The company’s debut phone, the Nothing Phone 1, is a 5G phone that excels in several areas, including its minimalist interface, average performance, and—perhaps most importantly—its eccentric translucent design with distinctive flashing LEDs on the back.
Since it was first announced, I’ve been eager to get my hands on this phone, and even after using it for a while, my enthusiasm is still strong.
The price, though, is what draws people to this phone. The Nothing Phone 1 is at least £100 cheaper than I anticipated it to be, with a starting price of £399 in the UK (about $480 or AU$700). Even though the pricing is inexpensive, you still get a phone that feels high-end.
If you can afford one, that is. There are currently no plans for a full launch in the US, even though the phone is already available in the UK and Europe.
While it wasn’t said that the company was “certainly hoping to launch a US-supported mobile in the future,” it doesn’t appear that it will happen any time soon. The US population may never see this first-generation model.
A Large Exhibition, Flamboyant Display
The design of the Nothing Phone 1 is undoubtedly what distinguishes it from other devices.
The back panel’s complete transparency allows you to examine the device’s interconnected parts, including the wireless charging coil and numerous exposed screwheads. The only branding for Nothing is a little emblem in the bottom right-hand corner.
This transparency also enables the light show, which consists of a series of LED strips Nothing refers to as the “glyph” that flash over the back panel to notify you of incoming calls or notifications or even serve as a fill light while taking video.
Particularly in the low-cost market, which is sometimes flooded with bland grey or black slabs, it’s good to see some fresh ideas on phones. It’s unquestionably unusual.
However, it could also be considered a bit of a gimmick. Time will tell if it is useful. You may just not like the design, which is acceptable, but at this price, it is reasonable to state that you are not only paying for its appearance.
The phone has a recyclable metal frame around the edge that makes it feel satisfyingly solid, and it is protected from liquid spills thanks to its IP53 water resistance classification.
Netflix shows on the go look great on the 6.55-inch display thanks to its size, 2,400×1,080-pixel quality, and bright colors. Because of its 120Hz refresh rate, navigating the home screens and browsing websites seems incredibly fluid.
Nothing Phone 1 camera
- 50MP rear cameras in two pairs plus 16MP on the front
- the primary Sony sensor’s vibrant colors
- In videography, Glyph Interface can be used as a fill light.
- Low light makes it easy for grain and a lack of detail to appear.
While the front-facing camera has a modest resolution of 16MP, the back cameras have a pixel density of 50MP each.
The primary Sony IMX766 sensor, which is aided by optical image stabilization (OIS), is widely used by phone manufacturers and can be found on current models like the flagship Xiaomi 12 and the mid-range OnePlus Nord 2. The secondary 50MP Samsung JN1 ultrawide sensor, on the other hand, offers a respectable level of consistency when switching between the two focal lengths.
The main 50MP Sony sensor produces photographs with a pleasant amount of detail and colors that tastefully experiment with increased saturation. The shutter is comparatively quick in natural and artificial light.
This enables it to serve up Instagram-worthy photos with no effort.
In comparison to the phone’s dedicated Macro shooting mode, there is a pleasing level of bokeh (background blur) while taking pictures of objects that are closer to the primary sensor (which relies on the ultrawide rather than the main sensor).
Speaking of the ultrawide, there is naturally a modest visual degradation compared to the primary camera, with weaker, more muted (but possibly more natural) colors, muddier details, and a smaller dynamic range.
With a beautiful wide 114-degree field of view, it still accomplishes its goal and gives you additional creative choices.
However, the warmer color temperature that Night Mode images on the ultrawide sensor occasionally exhibit has a certain charm, so long as you don’t crop in too much. In low light, the disparity between the sensors is more apparent in terms of grain, resolution, and dynamic range.
Performance and Features of The Nothing Phone 1
- Dated (but Improved) Snapdragon 778 G+ Processor
- Maximum 12 Gb Ram
- Daily Performance that Is Responsive
- Capable of Playing Difficult Mobile Games
The Snapdragon 778G+, a modified version of an older seventh-generation Qualcomm SoC, was revealed to be the company’s choice of chipset, and it quickly became one of the most contentious features of the Phone 1 before to debut.
This has a minimum RAM of 8GB, but the top-tier model offers 12GB, and the ” indicates that it supports wireless charging (up to 15W) and reverse wireless charging (up to 5W).
