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Nothing Phone (1) review: Android finally gets exciting again

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Nothing Phone (1): 60-Second Review

Nothing is likely to be latest to the smartphone market but its rivals need to sit down up and take notice. The Phone (1) is a complete breath of fresh air in a market that is now saturated by tedious devices that supply nothing unique.

That is definitely not the case with the Phone (1). Its see-through styling will definitely turn heads and the glowing Glyph Interface is definitely pretty useful with it alerting you to calls, texts and emails without the display.

Together with those distinctive upgrades, the Phone (1) also packs some seriously impressive tech for a ludicrously low £399 price. Owners are treated to a speedy 120Hz OLED screen, solid rear camera, wireless charging and full access to fast 5G downloads.

There’s even reverse charging which implies it should refill your AirPods by simply placing them on the rear case. It’s incredible value!

Like most phones, there are some niggles. The massive size won’t suit everyone’s taste, the camera could be a little bit slow at times and we have had some battery drain problems. Then there’s the apparent risk in investing in a phone that is from such a latest company.

Nonetheless, for those who just like the look of it and are prepared to take a punt on Nothing being around for the long haul then the Phone (1) is a troublesome device to beat. The truth is, it’s one of the crucial exciting devices we have seen in years!

Nothing Phone (1) review

The Nothing Phone (1) contains a see-through design (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Nothing Phone (1): Full Review

For those who’ve never heard of Nothing you might be definitely not alone. This fledging tech firm has only been around since 2020 and even though it did launch a pair of wireless earbuds last yr (read our full Nothing Ear (1) review here) it’s never released a phone before.

The brand does have some impressive history though with its founder, Carl Pei, one among the brains behind the hugely successful OnePlus brand.

He left that company back in 2019 and is now pinning his hopes on Nothing.

The large query is, can the Phone (1) tackle the likes of OnePlus, Samsung and Google?

Here’s our full review.

Nothing Phone (1) review

The Nothing Phone (1) contains a 6.55-inch OLED screen (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Nothing Phone (1) Design and Display

After we first saw the pre-released images of the Nothing Phone (1) back in June we weren’t sold on the marginally whacky see-through design. Nonetheless, get this device in your hands and there really is something hugely loveable about it.

The clear Gorilla Glass back enables you to peer inside and see the unique Glyph Inferace which glows if you get notifications – more on that later – and the aluminium finish gives it an excellent premium feel.

Now, one thing that definitely won’t have escaped your attention is how much this device looks like an iPhone, The truth is, during our testing, there’s been quite a few times after we’ve actually picked it up pondering that it was the Apple device we use alongside all the Android phones we test at Express.co.uk

The sharp edges and aluminium sides really make it feel prefer it’s come straight out of the design studio in Cupertino. Possibly that is not a nasty thing because it looks great and it’d even persuade some Apple fans to make the jump to Android.

The one negative we have found with the design is that it is kind of big and wide making it pretty unwieldy when attempting to use it with one hand. That size is on account of Nothing cramming a 6.55-inch OLED display into the Phone (1).

Although it is not great for small pockets this can be a really solid screen for bingeing on Netflix and whizzing around the online.

Not only is it brilliant and crystal clear however it also gets speedy 120Hz refresh rate technology which makes scrolling through web sites and checking those infinite emails feel silky smooth and stutter-free.

Considering the £399 price tag, that is a powerful display from Nothing and it beats other phones akin to the brand new Pixel 6a which only packs a 60Hz screen for a similar price.

Nothing Phone (1) review

Nothing Phone (1) review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Nothing Phone (1) Power and Battery

Tucked under the hood of the Phone (1) is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G+ processor which is powerful enough for many needs but actually doesn’t come near more premium silicon akin to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Nothing has clearly needed to make compromises to maintain the price down but, in our tests, this mid-range chip performs pretty much. It is also value noting that this plus version of the processor has allowed Nothing to bring wireless charging to its device, that is something phones using the usual Snapdragon 778G processor cannot match.

Although the brain inside is perfectly adequate we’ve found some weird performance with battery life. We have generally got through a day without it running out of juice but since enabling the always-on display the powerpack now seems to empty badly when in standby mode.

One evening we went to bed with 20 percent left within the tank and woke up to seek out the device completely flat.

Nothing is, little question, still ironing out issues and expect some software updates to be released that can hopefully fix this gripe. Just remember that, straight away, the battery life is not pretty much as good as a few of its rivals.

Nothing Phone (1) review

This phone is actually unique because of its glowing Glyph Interface (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Nothing Phone (1) Camera

As a substitute of packing the Nothing Phone (1) with infinite rear lenses, the firm has as an alternative opted for an easy dual-lens setup.

This features a essential 50MP Sony sensor and a 50MP Ultra-wide lens made by Samsung. It definitely is sensible to have two really good cameras fairly than loading it up with less impressive snappers that supply poorer quality.

