Nothing Phone 1 Review: Flashy Extras Highlight This Affordable Phone

    The Nothing Phone 1 — the corporate’s first telephone — is a 5G telephone that will get quite a lot of issues proper, from its stripped-back interface to its typically offered efficiency and, most of all, its quirky clear design with distinctive flashing LEDs on the again. It’s a telephone that I’ve been eager to get my fingers on ever since its announcement, and after spending a while with it, the joy hasn’t light.But it is the value that makes this telephone so interesting. Starting at solely £399 within the UK (which converts to roughly $480 or AU$700), the Nothing Phone 1 is at the very least £100 lower than I anticipated it to be. It’s a low value, however what you get is a telephone that looks like a premium product.That is, if you should buy one. While the telephone is on sale now within the UK and Europe, there are at the moment no plans for a full launch within the US. Nothing mentioned that it is “definitely aiming to launch a US-supported mobile in the future,” nevertheless it appears unlikely to occur any time quickly. It could also be that individuals within the US miss out on this first-gen mannequin altogether. 

    LikeAffordable priceUnique, flashy designSolid processor and digital camera efficiency

    Don’t LikeBattery life could possibly be higherFor some, the again lights is likely to be a gimmick

    Should you purchase the Nothing Phone 1?The Nothing Phone 1 actually is not an iPhone 13 Pro or Galaxy S22 Ultra rival. But it isn’t making an attempt to be. It’s telephone, not as a result of it tries to cram in each characteristic you can probably think about, however as a result of it leaves them out. Both its {hardware} and software program are stripped again, leaving you with a telephone that is effectively suited to on a regular basis wants at a value that’ll nonetheless go away some money in your financial institution. It’s uncommon {that a} new firm arrives on the scene with a primary product that feels this polished, however the Nothing Phone 1 manages to get all of the necessities proper, whereas including within the further pizzazz of that flashy design. If you are after a well-performing telephone for value, it is undoubtedly value contemplating.

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    Nothing Phone 1 Is a Superb, Affordable Phone


    A flashy design, a giant showThe Phone 1’s design is actually the factor that units it aside from the competitors. The again panel is fully clear, letting you see the interconnected elements beneath together with the wi-fi charging coil and a number of uncovered screwheads. The solely Nothing branding is a small emblem within the backside nook. That transparency additionally permits for the lightshow; a set of LED strips, which Nothing calls the “glyph,” mild up throughout the again panel to warn you to incoming calls or notifications and even to make use of as a fill mild when recording video. It’s actually distinctive and it is good to see some completely different concepts on telephones, particularly within the funds sector, which is usually awash with forgettable grey or black slabs. The Nothing Phone 1 homes its selfie digital camera in a cutout on the top-left nook of the display.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    But it is also arguably one thing of a gimmick. Time will inform how helpful it truly is. You may simply not just like the design, which is honest sufficient, however at this value it is honest to say you are not simply paying for its appears to be like. Around the sting is a recycled aluminum body that offers the telephone a satisfyingly sturdy really feel, whereas its IP53 water-resistance ranking will assist hold it protected from spilled drinks. The 6.55-inch show is large enough to do justice to Netflix reveals on the transfer, as does its 2,400×1,080-pixel decision and vibrant colours. Its 120Hz refresh charge signifies that swiping across the dwelling screens or scrolling via webpages appears to be like buttery clean. Good sufficient efficiency for the pricePowering the telephone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus processor, backed up by 8GB of RAM. Results on benchmark checks for each processing energy and graphics efficiency put it distant behind prime fashions just like the iPhone 13 Pro or S22 Ultra and barely much less behind extra reasonably priced handsets just like the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro. Nothing runs a relatively clear model of Android 12 including minor enhancements all through.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    That ought to be anticipated for a extra reasonably priced machine, and the fact is that it is nonetheless acquired loads of energy for almost all of duties you’d seemingly want it to do. Gaming in Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG have been dealt with completely, as was video streaming and picture modifying in Snapseed. Even simply navigating across the interface was swift and nippy. That’s seemingly helped by a stripped-back strategy to the software program. The telephone runs Android 12, over which Nothing has slapped a minimal beauty pores and skin. Overall, it is a mild contact and would not embody bloatware, preinstalled apps or companies. Nothing hasn’t tried to pointlessly develop its personal electronic mail shopper (it is aware of you’d relatively use Gmail) or create its personal net browser (since you’ll use Chrome, in fact). In reality, the entire system apps are simply the default Google ones. This minimalist strategy works effectively, making the telephone really feel clutter-free and usable. It’s an strategy I like. For comparability, Samsung notoriously preloaded its telephones for years with its personal software program and companies, making its telephones really feel slowed down. Behind the highest layer of inside elements is a 4,500-mAh battery.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Solid twin camerasNothing stored the digital camera setup stripped again too, equipping the telephone with simply two rear 50-megapixel cameras together with a regular wide-angle lens and an ultrawide lens. Nothing has stored the fee down by omitting devoted telephoto and macro cameras, which is an effective resolution. Notice the way in which the Phone 1’s primary digital camera captures the sky and clouds on this picture.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    The colours are vibrant on this picture from the principle digital camera.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    The cameras take nice images. The primary digital camera captures vibrant colours, with even publicity and loads of element. Side-by-side, photographs from my iPhone 13 Pro are arguably higher, however they’re actually not twice pretty much as good. It’s value remembering that the iPhone prices twice as a lot because the Nothing Phone 1. Here is a shot of a river boat taken with the principle digital camera.Here’s the identical riverboat in a photograph from the ultrawide. There is a few noticeable coloration shift.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    The ultrawide digital camera does a strong job for snaps in good mild, however there is a noticeable shift within the coloration stability.The 16-megapixel decision of the selfie digital camera gives loads of element whereas the colours are wealthy and vibrant.
    Andrew Lanxon/CNET
    Nothing’s cameras are on no account the very best ones round, but when that is what you are searching for you may have to spend greater than twice the money on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. For the cash, the Phone 1’s cameras do an outstanding job and can swimsuit you effectively in order for you vibrant photographs of your subsequent household trip. OK battery life with quick chargingProviding the juice is a 4,500-mAh battery, which is capacious sufficient to maintain you going for a full day so long as you are pretty cautious with what you do. In my checks, after an hour of streaming a YouTube video on Wi-Fi with the display at most brightness, it had dropped from full to 93%, and additional to 83% after a second hour. That’s not an amazing efficiency — the OnePlus 10 Pro, Pixel 6 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro and Honor Magic 4 Pro all put in higher efforts right here. But it is a demanding take a look at, and with extra cautious use you should not wrestle to get a time out of it. If you are not enjoying graphically intense video games or streaming plenty of movies, it’s best to make it via a day. Though you may undoubtedly have to cost it each evening. 
    See the Nothing Phone 1’s Transparent Back, Flashing Glyph

