Nothing Phone (1) Review: Fun Lights, Just Right

It is uncommon for the primary technology of a shopper tech product to be almost 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 characteristic 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 further enjoyable: 900 LEDs beneath the glass on the rear that gentle up with distinctive patterns when notifications arrive and might act instead digicam flash once you shoot in low gentle.

Nothing calls it the Glyph Interface. It’s foolish, and perhaps even gimmicky. But I like it. I like seeing it gentle up, a lot in order that I usually 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 critical hurt if there’s somebody sleeping subsequent to you.) 

What units the Nothing Phone (1) aside from 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 screen to the digicam to the battery. It’s laborious to search out many faults. The solely downside? It’s not offered within the US.

Nothing Is Everything

Nothing Phone (1)

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

Price is all the things lately, 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 largely 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 vibrant sufficient to obviously see on sunny summer season days. It additionally has a 120-Hz adaptive refresh rate, which makes each interplay with the cellphone really feel easy, like a knife via gentle butter. It’s a decent dimension—not too huge, 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 properly.) Games like Dead Cells and Alto’s Odyssey ran and not using a hitch, and extra demanding titles like Genshin Impact carried out sufficiently properly. The gadget by no means received questionably heat both.  

All the opposite essential 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, a beautiful haptic motor for mild 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.

Photograph: Nothing

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