Our general impression of the camera is sweet with most of the photographs we snapped appearing pin-sharp and full of detail.

When the sunshine is sweet the Phone (1) holds its own but shooting in trickier situations can see this device struggle in comparison with costlier phones. We did also find some oversaturated colors at times.

Nothing Phone (1) review

Nothing Phone (1) review: Camera sample (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Nothing Phone (1) camera sample

Nothing Phone (1) camera sample (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Together with standard images, there’s also a wide-angle option and 2X zoom plus you get the standard Night Mode for shots when the sun goes down.

Night Mode can take some hugely impressive photos without the necessity for a flash but the outcomes is usually a bit hit or miss so you will should be patient.

One final thing we noticed in regards to the camera is that it will possibly be a little bit sluggish with the shutter not all the time snapping a shot if you tap the capture button. It doesn’t occur on a regular basis but is usually a tad annoying especially when you desire to photograph something quickly.

Nothing Phone (1) camera sample

The Night Mode could be pretty hit or miss (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

We won’t talk in regards to the Extras without mentioning the Glyph Interface. Nothing has packed around 900 LED lights into the rear casing of this device which flickers and glows when notifications come through.

Similar to ringtones, these flashes could be customised depending in your taste and different themes may even be assigned to contacts so you realize who’s ringing without the screen. These lights may show how much charge is within the battery when it’s plugged in and there is the choice to make them shine when shooting video – a bit like a hoop light. Yes, the Glyph Interface is a complete gimmick but there’s something really fun about it and there are definitely times if you’ll make use of it.

Nothing Phone (1)

The Glyph Interface glows when messages come through (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Other extras value mentioning include a quick under-screen fingerprint scanner, a useful always-on screen and its design is IP53 rated for Splash, water and mud resistance.

You may fast charge the battery although Nothing doesn’t ship an influence brick within the box and there is also reverse wireless charging which implies you may pop your AirPods Pro on the rear case and provides them an influence boost. If you’ve got a 5G SIM you will get superfast downloads when away from fixed-line broadband.

Sadly, unlike most Android phones in the worth range, the device doesn’t include a case within the box so you will need to go to the Nothing Store to maintain things looking box fresh.

Nothing Phone (1) Android

Together with the design looking pretty unique, Nothing has also added its own styling to Android via its Nothing OS software.

It looks really fresh with the bespoke widgets, fonts, sounds and wallpapers adding a particular style when using the phone.

There’s also no bloatware to be seen and it includes some nice bonuses akin to the power to unlock Tesla cars with none additional apps and you may even check the Apple’s AirPods battery status.

Nothing also says it delivers speed where it’s needed most with smart software that learns out of your usage. Most-used apps load super-fast; the remaining are frozen to conserve power.

Nothing Phone (1) review

Nothing Phone (1) review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Nothing Phone (1) Price

Although prices start from £399 that does not inform you the entire story and things do get barely complicated so bear with us. That low price is for the Black model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This Black version can also be available with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage for £449 or 12GB RAM 256GB storage for £499.

For those who want the white version you then’ll need at the very least £449 in your checking account as Nothing isn’t selling this model with that entry-level 128GB of storage.

Together with the Nothing Phone (1) being on sale SIM free you can even pick it up on contract from O2 with this network having exclusive rights to sell this device within the UK.

Full pricing below.

Nothing Phone (1) review

Nothing Phone (1) review (Image: NOTHING)

Nothing Phone (1) Verdict

Nothing Phone (1) review – at a look

What We Loved

  • Unique design makes it stand out
  • Glyph Interface is fun
  • Speedy 120Hz screen
  • A great deal of premium features for £399
  • No bloatware

What We Didn’t Love

  • Nothing is latest to the market 
  • Some battery life and performance issues
  • Contracts only available on O2 within the UK

Android phones have just got exciting again! Nothing has really pulled something super unique out of the bag with its Phone (1) a design offering and features which have never been seen before. There’s also loads of premium technology tucked inside akin to reverse wireless charging and that 120Hz screen for a bargain £399 price.

The camera is pretty good, it’s fully 5G ready and the Nothing OS software makes things on the display feel fresh and exclusive.

With a lot praise you is likely to be pondering of rushing straight out to purchase one but there are some niggles that would put you off.

The camera performance is erratic at times and the weird battery drain is a worry. There have also been reports on social media of users affected by strange screen issues although that is not something we have witnessed ourselves.

That is Nothing’s very first phone and it’s no surprise that there might be teething problems – even Apple and Samsung have had issues previously when launching all-new devices. Who can forget the batteries exploding on the Galaxy Note 7 or antenna-gate on the iPhone 4.

We’re very smitten with the Nothing Phone (1) and might highly recommend it – especially for that ludicrously low £399 price. Just remember that Nothing hasn’t yet got an extended track record for producing phones and meaning being an early adopter does include a component of risk.

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