Real-world use demonstrates that Nothing’s gamble pays off, at least in part, even though it uses little silicon compared to traditional flagship phones.
Based on benchmarking results, the 778G+ isn’t going to win any prizes, but for the majority of users, it should be more than sufficient for everything from split-screen multitasking to semi-casual gaming. It can easily handle a few rounds of Call of Duty Mobile with the “Very High” graphics and “Max” frame rate settings enabled without any problems or observable heat buildup.
The real test will be how capable the Phone 1 feels after extended use and whether Nothing can continue to function at the same level after a year’s worth of feature updates, bug fixes, and security patches.
Battery Life of The Nothing Phone
- 4,500 M Ah of Battery
- 33 W Fast Charging Is Supported.
- Unimpressive Longevity
- Rapid Full Recharging
The battery life of the 778G+ (and an Android user experience that needs improvement) falls short. While there is a case to be made for the phone’s capacity to learn from user behavior and optimize power management, the baseline lifespan falls short.
Phone 1 has a 4,500mAh battery hidden behind the glass and the exposed parts, which Nothing claims may last up to 18 hours on a single charge.
However, in actual use, Phone 1 consistently provided five hours or less of screen time, which is the basic minimum that should be expected from a smartphone that is worthwhile to purchase.
One charge was sufficient for 15 minutes of gaming, synchronizing emails from a few addresses, about 45 minutes of video streaming, an hour of social media use, minimal camera use, 20 or so minutes of web browsing, and light camera use. Before sitting at the critical battery before bed, the device was fully charged.
As a result, don’t expect to overindulge on Phone 1 and get away with it; instead, you should charge it before bed if you intend to watch a lot of Netflix on a lengthy train ride, for instance. Anything less difficult and a full day’s use is just about possible.
Phone 1’s battery can be recharged to 50% officially in 30 minutes – provided you have a PD 3.0/Quick Charge 4.0-compliant adapter that can deliver the phone’s maximum fast-charging speed of 33W.
Nothing comes with only a white USB-C to USB-C cable in the package, even though it sells its 45W power adapter for £35 (about €35) or $60 (about AU$60).
Better than what we were told, our device (with a third-party 27W PD adaptor) managed to reach over 65 percent charge after 30 minutes of plugged-in use. A complete charge is consistently finished in a little over an hour.
Nothing Phone 1 software
- Almost stock Android experience
- There are no new features or functionalities in OS.
- Four years of security patches and three years of OS updates are promised.
- For power and performance, resources need to be optimized.
Before the release of the Phone 1, Nothing released a launcher that could be installed on compatible phones made by other brands. The native experience, however, offers much more depth.
The user interface, nicknamed “Nothing OS,” fronting menus and certain widgets, uses the brand’s distinctive dot matrix typography, which is present throughout the phone’s hardware, including on the glass back and even in the SIM tray.
Nothing OS is in the same camp as Motorola’s and Google’s versions of Android, with a few minor changes that distinguish it from a genuinely stock user interface, such as the ability to expand folders to fill a 2 by-2 space on the home screen.
Additionally, it has the hybrid capability, swipe-through quick-settings widgets that show more connectivity options at a glance, and even a pop-up view for easier multitasking while still being hidden.
Some additions feel particularly powerful, like the shortcut for smart home control on the lock screen, but there are also indications that stability needs to be improved, not to mention that some features (like a one-handed mode) are missing that would enhance the specific user experience provided by Nothing OS running on the Nothing Phone.
Nothing deserves praise for giving users of the Phone 1 three years of OS updates and four years of security patches, making the device even more alluring in terms of both value and longevity.
The Nothing Phone 1: Is it worth buying?
In no way can the Nothing Phone 1 be compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 13 Pro. But it isn’t attempting to be. It’s a fantastic phone because it omits features rather than because it tries to include every feature you can think of.
Its hardware and software have both been pared down, leaving you with a phone that is suitable for daily use at a price that will still leave money in your bank.
It’s uncommon for a new company to enter the market with a first product that seems this professional, but the Nothing Phone 1 manages to nail every crucial detail while also adding the extra panache of its bright design.
It’s something to think about if you’re looking for a high-quality phone at an affordable price.