Nothing Cellphone 1 Evaluation: Good cellphone, higher advertising

Nothing Cellphone 1 Evaluation: Good cellphone, higher advertising

I’m not positive if that is so all around the globe, however in American sports activities tradition, followers like to argue not simply which athlete is healthier, but in addition which has been correctly rated. The gist is that being good isn’t sufficient, the athlete must be at the least nearly as good or higher because the hype bestowed on them (normally by media or attire firms like Nike). Not residing as much as the hype leads to the dreaded “overrated” moniker, and the athlete normally receives criticism or mockery.

That’s type of what’s occurred with the Nothing Cellphone 1. It’s been hyped a lot that I’ve been seeing snark from tech media friends on the cellphone, despite the fact that it’s an completely positive cellphone that’s not overpriced. And to be sincere, at its £399 ($470) beginning value, there should not many complaints available in my view. Are there higher worth choices? Certain, Xiaomi’s 12 Lite is arguably a greater cellphone at an excellent cheaper price, however Nothing’s cellphone is accessible in additional markets proper now, and it has a cleaner Android software program and a special, authentic design. The Indian market is extra hotly contested, which is the place Nothing Cellphone 1 sees a complete lot extra competitors, so relying in your wants, you may swing this manner or that.

Nothing Cellphone 1 Evaluation: Good cellphone, higher advertising

Nothing Cellphone 1: Value and Availability

The Nothing Cellphone 1 is accessible for buy beginning July 21 in choose markets together with UK, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Finland, Portugal, amongst a half dozen extra international locations. Costs, in British kilos, Indian rupees, and Hong Kong {dollars}, are as follows.

  • 8+128GB: £399/₹32,999/HK$3,699
  • 8+256GB: £449/₹35,999/ HK$3,999
  • 12+256GB: £499/₹38,999/HK$4,399

    Nothing Phone 1

    Nothing’s first cellphone brings a flashy {hardware} design with minimal software program and a great essential digicam.

Nothing Cellphone 1: Specs

Specification Nothing Cellphone 1
  • IP53 mud and water resistance
  • Colours:
Dimensions & Weight
  • 159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3mm
  • 193.5g
  • 6.55-inch OLED
  • Gorilla Glass (didn’t specify which model)
  • 2400 x 1080
  • 120Hz
  • 1,200nits peak brightness
  • HDR10+
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 8GB + 256GB
  • 12GB + 256GB
Battery & Charging
  • 4,500mAh
  • 33W wired quick charging help
  • 15W wi-fi quick charging help
  • Charger not included
Safety In-display optical fingerprint scanner
Rear Digital camera(s)
  • Major: 50MP IMX766, f/1.9, 1/1.56-inch
  • Extremely-wide: 50MP JN1, f/2.2, 114-degree field-of-view
Entrance Digital camera(s) 16MP selfie digicam
Port(s) USB Sort-C
Audio Stereo audio system
  • 5G
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
    • BLE Audio help
    • Snapdragon sound help
    • AAC/LDAC/LHDC/aptX Adaptive
Software program Nothing OS over Android 12
Different Options Glyph lighting interface

About this hands-on: Nothing despatched me a Cellphone 1 to check. This assessment was written after about seven days with the gadget. Nothing had no enter on this article.

Nothing Cellphone 1: Design Overview

  • The general form and in-hand really feel is similar to iPhone 12/13 Professional Max, however barely smaller
  • Symmetrical bezels on all 4 sides — a rarity in Android telephones
  • Clear again with mild strips that appear cool or gimmick relying on opinion

Nothing Phone 1

The general form and in-hand really feel of the Nothing Cellphone 1 is very comparable to the iPhone 12 and 13 collection, significantly the Professional Max telephones, with very flat sides and rounded corners. While you maintain this cellphone, your palm feels largely the aluminum body, because the arduous angles cease the cellphone’s again from sitting in your palm. The Nothing Cellphone 1 is much less broad horizontally and fairly a bit lighter, which makes it barely extra comfy to carry.

Nothing Phone 1 and iPhone 13 Pro Max

I’ve been vocal in saying I don’t discover the iPhone 12/13 design language comfy to carry and it’s the identical story right here. The flat sides give the cellphone a mature, highly effective machine vibe, however it simply doesn’t nestle within the palm as softly as curved sides do. I’m not essentially speaking about curved display screen telephones, even the older iPhone X/11 sort design had sides that have been rounded. It’s price mentioning that Xiaomi and Oppo additionally just lately launched telephones with flat sides, however these manufacturers added refined chamfered corners to melt the sharp edges. The Nothing Cellphone 1 doesn’t do that, going your entire iPhone route wherein the edges of the cellphone finish at an abrupt 90-degree angle.

