to produce a high-end item, and Mr. Pei says he wants to work with Tesla, a maker of electric vehicles.

Despite early software issues, Nothing’s initial product, the wireless, noise-canceling Ear 1 headphones, has sold more than half a million units.

However, Nothing 1 has “a mountain to climb,” according to Ben Wood from CCS Insight, despite some buzz, including the high-profile personalities behind it.

“Apple and Samsung, who have great resources, dominate the smartphone business, which is alarmingly competitive,” he remarked.

It is much more difficult for a new entrant to succeed in the sector given the fierce competition in the rest of the addressable market between multiple Chinese businesses fighting for market share.

“Success will be a major task given the current financial climate and pressure from rising costs of living,” the author writes.

According to CounterPoint Research, sales of smartphones fell 17 percent globally in May compared to the same month last year.

There are several causes for this:

consumers are keeping their smartphones longer due to growing living expenses.
environmental difficulties related to e-waste, a global shortage of chips, and supply-chain problems
“The big suppliers were particularly cautious to bring in a new customer like us, a much smaller company,” Mr. Pei said. “They owe their bigger customers a lot of chips.”

We had to spend a lot of time looking for suppliers and explaining to them why the market requires someone with our qualifications.