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Nothing Phone (1) Review in Five Minutes

Does it live up to the hype? Find out in our Nothing Phone (1) first impressions?

July 12, 2022 / 10:50 PM IST
The Nothing Phone (1) has officially been unveiled globally. The Nothing Phone (1) price in India is set at Rs 32,999 for the base 8GB/128GB model. The Phone (1) is also available in an 8GB/256GB and a 12GB/256GB configuration that will set you back Rs 35,999 and Rs 38,999, respectively. You can check out all the details about the sale and offers right here. So now that you have all the information about the Phone (1)’s pricing and availability, let’s take a brief look at its specifications and design.
The Nothing Phone (1) has officially been unveiled globally. The Nothing Phone (1) price in India is set at Rs 32,999 for the base 8GB/128GB model. The Phone (1) is also available in an 8GB/256GB and a 12GB/256GB configuration that will set you back Rs 35,999 and Rs 38,999, respectively. You can check out all the details about the sale and offers right here. So now that you have all the information about Nothing Phone (1)’s pricing and availability, let’s take a brief look at its specifications and design.
It is safe to say that the Nothing Phone (1) is the most uniquely designed smartphone. LEDs on the back of a smartphone is nothing new, but the Phone (1) manages to incorporate the LEDs in a unique way that doesn’t take away from the handset’s premium aesthetic. We’ll dive more into the design in our full Phone (1) review.
It is safe to say that the Nothing Phone (1) is the most uniquely designed smartphone. LEDs on the back of a smartphone are nothing new, but the Phone (1) manages to incorporate the LEDs in a unique way that doesn’t take away from the handset’s premium aesthetic. We’ll dive more into the design in our full Phone (1) review.
For now, let’s stick to the basics. First off, the Phone (1) has Gorilla Glass on the back and the front of the device. Additionally, the handset also comes with an aluminium frame, so you know Nothing is not skimping on the build. The phone’s back is transparent, although the wireless charging coil is just about the only component you can see on the back. There’s a dual camera setup on the top that is surrounded by an LED light.
For now, let’s stick to the basics. First off, the Phone (1) has Gorilla Glass on the back and the front of the device. Additionally, the handset also comes with an aluminium frame, so you know Nothing is not skimping on the build. The phone’s back is transparent, although the wireless charging coil is just about the only component you can see on the back. There’s a dual-camera setup on the top that is surrounded by an LED light.
Speaking of LED lights, there are quite a few of them on the Phone (1). The phone has sharper edges as opposed to rounded edges, reminiscent of an iPhone. In fact, a lot of people mistook the Nothing Phone (1) for an iPhone, i.e., until they took a closer look at the phone back panel or when the LED lights turned on. The Phone (1) has a dual speaker setup that provides surprisingly good sound. Lastly, the phone has general button placements with the volume buttons on the left and the power button on the right, while the USB-C port, speaker grille, and SIM tray sit at the bottom.
Speaking of LED lights, there are quite a few of them on the Phone (1). The phone has sharper edges as opposed to rounded edges, reminiscent of an iPhone. In fact, a lot of people mistook the Nothing Phone (1) for an iPhone, i.e., until they took a closer look at the phone's back panel or when the LED lights turned on. The Phone (1) has a dual speaker setup that provides surprisingly good sound. Lastly, the phone has general button placements with the volume buttons on the left and the power button on the right, while the USB-C port, speaker grille, and SIM tray sit at the bottom.
Moving to the front of the phone and the Phone (1) opts for a 6.55-inch FHD+ (2400x1080 pixels) Flexible OLED display with 10-bit colours. The screen features a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. The screen features a typical brightness of 500 nits and a peak brightness of 1200 nits, which easily allows you to view under bright sunlight. You also get HDR10+ support on the screen. The display may not be the best for gaming but it is excellent for watching content.
