It is uncommon for the primary technology of a shopper tech product to be practically good, however right here we’re with the Nothing Phone (1). It’s the first-ever smartphone from Nothing—a brand new firm headed by former OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei—and solely the corporate’s second-ever launch, following final yr’s Ear 1 wireless earbuds.
What’s not uncommon is for a first-gen product to have some form of flashy function to attract you in. Remember the Red Hydrogen One and its funky holographic show? The Essential Phone’s magnetic port that by no means actually amounted to a lot (for good reason)? Or even the Amazon Fire Phone’s “Dynamic Perspective”? The glitz on the Nothing Phone (1) is additional enjoyable: 900 LEDs beneath the glass on the rear that mild up with distinctive patterns when notifications arrive and might act in its place digicam flash once you shoot in low mild.
Nothing calls it the Glyph Interface. It’s foolish, and perhaps even gimmicky. But I like it. I like seeing it mild up, a lot in order that I often flip the cellphone round when it’s on my desk to see the design. I additionally love the enjoyable little sounds the gadget makes with Nothing’s customized ringtones and alerts. Beep boop! (Fair warning: The alarm sounds could trigger you severe hurt if there’s somebody sleeping subsequent to you.)
What units the Nothing Phone (1) other than different first-gen smartphones is that it nails each main operate splendidly. Take away the brilliant lights and also you’re left with a easy, inexpensive, and efficient cellphone, from the display to the digicam to the battery. It’s onerous to search out many faults. The solely downside? It’s not offered within the US.
Nothing Is Everything
Price is every thing today, and the Nothing Phone (1) begins at £399, or roughly $472, placing it in league with the Google Pixel 5A (plus the upcoming Pixel 6A), Samsung Galaxy A53, and different units from Xiaomi, Poco, and OnePlus. For the cash, you’re getting principally high-end smartphone specs, which is identical tactic OnePlus employed again within the good old days.
There’s the distinctive 6.55-inch OLED show. It’s sharp and will get loads brilliant sufficient to obviously see on sunny summer time days. It additionally has a 120-Hz adaptive refresh rate, which makes each interplay with the cellphone really feel clean, like a knife by way of mushy butter. It’s a decent measurement—not too massive, not too small—with flat edges that make it simple to carry.
Performance is one other standout. Powered by the midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ with 8 GB of RAM, I’ve nary seen a stutter on the Nothing Phone (1). (You can improve to 12 GB RAM as nicely.) Games like Dead Cells and Alto’s Odyssey ran and not using a hitch, and extra demanding titles like Genshin Impact carried out sufficiently nicely. The gadget by no means obtained questionably heat both.
All the opposite necessary perks are right here, together with wi-fi charging, reverse wi-fi charging to juice up your wi-fi earbuds in a pinch, NFC for contactless funds, an exquisite haptic motor for light vibrations, and Gorilla Glass 5 defending the back and front. There’s an in-display fingerprint sensor I’ve discovered to be fairly dependable, and the twin stereo audio system sound nice.