Nothing is a mysterious new phone brand that just debuted in the Android phone market. The Nothing Phone 1 is the second physical product released by the London-based company after 2021’s Ear 1 true wireless earbuds. This set of buds is a clear definition of what the company aspires to make, delivering a clear design aesthetic with quality sounds.
The Nothing brand is undoubtedly the new hottest prospect in today’s Android world after Essential. Although hype means nothing without a genuine reason to gravitate buyer’s interest, we feel the Nothing Phone 1 has whatever it takes to crack the code.
The Nothing Phone 1 is a modest and simple device with an eye-catching design, a capable feature set, and an affordable asking price. It indeed surpasses expectations with its unique features especially the transparent back and glyph lighting marry novelty. However, the camera performance isn’t world-class leading, plus the battery life deserves more longevity, but it’s more than capable of serving you a day without any low battery sign.
Now that the Phone 1 is here, will it inject some joy back into the phone market and set a new standard for Android phone brands? Well, with a lot of well-rounded and capable set of features and hardware, we feel the Phone 1 is the next big thing that’s coming to the Android phone market. However, find out more in our Nothing Phone 1 full review.
Table of Contents
Nothing Phone 1 Key Specifications
- Display: 6.55-inch OLED, 120Hz
- Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G
- Front Camera: 16-megapixel
- Rear Camera: 50-megapixel + 50-megapixel
- RAM: 8GB /12GB
- Storage: 128GB /256GB
- Battery Capacity: 4500mAh
- OS: Android 12, Nothing OS
At first glance, you’ll feel the amazing design aesthetics of this device. It has some of the design aspects of the Apple iPhone 12 especially its straight-sided metal frame, rounded corners, flat front and back, and dual rear camera placement. The phone’s back looks like an x-ray machine as it’s completely transparent for you to see what’s underneath. This is the first Android phone we’ve seen that exposed the entire underneath parts of the phone to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
While the Glyph Interface is an integral part of the phone’s aesthetics, it’s only part of what makes the Nothing Phone 1 amazing. Nothing claims the design was inspired by the modernist maps of Italian designer Massimo Vignelli which will draw inquisitive stares from your colleagues. This is the work of the transparent cooling pipes and wireless charging coil.
The Phone 1 front and back panel is covered by a Gorilla Glass 5 which although is not the highest level of protection from Corning, but a fair grade for a mid-range phone. Despite the Gorilla Glass 5 repelling smudges and fingerprints, Nothing did a great job by offering a transparent case out of the box. The Phone 1 is available in a black model and white finishes which are captivating enough to get people talking when you walk into a bar and casually plonk it down on the table.
At 193.5g, it sits below the 200g that’s considered heavy for a smartphone. The Nothing Phone 1 has rounded edges that make it feel comfortable while holding the device in your hands. The power button is positioned on the right side while the volume control buttons are on the left. We found them tactile enough to produce satisfying feedback without requiring much force.
While IP53 certification means the Phone 1 can be used in a drizzle without issue, it falls behind Google, Samsung, and Apple phones that issue IP68 rating certification.
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The Nothing Phone 1 is endowed with a 6.55-inch FHD+ OLED display, along with HDR10+ compatibility, boasting of 120Hz refresh rate, and 1b colors.
The Phone 1 screen is surrounded by thin bezels with a front-facing camera in the top left corner of the display. For security, there’s an optical in-display fingerprint reader which unlocks in a few seconds. Unfortunately, despite having an OLED screen, there’s no always-on display feature which is a surprise to us. However, the fingerprint sensor does blink when the rest of the display shuts off.
Meanwhile, the Full HD+ resolution offers sharp graphics for browsing the internet, streaming videos, or enjoying social media with brightness generally topping out at a quoted 500nits (1200nits peak brightness level). Furthermore, the OLED screen produces vibrant colors and the 120Hz refresh rate that’s paired with a 240Hz touch response rate makes swiping around the phone’s screen smoothly and snappy.
Furthermore, the 120Hz refresh rate is dynamic which helps to save battery by automatically switching up and down based on what you’re doing.
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Nothing Phone 1 Review: Audio
With Nothing’s first ever product being a pair of Bluetooth earbuds, it’s not a surprise to us that the Phone 1 comes without a headphone jack, instead, you can listen to audio through Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity. With this, you can easily connect the Nothing Ear 1 to the Phone 1 easily (although a full list of supported products hasn’t yet been shared).
There are dual stereo speakers, but the majority of the sound comes from the down-firing speaker, while the earpiece outputs mids and highs.
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Nothing Phone 1 Review: Camera
The Nothing Phone 1 claims a 16MP snapper as the front-facing camera with two 50MP lenses at the rear panel.
The main 50MP primary shooter is a Sony IMX766 sensor – supported by OIS (optical image stabilization) that’s also found on the flagship Xiaomi 12 device. Meanwhile, the secondary 50MP Samsung JN1 ultrawide sensor delivers a degree of consistency when switching between the two focal lengths as revealed by TechRadar.