This design seems to be cool however is just not as comfy to carry as telephones with curvier sides

I suppose a giant purpose for my gripe is as a result of I have a tendency to make use of my telephones bare, whereas a case will considerably soften the sharp corners of those flat-sides designs.

nothing phone 1

Probably the most attention-grabbing characteristic of the Cellphone 1 is clearly the again design: a semi-transparent look that seemingly affords a glimpse on the cellphone’s internals. Most of what we see is definitely a design piece overlaying the precise guts of the cellphone, however we are able to see the wi-fi charging coil and a few fastidiously positioned screws.

Nothing Phone 1 bottom

The underside left a part of the cellphone’s again design is supposed to resemble Manhattan within the New York Metropolis subway map.

The underside a part of the again plate design seems to be like an elephant to some folks, however Nothing tells me it was really patterned after the New York Metropolis subway map, significantly Manhattan (the decrease left nook half positively resembles Manhattan). I personally actually like this look, with the center-placed wi-fi charging coil’s spiral design including a pleasant bullseye-like aesthetic that pulls eyeballs.

Nothing Phone 1 renders

The Glyph Interface

There are 4 strips of lights on the bottom of the cellphone, together with two that wrap across the digicam module and the wi-fi charging coil respectively. That is what Nothing calls the “glyph interface” and the lights aren’t solely for adornment. Nothing has designed the lights to flash particular patterns for varied smartphone duties, like when the cellphone is ringing, receiving a notification, or when Google Assistant is being summoned. The sound results that play together with the flashing lights are, in accordance with Nothing, impressed by the traditional Nintendo Leisure System and Casio digital watches, which means they’ve this retro electronics vibe. In case you are questioning why they selected this particular “C, Ahead Slash, G, Exclamation Level” design, we don’t really know why.

Nothing Phone 1 glypth

I can see the so-called glyph interface being helpful for some folks. Having the ability to set a selected mild sample for a selected contact might be helpful for individuals who get lots of calls. There’s additionally the choice to show off notification sounds once you flip the cellphone face down but nonetheless have the sunshine strips flare up (Nothing calls this “flip to glyph”). The concept is you may determine if the notification is price checking earlier than choosing up the cellphone.

None of those conditions apply to me, nevertheless. I nearly by no means name anybody anymore, and the one voice calls I take are from my work supervisors. All my household and associates contact me by way of WhatsApp textual content or voice messages. I additionally by no means really feel the necessity to put my cellphone face down, as a result of I hardly ever attend occasions the place it’d be “impolite” to verify my cellphone.

The lights’ brightness might be adjusted in settings, and can be used as a fill mild for taking pictures in low mild conditions, as a result of the lights are extra unfold out than a typical smartphone flashlight, it does illuminate a human face barely much less harshly than a typical smartphone flashlight. Nonetheless, it is best to keep away from utilizing any smartphone flashlight when snapping pics of human faces in my view — it’s by no means flattering until the topic has flawless pores and skin texture.

Nothing Phone 1 in black


The Nothing Cellphone 1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus, which is a tried-and-trusted mid-range SoC that’s greater than succesful sufficient for 99% of smartphone customers. Nothing says they selected this chip as a result of it affords sufficient efficiency with out working too sizzling, which I agree with. This “plus” model of the chip is a comparatively new iterative replace to permit it to help wi-fi charging.


The 6.55-inch OLED display screen is vibrant, with a typical max brightness of 500 nits and a peak max brightness of 1,200 nits. The display screen seems to be nice more often than not, with a 120Hz refresh price offering easy animations, colours trying punchy, and aesthetically pleasing symmetrical bezels on all 4 sides. Most brightness is a bit decrease than most 2022 flagship telephones, however until I’m utilizing it on a really harsh sunny day, this display screen brightness is okay.

Nothing Phone 1

It’s price noting the show is just not an LTPO panel, which means the refresh price might be both 60Hz or 120Hz. This implies the display screen isn’t as battery environment friendly, however it’s additionally to be anticipated at this value vary. There’s an optical in-display fingerprint scanner positioned very low on the display screen (just like the placement of the scanner within the OnePlus 9 or 2020-era BBK telephones). The placement isn’t perfect however not a giant deal, as an alternative, I’m aggravated by its gradual velocity. The cellphone simply takes a beat longer to unlock. Do observe I’m evaluating to Chinese language mid-rangers just like the Xiaomi 12 Lite or Oppo Reno telephones, which all have wonderful scanners. Some non-Chinese language telephones, just like the Samsung Galaxy A53, and even the Google Pixel 6 collection, have horrible in-display fingerprint scanners which are even slower.

Haptics, Audio system, Battery, and Reminiscence

Good haptics aren’t all the time assured in telephones cheaper than $500 or $600, and fortunately the Nothing Cellphone 1 has a great haptic engine that gives sturdy and exact haptics. I take pleasure in typing on this cellphone with vibrations turned on.

