The Nothing Phone 1 is the first Android smartphone from the London-based consumer electronics manufacturer Nothing Technology Limited. It was first announced on 23 March 2022 and was made available beginning on 21 July 2022. There was a considerable level of hype around its announcement and its eventual release garnered noticeable attention. This article reviews the pros and cons of the Nothing Phone 1.
Pros of Nothing Phone 1
Nothing Technology has marketed its first smartphone as a potential rival to the iPhone. It has some resemblance to the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14. Some observers have noted that its marketing messages have even positioned this device as an iPhone killer. This branding might be a stretch but the fact remains that this smartphone has notable advantages.
A clean but futuristic design is a remarkable advantage of the Nothing Phone 1. The frame resembles the outer casing of the iPhone since the iPhone X and the front looks similar to more expensive Android devices with its symmetrical bezels and absence of a chin. The strip of Led lights called the Glyph Interface found on the back is its most noticeable feature.
It is also important to note that this device is more of a mid-ranger than a flagship. It has features that make it a close competitor to mid-range Samsung Galaxy devices such as the Galaxy A52S 5G and the Galaxy A53 5G, other mid-range Android phones such as the OnePlus Nord 2 and Google Pixel 6A, and the vanilla iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14.
Below are the major selling points of this smartphone:
• Capable Mid-Range Processor: Powering this smartphone is a Snapdragon 778G+ 5G. This is a mid-range chipset that enables the device to handle most apps without hiccups. The software is also optimized to run its Snapdragon chip to make the phone feel more responsive and allow apps to run smoother.
• Impressive OLED Display: Another notable selling point of the Nothing Phone 1 is its always-on 6.55-inch OLED display that has around 85.8 percent screen-to-body ratio. It has a resolution of 1080×2400 pixels at around 402 ppi while supporting HDR10+ and featuring an adaptive refresh rate that peaks at 120Hz.
• Decent Camera Performance: There is a 50-megapixel main cam and 50-megapixel ultrawide cam on the rear and a 16-megapixel cam on the front. The rear cameras take detailed and vibrant images under good light. Videos also look great and take advantage of optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization.
• Straightforward User Interface: Another advantage of this device is its clean and simple user interface. There are no duplicate apps and few pre-downloaded apps. The overall look and feel of browsing through the operating system are similar to the user experience of using a stock Android or a Google Pixel phone.
• Other Remarkable Features: This device supports dual SIM. It also has an IP53 rating for dust and splash resistance. Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protects the screen and the back glass. It supports 15-watt wireless charging. Configurations include 8GB RAM/128GB, 8GB RAM/256GB storage, and 12GB RAM/256GB storage.
• Long-Term Software Support: Nothing Technology promises to provide three years of Android operating system updates and upgrades and four years of security updates. This strong after-sales support is another notable advantage of the Nothing Phone 1 because it ensures longevity through future-proofing.
• Affordable Mid-Range Device: Part of the selling proposition of the Nothing Phone 1 is its price tag. This device was introduced with a retail price of USD 518.99 but some stores have begun selling this phone for less than USD 500.00 and even below USD 450.00. This makes it cheaper than high-tier mid-rangers from Samsung.
Cons of Nothing Phone 1
Remember that considering this phone an iPhone killer is a stretch. This is not a flagship-level smartphone that can outcompete the top-tier iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models, and other flagship Android devices. The claim is more of a branding strategy aimed at generating hype because comparing it to other Android devices would be not as effective.
The strategy worked. It generated enough hype after its announcement and a considerable level of attention after its official release. However, considering the fact that this is a mid-range smartphone, it has notable drawbacks when compared to more powerful devices. There is also an absence of premium features found in most flagships these days.
Below are the issues and limitations of this smartphone:
• Unsuitable For Heavy Usage: The Snapdragon 778G+ 5G is a capable chipset for handling day-to-day tasks. However, when it comes to running resource-intensive apps or graphics-heavy mobile games, it would struggle. The device would have a hard time running demanding games at the highest possible settings.
• Standard Battery Performance: Another disadvantage of the Nothing Phone 1 is its battery performance. The 4500 mAh lithium-ion battery might seem enough but this phone and its Snapdragon chipset are not power efficient compared to devices with newer chips. The battery life is average at best.
• Cameras Are Still Average: The rear cameras take excellent images under suitable lighting conditions. But both the rear cameras and the selfie cameras would struggle to take photos and record clear photos under low light environments. This device also lacks a dedicated telephoto camera with optical zoom.
• Headphone Jack and Card Slot: Another drawback of this device is the absence of a headphone jack for connecting standard wired headphones. The storage is also not expandable. Mid-rangers from companies such as Samsung and OnePlus still include these two sought-after features.
Nothing Phone 1 Review Verdict
The Nothing Phone 1 is nowhere near the iPhone in terms of performance and capabilities. It is still a noteworthy mid-range Android device with a solid performance, great display, clean user interface, and decent cameras. Its disadvantages are understandable. Most of these drawbacks, in fact, are also found in most mid-range smartphones. There is nothing groundbreaking about this device but its inexpensive price tag and long-term after-sales support provide good reasons to choose it from other mid-ranges in the market.