Nothing Phone (1) review

GSMArena Team, 22 July 2022.

Introduction

The Nothing phone has been in the rumor mill for months, but the wait is finally over. Carl Pei, the company's CEO, has introduced the world to the Nothing Phone (1) over a simple, straight-to-the-point presentation, which was unexpected for such a hyped product, yet one that felt right. So, here it is, meet the Nothing Phone (1).

The company's first smartphone seems to have been built abiding by one simple rule - everything you need, nothing you don't. And a pinch of innovation, of course. And looking through the Nothing Phone (1) specs, we can clearly see this applied through and through.

The Nothing Phone (1) utilizes a 6.55-inch OLED of 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh. And because of this rather mainstream display, the phone doesn't really need the latest Snapdragon chipset. That's why Nothing has opted for the competent, albeit not top-tier, Snapdragon 778G+ 5G chipset, which has already proven itself.

The camera department seems quite down to earth, too, but enough, nevertheless. There is a 50MP dual camera over at the back - a primary with a wide-angle OIS lens and an ultrawide-angle secondary with AF. A 16MP selfie camera is on the other side, sitting within a tiny display punch hole.

Then, you'd also find a 4,500mAh battery with 33W wired and 15W wireless charging support. Reverse wireless charging is also available.

Nothing Phone (1) review

The strength of the Nothing Phone (1) lies elsewhere, though. First, it's the splash-resistant unique transparent design, second - the incredibly snappy Android 12 with Nothing interface, and finally, the unique Glyph illumination interface on the back. These make the Nothing Phone (1) stand out among any crowd. So color us intrigued!

Not offering cutting-edge technology is surely a risky move, but you can't make a €450 flagship in 2022. Not like it was with the first OnePlus phones eight years ago. And that's why we think it was a smart move to get a phone with the most useful features and not overpay for extras you will rarely (if ever) use, like a LiDAR, a 4K screen, an overpowered chip that ruins battery life.

Nothing Phone (1) review

See, we managed to avoid nothing jokes up to this part, and for that, we are already proud of ourselves. So, before we give in to the temptation, let's go through the detailed specs sheet.

Nothing Phone (1) specs at a glance:

  • Body: 159.2x75.8x8.3mm, 194g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame; Multiple LED lights on the back (notifications, charging progress, camera fill light), Blinking red light on the back (video recording indicator), IP53 - splash, water and dust resistant.
  • Display: 6.55" OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, 500 nits (typ), 1200 nits (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 402ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM7325-AE Snapdragon 778G+ 5G (6 nm): Octa-core (1x2.5 GHz Cortex-A78 & 3x2.4 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A55); Adreno 642L.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
  • OS/Software: Android 12, Nothing OS.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.9, 24mm, 1/1.56", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 50 MP, f/2.2, 114˚, 1/2.76", 0.64µm, PDAF.
  • Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.1", 1.0µm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS, live HDR; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 33W, 50% in 30 min, 100% in 70 min (advertised), Wireless charging 15W, Reverse wireless charging 5W, Power Delivery 3.0, Quick Charge 4.0.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; stereo speakers.

The only major omission we can spot right out of the bat is the lack of complete ingress protection. Sure, splash resistance is still something, but for a phone of such hype level, we expected at least IP67.

The Nothing Phone (1) is available in two color options - black and white - and three memory variants - 8/128, 8/256, and 12/256. The base model starts at €469, which is quite a reasonable price given, well, everything.

Everything boils down to one question - is the Nothing Phone (1) a breath of fresh air, a new hope if you will, or a glorified and overpriced mid-ranger? Let's find out!

Unboxing the Nothing Phone (1)

Nothing Phone (1) ships in an eco-friendly box made from recycled fiber. It gets destroyed upon opening, and unless you tape it back, it will never look the same.

Nothing Phone (1) review

So, once you rip that paper box open, inside, you will find the Nothing Phone (1), a USB-C cable, and the coolest SIM ejection tool we've seen to date!

Nothing Phone (1) review

There is no charger inside the box. The phone supports USB-PD 3.0, so you can use any PD charger you have at your home.

One more thing, the Nothing Phone (1) comes with a thin screen protector that was applied in the factory. It is of a higher than usual quality and doesn't get as smudged as the ones coming on multiple Xiaomi phones.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 15 Aug 2022
  • X@I

I like the good quality and structure. I think the design would be nicer

  • Sin
  • 12 Aug 2022
  • 0Fj

Same This phone going be a real potato for it's price tag maybe But I still want see it struggling with heavy gaming genshen impact league of legends mobile legends fortune and hows the cooling does it overheat? How bad is it ...

  • Sin
  • 12 Aug 2022
  • 0Fj

I used too use third party lunchers but the performance plenty was too much Performance so much worse when u use a third party luncher So eventually I stopped using them Now am stock android fan only