13/07/2022

The Nothing Phone 1: Nothing Special for £399

If you haven't heard of Nothing before, it's a newcomer to the smartphone industry behind which is OnePlus’ co-founder Carl Pei who decided to move on and offer something different to the rest of smartphones on the market. After a year of teasers and significant amount of details revealed, the first Nothing Phone 1 was launched in a 30 minutes long livestream without much pizzaz, but rather straight to the point.

Pre-launch strategy and invite only pre-orders followed in the footsteps of the OnePlus 1. Just like how OnePlus started, the Nothing Phone 1 concept is to bring a great alternative for less. Let’s jump straight into it and see whether Nothing Phone 1 is special or rather something OnePlus used to be.

Nothing Phone 1 Specifications

If you want to glance over the specifications sheet of the Nothing Phone 1, we’ve put it together below.

Nothing Phone 1Specification
Display6.55-inch HDR10+ OLED
2,400 x 1,080 resolution, 402ppi
60Hz-120Hz adaptive refresh rate
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus
Storage & RAM128GB & 8GB
256GB & 8GB
256GB & 12GB
Battery4,500 mAh
33W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
Rear camera50MP Sony IMX766 wide-angle
50MP Samsung JN1 ultrawide
Front camera16MP Sony IMX471 wide-angle
Video recording4K at 30fps
1080p at 30 or 60fps
Live HDR at 30fps
Slo-mo at 120fps
DurabilityIP53 rated: protected against dust, not waterproof
Gorilla Glass 5 front and rear
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner
Software & SupportAndroid 12 with Nothing OS
3 years of Android upgrades
4 years of security updates
ColoursBlack, white
Price (UK)from £399
What’s in the boxNothing Phone 1 with screen protector applied
USB-C cable
SIM tray tool
Manuals

It’s clear that Nothing Phone 1 has cut a few corners and takes its rightful place among the mid-rangers of this world. It lacks a higher IP certification and processing power, but offers wireless charging and a decent amount of RAM.

Image: nothing.tech

Nothing Phone 1 Design

The most unique design feature of the Nothing Phone 1 is its see-through back panel which offers a glimpse at the components hidden inside powering the phone. The transparent back has been somewhat of a trend among smartphone enthusiasts with several protective skin brands releasing wraps that depict the structure of a phone’s innards. Moreover, Nothing’s first ever released product was earbuds that had the same see-through design, so the phone is a thoughtful continuation of this design choice.

The back panel also has a few strips of LED lights fitted mirroring the contour of the rear camera and the wireless charging coil. The settings of these lights can be configured to go on when a notification is received, the phone is charging or you have an incoming call.

On the front, the Nothing Phone 1 resembles Galaxy S10e which was Samsung’s attempt to capture the interest of flagship buyers on a budget. The display is surrounded by relatively thick symmetric bezels and the front camera cutout is housed in the top left corner.

Nothing Phone’s 1 Price and Availability in the UK

If you like the look of the Nothing Phone 1 and you’re not really fussed about what it has under the hood, you will be able to buy it on the official website starting from July 21st. Select networks will be selling the phone as well.

The price for the Nothing Phone 1 will depend on what storage and RAM combination you go for:

  • 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM — £399
  • 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM — £449
  • 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM — £499

You can save more on your purchase by trading in your old phone.

Our Thoughts on the Nothing Phone 1

Let’s be honest, the Nothing Phone 1 does have the look that helps it to stand out from the crowd. However, to enjoy such design on a daily basis, no phone case policy is your only option which leaves you quite vulnerable to damaging drops and premature wear and tear.

When OnePlus released its first smartphone, it was like a gasp of fresh air in a crowded space of extremely expensive flagships and cheap plastic knock-offs that didn’t have anything decent in between. With OnePlus having paved its way into the upper echelon of smartphones now and having forgotten its true identity, it feels like the Nothing Phone 1, although coming from a completely different brand, stands for the same principles and might be another attempt to shake things up. Following the same mid-range recipe, compromising on specs and featuring a few gimmicks, the Nothing Phone 1 does break the monotony of today's smartphones. However, in essence, the Nothing Phone 1 really is nothing we haven't seen before. It’s simply served with a twist. Mind you, it will be curious to see where it takes the Nothing Phone portfolio.

Cover image: Nothing / Twitter

Antonia

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