Moving to the front of the phone and the Phone (1) opts for a 6.55-inch FHD+ (2400x1080 pixels) Flexible OLED display with 10-bit colours. The screen features a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. The screen features a typical brightness of 500 nits and a peak brightness of 1200 nits, which easily allows you to view under bright sunlight. You also get HDR10+ support on the screen. The display may not be the best for gaming but it is excellent for watching content.
We’ve done front, back, now let’s take a look inside. Powering the Phone (1) is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ SoC with the Adreno 642L GPU. The chip is paired with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. In Geekbench 5, the Nothing Phone (1) managed a single-core score of 732 points and a multi-core score of 2872 points. We also ran a few titles on the device, including Call of Duty: Mobile and Apex Legends Mobile, although the phone did get a slightly warm after the first 30 minutes. We will take a more in-depth look at the phone’s performance in our full review. But for now, the Nothing Phone (1) seems to perform well-enough in games and runs particularly smooth.
We’ve done front, and back, now let’s take a look inside. Powering the Phone (1) is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ SoC with the Adreno 642L GPU. The chip is paired with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. In Geekbench 5, the Nothing Phone (1) managed a single-core score of 732 points and a multi-core score of 2872 points. We also ran a few titles on the device, including Call of Duty: Mobile and Apex Legends Mobile, although the phone did get slightly warm after the first 30 minutes. We will take a more in-depth look at the phone’s performance in our full review. But for now, the Nothing Phone (1) seems to perform well enough in games and runs particularly smooth.
With a dual-camera setup, the Phone (1) distances itself from the over-the-top camera branding. All you get is two sensors, a 50 MP Sony IMX766 primary sensor with an f/1.88 aperture and OIS and a 50 MP Samsung JN1 ultrawide lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a wide 114-degree FoV. On the front, there’s a 16 MP Sony IMX71 sensor with an f/2.45 aperture for the selfie camera. The Nothing Phone (1) can record 4K video at 30fps on both the main and ultrawide cameras, but not simultaneously.
With a dual-camera setup, the Phone (1) distances itself from the over-the-top camera branding. All you get is two sensors, a 50 MP Sony IMX766 primary sensor with an f/1.88 aperture and OIS and a 50 MP Samsung JN1 ultrawide lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a wide 114-degree FoV. On the front, there’s a 16 MP Sony IMX71 sensor with an f/2.45 aperture for the selfie camera. The Nothing Phone (1) can record 4K video at 30fps on both the main and ultrawide cameras, but not simultaneously.
The main camera captures images with good detail and dynamic range. Colours don’t always look natural when shooting in the default mode but that’s not a bad thing. The Phone (1) also transitions between wide and ultrawide pretty well, maintaining good detail and colour consistency between both lenses. Night mode also helps reduce noise and expose darker areas in the scenes. The 16 MP selfie camera captures natural-looking skin tones and has good edge detection in portrait mode.
The main camera captures images with good detail and dynamic range. Colours don’t always look natural when shooting in the default mode but that’s not a bad thing. The Phone (1) also transitions between wide and ultrawide pretty well, maintaining good detail and colour consistency between both lenses. Night mode also helps reduce noise and expose darker areas in the scenes. The 16 MP selfie camera captures natural-looking skin tones and has good edge detection in portrait mode.
While two cameras may not seem as fancy as three or four camera lenses, Nothing’s dual 50 MP formula is a winning one. Not only does the Phone (1) have a reliable main camera, its ultrawide shooter is also surprisingly good in many instances where other 8 MP and 16 MP ultrawide cameras tend to fall apart. I’ll reserve final judgement for the full Nothing Phone (1) review, but these cameras are impressive and reliable. Here’s a look at some camera samples on the Phone (1).
While two cameras may not seem as fancy as three or four camera lenses, Nothing’s dual 50 MP formula is a winning one. Not only does the Phone (1) have a reliable main camera, but its ultrawide shooter is also surprisingly good in many instances where other 8 MP and 16 MP ultrawide cameras tend to fall apart. I’ll reserve final judgement for the full Nothing Phone (1) review, but these cameras are impressive and reliable. Here’s a look at some camera samples on the Phone (1).