Additionally good are the twin audio system and UFS 3.1 reminiscence, once more, not all the time assured in telephones at this value level. The 4,500 mAh battery, IP53 water and dirt resistance ranking, and simply 15W wi-fi charging are a bit lower than what you might get from different manufacturers at the same value level, however it’s positive.

Nothing Cellphone 1: Cameras

  • 50MP Sony IMX766 essential digicam and 50MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide
  • The primary digicam is succesful, however ultra-wide is simply okay
  • Movies have a bizarre orange tint to them proper now

Nothing Phone 1 cameras

The Cellphone 1 packs very acquainted cameras to telephones from Carl Pei’s former firm, OnePlus. The rear digicam system includes of a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor with an f/1.9 aperture and a 50MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide. The previous was used within the OnePlus Nord 2T, and the latter was used most just lately within the OnePlus 10 Professional, and a bunch of different BBK telephones just like the Iqoo 9 Professional too.

These are succesful, confirmed sensors, but in addition firmly mid-tier parts. The picture sensor measurement of the IMX766, for instance, is only a pedestrian 1/1.56-inch, far smaller than what’s in, say, the Galaxy S22 Extremely or Xiaomi 12S Extremely. However once more, we should keep in mind, it is a sub-$500 cellphone. And Nothing’s software program picture processing is kind of good.

Take a look at these photographs: not unhealthy in any respect for a $470-ish cellphone from a first-time firm.

The final two photographs within the above set, specifically, should not simple photographs — they’re excessive distinction photographs with vivid lights blasting by means of the window, for a mid-ranger, that is actually good dynamic vary and publicity.

As is common with mid-range telephones, it’s once we transfer to ultra-wide the place the digicam reveals that it’s, certainly, not a flagship. Extremely-wide photographs in the course of the day are positive in a vacuum however noticeably softer than what the primary digicam produces. And at night time, the standard hole widens considerably. There’s additionally a significant shift in colours.

Talking of colours, a number of the movies I’ve shot with the Nothing Cellphone 1 has additionally exhibited very wonky colours, comparable to a particularly heat tone that makes my pores and skin tone look orange. Stabilization is nice (for its value vary) with the primary digicam, however ultra-wide has very poor digital picture stabilization. There’s additionally a little bit of jelly impact as I pan. You possibly can see all the problems within the video pattern beneath. I have to point out I’m reviewing a pre-release mannequin of the cellphone and Nothing has already despatched two software program updates within the week I’ve had the gadget, so maybe these points might be mounted with extra updates. However as of proper now, the video efficiency is beneath par even for a mid-ranger, as one thing like a Xiaomi 12 Lite can shoot higher movies. Video decision additionally maxes out at 4K/30fps, not 60fps or 8K choices, however that’s completely positive.

If you wish to see full sized variations of all picture samples I shared right here, I’ve uploaded them to the Flickr album.

Nothing photo samples

Nothing Cellphone 1: Efficiency and Software program

  • Tremendous clear Android pores and skin with no third-party bloatware
  • Fluid animations (besides within the Twitter app)
  • Good efficiency general

Nothing Phone 1

Software program

The Nothing Cellphone 1 runs a really mild, however trendy, Android pores and skin named Nothing OS over Android 12. The very first thing I seen that stood out about Nothing OS is the preliminary cellphone setup interface was solely black, together with the Google sign-up display screen. I’ve gone by means of this Android setup course of most likely like 100 instances in the previous couple of years and the Google sign-in display screen is all the time white. I believe this all-black aesthetic is particular to my black mannequin, I believe the white mannequin will possible have a extra typical white setup display screen.

As soon as completed with setup and also you’re in Nothing OS, the subsequent factor you’ll possible discover is the cellphone solely ships with Google’s core apps, with no bloatware — or at the least, the standard definition of bloatware (third-party apps which are pre-installed). I really discover Google’s more and more giant suite of apps overbearing and annoying. Certain, it is smart to have Google Play, YouTube, Chrome, Google Contacts, and Maps pre-installed on all Android telephones. However I don’t give a rattling about Google TV, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Google One, Google House, Google Pay, and Google Duo, and the actual fact these apps are actually all crammed into current Android telephones, most of them can’t be uninstalled, means these are nonetheless bloatware. It is a GMS concern and never a Nothing concern, so no complaints on Cellphone 1 on this finish. In any case, the Nothing Cellphone 1 ships with the fewest pre-installed apps than any cellphone I’ve ever examined. The one non-Google apps pre-installed are the digicam, calculator, and recorder apps.

The primary interface feels similar to typical inventory Android, with solely two modifications. The primary is the flexibility to make an app icon look large on the homescreen (see the second picture within the beneath set), which could possibly be helpful for many who need one or two apps to face out from the pack on the homescreen for simpler entry or accessibility causes.