Using the Phone 1 for taking photos is fun as the shutter is reasonably fast with the 50MP Sony sensor delivering a nice amount of details which makes it perfect for TikTok and Instagram photos. However, the ultra-wide sensor has a slight downgrade over the main camera as it has weaker colors with poor contrast. It serves its purpose especially the 114-degree field of view that allows you to explore the creativity in you.
The software-based zoom is surprisingly decent too. Shots taken at 2x zoom retain more than enough detail, though anything beyond this starts to fall apart. However, indoor shots are a little bit unimpressive, but the Night Mode was able to ramp up the environment. Furthermore, you can equally use the Glyph Interface to illuminate the subject while taking photos in lowlight settings.
The selfie camera performs great in bright, outdoor scenarios, delivering images that are great with accurate colours and a good level of detail. When it comes to video, the Nothing Phone 1 caps at 4k @30fps alongside the 1080p @60fps option. The Phone 1 camera app is a replica of Google’s Pixels, especially the Expert mode option.
Performance and Storage Specs
Nothing’s choice of using an older version of the seventh-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ chipset brought a lot of controversies between fans. This comes paired with 8GB and 12GB of RAM.
When it comes to storage, there are dual built-in storage options of 128GB and 256GB which are more than enough to contain all your files. However, there’s no SDcard slot which is not a surprise to us as most flagship brands alter the feature on their phones.
The use of an older chipset didn’t limit the Phone 1’s gaming performance. The Snapdragon 778G+ chipset is more than enough for every task including heavy gaming like playing Call of Duty Mobile, multitasking, web browsing, etc. However, the real challenge is how the Nothing Phone 1’s performance will be in long-term usage.
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Nothing Phone 1 users will enjoy a stock Android-based experience, but with a little touch of Nothing OS just like in Motorola phones. Fortunately, you can enlarge the folders to occupy a 2 x 2 space on a home screen with a pop-up view for more convenient multitasking.
Meanwhile, there’s a smart home control cutout feature on the lock screen, but with the absence of the one-handed mode that’s on most devices. However, we appreciate Nothing’s decision of promising the Phone 1 3 years of major OS updates and four years of security patches, making the device future-proof in terms of value for money and longevity.
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Battery Capacity and Charging
One of the downsides of the Snapdragon 778G+ chipset is the inability to optimise power based on user patterns and battery longevity.
Behind the transparent components, the Nothing Phone 1 packs a 4500mAh battery capacity which the company claims delivers up to 18 hours of use per charge. This makes the phone not the best option for heavy users especially gamers who need more than just 18 hours of active time.
When it comes to charging, the Phone 1 battery officially refills 50% in 30 mins and 100% in 70 mins (as advertised). However, this is only possible if you use the compatible PD 3.0/Quick Charge 4.0-compliant adapter that meets the phone’s maximum fast-charging speed of 33W. Meanwhile, there’s a 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse charging which we didn’t expect to see on this device.
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Nothing Phone 1 Review: Price in Nigeria and Release Date
Nothing is certainly ready to take over the smartphone industry while keeping the price low. The Nothing Phone 1 will be priced at ₦304,000 ($475) for the 8GB /128GB variant, while the 8GB /256GB goes for ₦339,000 ($530), and the 12GB /256GB model will be sold at ₦378,000 ($590).
Nothing unveiled Phone 1 on July 12 across India, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, the UK, and other European countries. The Nothing Phone 1 will be officially released on July 21 and it’ll be available for purchase for interested fans to get their hands on the device.
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Nothing Phone 1 Full Specifications
- Brand: Nothing
- Model: Phone 1
- Release Date: July 21, 2022
- Weight: 193g
- Colours: White, Black
- Touchscreen: YES
- Type: OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, 500nits (typ), 1200nits (peak)
- Display Size: 6.55-inch
- Screen Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
- Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass 5
- Facelock Support: YES
- In-display fingerprint scanner: Yes
- Sensors: Fingerprint (under-display)
- Dimensions: 159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm (6.27 x 2.98 x 0.33 in)
- Operating System: Android 12, Nothing OS
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM7325-AE Snapdragon 778G+ 5G (6 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (1×2.5 GHz Cortex-A78 & 3×2.4 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
- GPU: Adreno 642L
- RAM: 8GB /12GB
- Inbuilt Storage: 128GB /256GB
- SD Card slot: No
- Rear Flash: Dual-LED Dual-tone Flashlight
- Rear Camera: 50-MP f/1.9 (wide), 50-MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide)
- Video: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, gyro-EIS, live HDR
- Front Camera: 16-MP f/2.5 (wide)
- Front Flash:
- Wi-Fi: YES
- Bluetooth: 5.2
- USB: USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go
- GPS: YES
- WLAN: YES
- SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Technology: GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
- 3G Support: Yes
- 4G/ LTE Support: Yes
- 5G Support: Yes
- Speed: HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A, 5G
- Capacity: Li-Po 4500mAh, non-removable
- Fast Charge: 33W
- Price in Nigeria: ₦304,000
- Price in the US: $475