A fortnight with Nothing phone (1) and for all we know this device is definitely up to something. Extensive gaming, endless calls, streaming online content – the gadget has endured all in the past two weeks. One word verdict is – Epic! The device that has been hyped up for the last couple of months seems to be worth the time and investment.
Barring a few minor inconveniences, Nothing clearly delivers something worthwhile. But, is it the next big flagship killer? The answer lies in the details since it’s all about context. Specifications are spot on and the design is avant-garde in the realm of Android smartphones.
Nothing phone (1), quite evocatively stands out from the league of mid-range Android smartphones. The unique transparent design, coupled with the Glyph interface, certainly has set the bar high for design innovations on smartphones.
The maiden smartphone from the London-based startup comes with an iPhone-like metal chassis and glass back, offering 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 great in the hand.
It looks futuristic and evokes a sense of the Sony Xperia U from the early 2010s when it came with an illumination bar at the bottom. While many have been quick to highlight the Nothing phone (1)’s striking resemblance to the iPhone 12, the seamless fusion of an unprecedented design and user interface gives the device a distinct look.
« Back to recommendation stories
I don’t want to see these stories because
The pulsating LEDs, although not so utilitarian, certainly live up to the hype and make the device stand out. Its aluminium frame is enclosed in Gorilla Glass 5 Layers, making it a
handset. The metallic rounded finishes add to the smartphone’s elegant structure.
The first impression of the device after unboxing it and some play with the Glyph can be described as an uber-cool-looking device that is very futuristic and handy. All the apprehensions surrounding the design’s viability fade into oblivion the moment one begins using the device.
The Best Display Under Rs 40K?
Nothing phone (1) comes with a 6.55” OLED display that supports 1 billion colours. The device delivers what it claims at the display front as the OLED panel offers true-to-life rich images. The adaptive 120Hz refresh offers effortless scrolling without the fluidity found on most flagships. The adaptive refresh rate adds to the longer battery life.
Streaming your favourite show or playing a high-octane action game with deep contrasts and vivid colours, the phone (1) offers crisp and crystal visuals. Considering the increasing adoption of OTT platforms and access to gaming, it ticks all the prerequisites for a multimedia smartphone of 2022. Moreover, the phone (1) could be one of the first Android devices without a chin, which has become a mainstay in most mid-range devices.
Perhaps, the most striking part of the phone (1) is its Glyph Interface which comes with 900 LED lamps on the back. It makes you think of disco lights. There are 10 ringtone patterns that can be assigned to any contact of your choice. Users can also assign specific light patterns in a messaging application – a long laborious process if you plan to customise WhatsApp notifications. The Glyph is for the eyes. Its use can be futile or forgotten by heavy users.
While Nothing OS stands for Nothing Operating System, it is barely an OS on its own. The device comes with Android 12 with the Nothing launcher on top of it. It comes with Play Store and the usual Google Suite applications. The biggest advantage here is that it comes without any bloatware, so users will 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 distinct. The UK-based company has promised three years of software updates on its debut smartphone.
Nothing phone (1) is powered by a 4,500mAH battery with 33W fast-charging support. The brand claims that the handset will charge up to 50 per cent in 30 minutes, and it does. There is a 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging facility for earbuds and other devices. Almost no rivals in the segment offer this currently. A full charge offers nearly six hours of screen time. For a light user, the smartphone will last 1.5 days; for a medium to heavy user, the device can offer a whole day’s battery life.
Performance and Gaming
The device comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ with 8GB and 12GB DDR5 RAM. Nothing phone (1) offers easy everyday use, especially gliding through applications without any stutter. Apps launch without any delay and gaming is seamless with quicker response times. Besides, the haptic feedback is decent on the device.
The handset can be a great option for gamers who are looking for efficiency matched with superior visuals. From Candy Crush to Call Of Duty, Nothing phone (1) offers dynamic performance and holds itself steady. Even after amping the graphic setting to 60fps, the device turned out to be a reliable smartphone for hardcore gaming. The phone also comes with a dedicated “Game Mode” that offers features such as “Do Not Disturb”.
Photography On Nothing phone (1)
The dual camera module on the device is headlined by a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor. It has a built-in optical image stabilisation (IOS) that offers a smooth video recording experience and can be handy for low-light shots. The camera interface is simple and streamlined, making it easy to access on the go. It lets users toggle between the standard 12MP mode and a 50MP Ultra mode effortlessly. Pictures in both modes pack crisp detailing and when it comes to HDR, the device outdoes most of its peers in the segment.
The second 50MP ultra-wide camera captures decent detailing; occasionally one may see distortion around the edges of the frame. Regardless of the minor inconveniences, daylight pictures are particularly detailed with absolutely no noise.
Portrait Mode offers sharper images, while the 4K recording on the device is smooth. Interestingly, unlike other smartphones in the category, the Nothing phone (1) takes much less time to process sharper pictures.
The device struggles with grain and noise under ambient conditions. The Glyph lamps on the rear also double up as flashlights for photography in low-light conditions. The 16MP Sony IMX471 is an efficient front-facing camera. Although selfies feel as if they have auto-adjusted skin tones, videos are neat and adequate for calls and short videos. Overall, the cameras offer plenty of details, sunny pictures and faster processing times.
A Word of Caution
The Nothing phone (1) is a sturdy device. Considering the well-thought design and built, the device easily evokes a premium feel. The disadvantages of the smartphone include minimal customisation for the Glyph interface. The device does not have a charger in the box. While the company may have justified it by offering wireless charging support, average users in India still would be reluctant to spend extra on wireless chargers, considering that they are shelling out over Rs 30,000 for the phone. The absence of a 3.5mm jack will likely prompt more users to opt for Bluetooth headsets.
The Nothing phone (1) is available in two colours: Black and White. The 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model is priced at Rs 32,999, the 8GB + 256 GB option is priced at Rs 34,999. The top-of-the-line 12GB RAM + 256GB device comes at Rs 35,999. The brand has collaborated with Flipkart in India and is offering a slew of discounts and deals on the Nothing phone (1).