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

It is uncommon for the primary era of a client 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 12 months’s Ear 1 wireless earbuds.

What’s not uncommon is for a first-gen product to have some type 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 gentle up with distinctive patterns when notifications arrive and may act as a substitute digital camera flash once you shoot in low gentle.

Nothing calls it the Glyph Interface. It’s foolish, and possibly even gimmicky. But I like taking a look at it. I like seeing it gentle 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 machine makes with Nothing’s customized ringtones and alerts. Beep boop! (Fair warning: The alarm sounds might trigger you critical 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 perform splendidly. Take away the intense lights and also you’re left with a easy, inexpensive, and efficient cellphone, from the display screen to the digital camera to the battery. It’s arduous to search out many faults. The solely drawback? It’s not bought within the US.

Nothing Is Everything

Nothing Phone (1)

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

Price is every thing as of late, 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 gadgets from Xiaomi, Poco, and OnePlus. For the cash, you’re getting principally high-end smartphone specs, which is similar tactic OnePlus employed again within the good old days

There’s the distinctive 6.55-inch OLED show. It’s sharp and will get lots 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 clean, like a knife by way of tender butter. It’s a good measurement—not too large, not too small—with flat edges that make it straightforward 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 with no hitch, and extra demanding titles like Genshin Impact carried out sufficiently properly. The machine 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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