it’s rare The first generation of consumer tech products was nearly flawless, but here we’re using the Nothing Phone (1). It’s Nothing’s first smartphone — a new company led by former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei — and the company’s second, following last year’s Ear 1 wireless earbuds.
what is no Few first-generation products have some sort of flashy feature to lure you in. Remember the Red Hydrogen One and its sleek holographic display? The Essential Phone’s magnetic port never really worked (and for good reason)? Or even the “dynamic perspective” of the Amazon Fire Phone? The flashes on Nothing Phone (1) are extra interesting: 900 LEDs under the rear glass light up in a unique pattern when you receive notifications, and they act as backup camera flashes when you’re shooting in low light.
No one calls it the Glyph interface. It’s stupid, maybe even a gimmick. But I love watching it. I love seeing it light up, so much so that when the phone is on my desk, I’ll often flip the phone over to see the design. I also love the fun little sounds the device makes with Nothing’s custom ringtones and alarms. Beep! (Fair warning: If someone is sleeping next to you, the siren can seriously injure you.)
What sets Nothing Phone (1) apart from other first-generation smartphones is its mastery of all major functions. Take away the bright lights and you have a simple, affordable and efficient phone, from screen to camera to battery. Many faults are hard to find. The only question? It is not sold in the US.
nothing is everything
price is everything Today, the Nothing Phone (1) starts at £399, or about $472, putting it on par with the Google Pixel 5A (and the upcoming Pixel 6A), Samsung Galaxy A53, and other devices from Xiaomi, Poco, and OnePlus. For the money, you get Primarily high-end smartphone specs, which is the same strategy OnePlus used in the good old days.
Has an excellent 6.55-inch OLED display. It’s sharp and bright enough to be clearly seen on a sunny summer day. It also has a 120-Hz adaptive refresh rate that makes every interaction with the phone feel smooth, like a knife through soft butter. It’s a respectable size – not too big, not too small – and the flat edges make it easy to hold.
Performance is another standout. Powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ with 8 GB of RAM, I’ve never seen stutter on a Nothing Phone (1). (You can also upgrade to 12 GB RAM.) Games such as dead cells and Otto’s Odyssey Works smoothly and with more demanding titles such as Genshin Impact perform well enough. The device also never got suspiciously warm.
All the other important benefits are here, including wireless charging, reverse wireless charging to charge your wireless earbuds in a pinch, NFC for contactless payments, nice haptic motors for gentle vibrations, and Gorilla front and rear protection Glass 5. I found having an in-display fingerprint sensor very reliable, and the dual stereo speakers sounded great.