The Nothing Phone (1) opts for a 4,500 mAh battery that felt more-than adequate. The Phone (1) lasted the entire day under heavy usage, giving me plenty of screen-on time. However, I always found myself reaching for the charger at night, so as to not be left with insufficient battery life going into the next day as the device takes particularly long to charge using just the cable. Yes, there’s no adapter in the box, just a cable. The Nothing Phone (1) also supports 15W Qi wireless charging and 5W reverse charging.
The Nothing Phone (1) opts for a 4,500 mAh battery that felt more than adequate. The Phone (1) lasted the entire day under heavy usage, giving me plenty of screen-on time. However, I always found myself reaching for the charger at night, so as to not be left with insufficient battery life going into the next day as the device takes particularly long to charge using just the cable. Yes, there’s no adapter in the box, just a cable. The Nothing Phone (1) also supports 15W Qi wireless charging and 5W reverse charging.
In terms of software, the Phone (1) boots Android 12 with Nothing OS on top. The interface is relatively clean and is reminiscent of Stock Android we see on the Pixel devices. The Glyph interface another cool aspect to the Phone (1), which we will explore in more details in our full review. To give you the gist, it can be used to customise the lighting on the back of the phone, allowing you to use different light patterns for different contacts and notifications. Nothing is also offering three years of major Android updates and four years of security updates for the Phone (1), which is in line with most Android flagships.
In terms of software, the Phone (1) boots Android 12 with Nothing OS on top. The interface is relatively clean and is reminiscent of Stock Android we see on the Pixel devices. The Glyph interface is another cool aspect of the Phone (1), which we will explore in more detail in our full review. To give you the gist, it can be used to customise the lighting on the back of the phone, allowing you to use different light patterns for different contacts and notifications. Nothing is also offering three years of major Android updates and four years of security updates for the Phone (1), which is in line with most Android flagships.
There’s no doubt that the Nothing Phone (1) deviates from the traditional mid-range formula. The chip is hardly the fastest in the segment but is still capable of running most titles without any issues. However, Nothing’s strategy doesn’t seem to be aimed at high performance, but rather balance. The Phone (1) does a lot of things very-well by offering excellent software, a vibrant display, and a sizeable battery. And while there are only two rear cameras, they are two very good cameras as opposed to one good sensor and two or three average/gimmicky cameras.
There’s no doubt that the Nothing Phone (1) deviates from the traditional mid-range formula. The chip is hardly the fastest in the segment but is still capable of running most titles without any issues. However, Nothing’s strategy doesn’t seem to be aimed at high performance but rather balance. The Phone (1) does a lot of things very well by offering excellent software, a vibrant display, and a sizeable battery. And while there are only two rear cameras, they are two very good cameras as opposed to one good sensor and two or three average/gimmicky cameras.
Additionally, there’s a lot of thought and effort that has gone into the phone’s design that shows straight off the get-go. For now, the lack of a charger in the box is my only critique of the Phone (1). So far as first impressions go, the Nothing Phone (1) makes a pretty good one and lives up to the hype in many ways. But we’ll dive more into the Phone (1)’s performance, software, design, and cameras to give you are full analysis of Nothing’s first smartphone. However, for Rs 32,999, the Nothing Phone (1) is something special and is one of the best overall smartphones in the segment.
Additionally, there’s a lot of thought and effort that has gone into the phone’s design that shows straight off the get-go. For now, the lack of a charger in the box is my only critique of the Phone (1). So far as first impressions go, the Nothing Phone (1) makes a pretty good one and lives up to the hype in many ways. But we’ll dive more into the Phone (1)’s performance, software, design, and cameras to give you our full analysis of Nothing’s first smartphone. However, for Rs 32,999, the Nothing Phone (1) is something special and is one of the best overall smartphones in the segment.
Carlsen Martin
first published: Jul 12, 2022 10:20 pm
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