Aside from a few minor inconveniences, Nothing clearly delivers something of value. But is it the next big flagship killer? The answer lies in the detail, because it’s all about the context. The specifications are spot on and the design is avant-garde in the field of Android smartphones.
The Nothing Phone (1) stands out impressively from the league of mid-range Android smartphones. The unique transparent design coupled with the Glyph interface has certainly raised the bar for design innovation on smartphones.
The London-based startup’s first smartphone features an iPhone-like metal body and glass back, giving it a premium feel. One of the biggest highlights of the smartphone is its superior build quality. For a mid-range smartphone, the phone (1) looks stylish and feels good in the hand.
It has a futuristic look, reminiscent of the Sony Xperia U from the early 2010s when it featured a lighting bar on the bottom. While many were quick to point out the Nothing phone’s (1) striking resemblance to the iPhone 12, the seamless fusion of an unprecedented design and user interface gives the device a distinctive look.
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The pulsing LEDs, while not as functional, live up to the hype and make the device stand out. Its aluminum frame is encased in Gorilla Glass 5 Layers, making it a handset. The metallic rounded surfaces add to the elegant structure of the smartphone.
First impressions of the device after unpacking and playing around with the Glyph can be described as a uber cool looking device that is very futuristic and portable. Any concerns about the feasibility of the design disappear the moment you start using the device.
The best display under Rs 40,000?
The Nothing Phone (1) features a 6.55-inch OLED display that supports 1 billion colors. The device delivers what it promises on the display front, as the OLED panel offers lifelike, rich images. Adaptive 120Hz refresh offers effortless scrolling without the fluidity found on most flagships. Adaptive refresh rate helps extend battery life.
Stream your favorite show or play a high-octane action game with deep contrast and vivid color, the phone (1) offers crisp, crystal-clear images. Considering the increasing adoption of OTT platforms and access to gaming, it ticks all the boxes for a multimedia smartphone of 2022. In addition, the phone (1) could be one of the first chinless Android devices, which in most to has become a mainstay of mid-range devices.
Perhaps the most eye-catching part of the phone (1) is its Glyph interface, which features 900 LED lights on the back. It’s reminiscent of disco lights. There are 10 ringtone patterns that can be assigned to any contact of your choosing. Users can also assign specific light patterns in a messaging app – a tedious process if you plan on customizing WhatsApp notifications. The glyph is for the eyes. Its use can be pointless or forgotten by heavy users.
Although Nothing OS stands for Nothing Operating System, it’s hardly a standalone operating system. The device comes with Android 12 and the Nothing Launcher. It comes with the Play Store and the usual Google Suite applications. The biggest advantage here is that it comes without bloatware, so users no longer have to struggle with unwanted ads. While the OS is similar to stock Android, the widgets, dot matrix style, and graphics make the Nothing OS distinctive. The UK-based company has promised three years of software updates for its debut smartphone.
The Nothing Phone (1) is powered by a 4,500mAH battery with 33W fast charge support. The brand claims that the handset will charge up to 50 per cent in 30 minutes, and it does. There’s 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging for earbuds and other devices. Hardly any competitor in the segment currently offers this. A full charge provides almost six hours of screen time. For a light user, the smartphone lasts 1.5 days; For a moderate to heavy user, the device can offer a full day of battery life.
performance and gaming
The device is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ with 8GB and 12GB DDR5 RAM. The Nothing Phone (1) offers easy everyday use, especially smooth gliding through applications. Apps launch without lag and gaming is seamless with faster response times. In addition, the haptic feedback on the device is decent.
The handset can be a great option for gamers looking for efficiency combined with superior graphics. From Candy Crush to Call Of Duty, the Nothing Phone (1) delivers dynamic performance while keeping itself stable. Even after raising the graphics settings to 60 fps, the device turned out to be a reliable smartphone for hardcore gaming. The phone also has a special “Game Mode” that offers features like Do Not Disturb.
Photography on nothing phone (1)
The device’s dual camera module is dominated by a 50 MP Sony IMX766 sensor. It has built-in Optical Image Stabilization (IOS) that offers a smooth video recording experience and can be handy for low-light shooting. The camera interface is simple and streamlined for easy access on the go. Users can effortlessly switch between the standard 12MP mode and a 50MP Ultra mode. Images in both modes offer crisp detail and when it comes to HDR the device outperforms most of its competitors in this segment.
The second 50-megapixel ultra-wide camera captures decent detail; Occasionally there may be distortion at the edges of the frame. Despite the small inconveniences, daylight shots are particularly rich in detail and absolutely noise-free.
Portrait mode offers sharper images, while 4K recording is smooth on the device. Interestingly, unlike other smartphones in this category, the Nothing phone (1) takes much less time to process sharper images.
Under ambient conditions, the device struggles with graininess and noise. The Glyph lamps on the back double as flashlights for low-light photography. The 16MP Sony IMX471 is an efficient front camera. Although selfies feel like they have auto-adjusted skin tones, videos are decent and sufficient for calls and short videos. Overall, the cameras offer plenty of detail, sunny images, and faster processing times.
A word of caution
The Nothing phone (1) is a rugged device. Considering the thoughtful design and build, the device easily conveys a premium feel. The disadvantages of the smartphone include minimal customization of the Glyph interface. The device does not come with a charger. While the company may have justified this by saying it offers wireless charging support, average users in India would still be reluctant to shell out the extra cost for wireless chargers considering they shell out over Rs 30,000 for the phone. The lack of a 3.5mm jack will likely prompt more users to opt for Bluetooth headsets.
The Nothing phone (1) is available in two colors: black and white. The 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model costs Rs 32,999, the 8GB + 256GB option costs Rs 34,999. The top-of-the-range 12GB RAM + 256GB device is priced at Rs 35,999. The brand has partnered with Flipkart in India and offers a ton of discounts and deals on the Nothing phone (1).