The opposite is that the shortcut toggle buttons within the notification shade have been simplified. In nearly all Android telephones, there are separate buttons for WiFi, mobile information, and cellular hotspot. Nothing combines all three of those into one larger-than-usual button (see the third pic within the above set) by means of which the person can cycle by way of horizontal swipes. This is smart to me, as these are all associated to getting an web connection on the cellphone. I reckon some others might disagree right here.

The Nothing Cellphone 1 ships with the fewest apps on the cellphone of any cellphone I’ve ever examined

Dive into the settings web page and it, too, seems to be similar to a inventory Android settings, excluding Nothing’s dot-based font getting used for every settings web page header. So far as I can see, there are two Nothing-exclusive settings pages that aren’t on most Android telephones: “Glyph Interface” and “Experimental Options.” The primary is the place you customise the interface (assign contacts, change mild brightness, and so forth); the latter will let the cellphone hook up with Tesla vehicles. I don’t assume this characteristic is prepared but, and even when it have been, I don’t have a Tesla to check.

Normal Efficiency

The Nothing OS has very fluid animations that zip across the cellphone with noticeable sooner velocity and extra animation flare than one thing like Samsung’s OneUI. It jogs my memory lots of OxygenOS or Oppo’s ColorOS, in that even a easy pull of the notification panel brings buttery easy animations.

Identical to Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Extremely, nevertheless, the animations stutter sometimes when scrolling by means of Twitter. I’m undecided what the issue is with Twitter particularly, however it occurs sufficient to be visually jarring. However as I stated, Samsung’s $1,200 cellphone has the identical concern. One other bug is the cellphone’s auto-brightness setting typically leaves the cellphone display screen too darkish, significantly once I’m within the digicam mode. And as I stated, the fingerprint scanner is slower than most different optical scanners.

The auto-brightness concern, together with the very orange tint in movies, are main bugs that have to be addressed. In any other case, I didn’t encounter any points utilizing the cellphone for a number of days out, navigating on Google Maps, streaming Spotify, and sending messages in Slack and WhatsApp.

As for benchmarks, the XDA staff had considerations initially as a result of our senior technical editor Adam Conway discovered a line of code within the software program that hinted the software program thought-about manipulating benchmarks — basically, a cellphone deciding to throttle efficiency for real-world apps however not benchmark apps to realize the next rating — however after working assessments together with working two variations of GeekBench (one official, one modded) and the scores have been shut sufficient which means no such benchmark dishonest shenanigans are in place. Nice!

Commonplace each day efficiency has been positive, I’ve been utilizing the cellphone at dwelling and out round city, and apps have been launching positive, I haven’t encountered crashes or something out of the strange.

Battery life has been okay, with the 4,500 mAh cell in a position to end a typical work day simply, however tapping out at across the 12-hour mark on weekends once I’m utilizing the cellphone rather more closely. It’s a suitable battery that’s not nice, not unhealthy.

Must you purchase the Nothing Cellphone 1?

Nothing Phone 1 in the hand.

You can purchase the Nothing Cellphone 1 if:

  • You just like the design and discover the Glyph Interface cool or helpful.
  • You don’t wish to pay greater than the equal of $500 for a cellphone and also you don’t like utilizing (or don’t have entry to) Xiaomi’s varied mid-tier telephones.
  • You need a cellphone with clear software program that has extra character than the standard vanilla inventory Android telephones.

You shouldn’t purchase the Nothing Cellphone 1 if:

  • You shoot lots of movies together with your cellphone and don’t have time to attend for a possible software program patch to repair the present orange tint concern.
  • You need the best possible worth and the Xiaomi 12 Lite is accessible in your area. In case you are in India, you will have different choices for value-for-money.
Nothing phone 1

Nothing Cellphone 1 within the hand.

As I stated, the Nothing Cellphone 1 is a superbly positive mid-range cellphone with some fascinating concepts. I just like the clear again design and the minimal software program. And even when I get no sensible advantages from the sunshine strips on the again, I do assume they appear good.

However is it the revolutionary, totally different and distinctive gadget that Pei and Nothing’s advertising have been hinting at for months? No. Xiaomi’s 12 Lite is cheaper, with the identical SoC, higher fingerprint scanner, and video efficiency.

When you ignore the glyph interface, the Cellphone 1 is nearly similar to every other Xiaomi/Poco/Iqoo/Realme mid-ranger. There’s nothing unsuitable with that — these manufacturers make good telephones — however it’s fully honest for the extra jaded/cynical/snarky a part of techies to scoff and name the cellphone overrated.

    Nothing Phone 1

    The Nothing Cellphone 1 is a trendy trying cellphone with a cool semi-transparent again and quick, zippy UI.

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