Nothing Phone 1 First impressions: Light up the competition

Top-of-the-line smartphones tend to be heavily hyped and pre-launch, but we don’t often see the same or even greater levels of excitement over the launch of a mid-range phone. central. NoThe technology company founded by Carl Pei, who previously co-founded OnePlus, has just launched its first smartphone called Phone 1.

This has been a much-anticipated smartphone for many reasons but I think the main reason is that Carl Pei, the man at the head of the company, helped shape the OnePlus From a fledgling brand for enthusiasts only to one of the most popular smartphone brands today. Expectations for Nothing’s first smartphone were sky-high. After an earthquake of the past few months with numerous leaks and advertisements, the Phone 1 is finally here.

The Phone 1’s goal is nothing short of a clean and simple Android experience but with a unique hardware twist through its quirky notification lights. I spent some time with the Phone 1 and here are my first impressions of it.

The Nothing Phone 1 comes in a slim box with a printed cutout of the back of the phone. The white and black versions of the phone come in matching color boxes. Inside you’ll find Phone 1, a safety guide, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and one of the most beautiful SIM eject tools I’ve come across. As expected, yes No charger comes with the phone. Nothing also sent me a clear case for Phone 1, sold separately.

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Nothing Phone 1 doesn’t come with a charger included, but the SIM eject tool looks pretty cool

Before diving into the specs, we should first talk about the Phone 1’s most unique feature and that is its back. You’ve probably seen this corner of the phone the most because it’s what Nothing has used in all of its marketing materials. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the whole transparent design but I do appreciate how neatly all the components have been tucked away. In my opinion, the black variant looks much better than the white because the transparency effect is more subtle and I also like the darker color of the aluminum frame.

However, this transparent back is not only for display, it also serves a purpose. Beneath the glass back is a series of light strips that Nothing calls the Glyph Look. There’s a dedicated menu in the software for it, from where you can set different lighting patterns for ringtones and notifications, or even keep a tab on battery levels while the phone is charging. You can even use the Glyph Layout as fill light for the rear cameras, which is neat.

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Nothing Phone 1’s transparent back is its most striking feature, for better or worse

The Glyph interface seems useful provided you get in the habit of keeping your phone face down on a surface, which I personally don’t do. The lights are really bright, although you can adjust the intensity and some flickering patterns can be distracting. We’ll find out in the full review how useful this really is after I’ve been using the phone for a long time. Another thing to keep in mind is that you will probably need to use this phone with a transparent or translucent case or without a case to be able to see the lights.

As a premium mid-range smartphone, the Nothing Phone 1 is quite right. The flat aluminum frame is smooth to the touch and the rounded edges are comfortable in the hand. It’s quite thin at just 8.3mm but a bit heavy for it at 193.5g. The power and volume buttons are responsive and are placed on opposite sides of the frame making it easier to use with one hand. At the bottom, we have a dual SIM tray, a USB Type-C port and a speaker. The headphones double as a second speaker for stereo sound.

Nothing Phone 1 is rated IP53 for water and dust resistance. The IP rating is becoming more and more common in mid-range phones and while it’s not as comprehensive as the IP67 or IP68 rating, it’s still something and I’m glad it hasn’t been overlooked. this.

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Nothing Phone 1 has a sharp OLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz

On the front of Nothing Phone 1, you get a bright and sharp 6.55-inch screen that produces very good colors thanks to the OLED panel. The screen has 10-bit color depth, full-HD+ resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate. This phone also has an in-display capacitive fingerprint sensor, which works well so far. The display supports HDR10+ playback and has a typical brightness of 500 nits (1200 nits peak). There’s Corning Gorilla Glass on the front and back of Phone 1.

Nothing Phone 1 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G + SoC, which is a powerful 5G chip seen in phones like Motorola Edge 30 (Review). Phone 1 comes in three configurations as follows: 8GB RAM + 128GB storage priced at Rs. 32,999, 8GB RAM + 256GB storage priced at Rs. 35,999 and 12GB RAM + 256GB storage cost 38,999. This is LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 memory. Nothing is also discount for customers who have pre-ordered the machine.

Phone 1 has a 4,500mAh battery and supports up to 33W USB PD wired fast charging. There is support for 15W fast wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging. Wireless charging is a feature that is still relatively rare in the mid-range segment, so this should help the Phone 1 get a good footing.

Nothing Phone 1 runs on Nothing OS, pretty much stock Android 12 with a few tweaks like custom icon packs, wallpapers and add-ons, and of course, custom ringtones and notification sounds for Glyph interface. Nothing also promises three years of Android updates and four years of security updates, which is good.

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There are only two cameras on the back of the Nothing Phone 1

Nothing goes crazy with the cameras and there are only two cameras on the back of the Phone 1, but with high quality sensors. The main camera uses a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor with optical stabilization. We’ve seen good things from this sensor in a lot of high-end phones, so I expect the same from Phone 1. The second camera is a 50-megapixel ultra-wide camera and uses the Samsung JN1 sensor. , like OnePlus 10 Pro (Review). This sensor also has autofocus so it works as a macro camera. The selfie camera features a 16-megapixel Sony IMX471 sensor that we’ve seen on many OnePlus flagships over the years.

Nothing 1 looks like it could be a solid mid-range product based on specs alone. The inclusion of wireless charging gives it an edge over its competitors, and the Glyph notification system, although a bit gimmicky in my opinion, definitely sets it apart from the rest. any other phone on the market. Besides having good hardware, it’s equally important for Nothing to offer good after-sales service if it hopes to compete with other established players. The company says it has service centers in more than 220 cities across India, which is a good start.

Should you believe the hype and buy the Nothing Phone 1? Find out in our full review coming soon.

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