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    Getting it charged whenever you’re in a rush should not be a problem. The Phone 1 helps 33-watt quick charging, which Nothing claims takes it from empty to 50% full in below 30 minutes. Unfortunately, a appropriate quick charger would not come within the field and is simply accessible as an add-on accent.

    Nothing Phone 1 specs vs. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, Google Pixel 6A, Apple iPhone SE (2022)

    Nothing Phone 1

    Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

    Google Pixel 6A

    Apple iPhone SE (2022)

    Display dimension, decision, refresh charge

    6.55-inch OLED show, 2,400×1,080 pixels; 120Hz

    6.5-inch AMOLED, 2,400×1,080 pixels; 120Hz

    6.1-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60Hz

    4.7-inch LCD; 1,334×750 pixels; 60Hz

    Pixel density



    429 ppi


    Dimensions (Inches)

    6.27 x 2.98 x 0.33 in

    6.28 x 2.94 x 0.32 in

    6.0 x 2.8 x 0.35 in

    5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm

    159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm

    152.2 x 7.18 x 8.9 mm

    138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)


    6.67 oz; 189g

    6.3 oz; 178g

    5.09 oz; 144g

    Mobile software program

    Android 12

    Android 12

    Android 12

    iOS 15


    50-megapixel (primary), 50-megapixel (ultrawide)

    64-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 5-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth)

    12.2-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel ultrawide)

    12-megapixel (huge)

    Front-facing digital camera





    Video seize






    Snapdragon 778G Plus

    Exynos 1280

    Google Tensor

    Apple A15 Bionic


    128GB, 256 GB



    64GB, 128GB, 256GB


    8GB, 12GB




    Expandable storage


    Up to 1TB




    4,500 mAh; 33W wired charging — quick charger not included, 15-watt wi-fi charging, 5-watt reverse charging

    5,000 mAh; 25W wired charging — charger not included, doesn’t assist wi-fi charging

    4,410 mAh; 18W quick charging — adapter offered individually, doesn’t assist wi-fi charging

    Batttery dimension not disclosed; 20-watt wired charging — charger not included, 7.5W wi-fi charging

    Fingerprint sensor




    Home button




    USB C


    Headphone jack





    Special options

    5G, IP53, 3 years of Android updates, twin SIM

    5G; IP67 ranking; Samsung Pay

    5G, safety updates for 5 years, Android OS updates for 3 years, twin SIM, IP67 water resistance

    5G, waterproof (IP67), twin SIM

    Price off-contract (USD)

    UK value converts to $480 (128GB + 8GB RAM); $530 (256GB + 8GB RAM); $590 (256GB + 12GB RAM)



    $399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)

    Price (GBP)

    £399 (128GB + 8GB RAM); £449 (256GB + 8GB RAM); £499 (256GB + 12GB RAM)



    £419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)

    Price (AUD)

    UK value converts to AU$700 (128GB + 8GB RAM); AU$785 (256GB + 8GB RAM); AU$875 (256GB + 12GB RAM)



    AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

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