The Nothing Cellphone (1) is an effective mid-range Android cellphone that fails to essentially stand out from the crowded market except you’re a giant fan of the clear look.
- A design that stands out
- Very nice 120Hz OLED show
- Loads of cellphone for the cash
- Glyph Interface is extra of a gimmick than a helpful function
- Odd efficiency points, especally with the digicam
Distinctive LED association on rear panelThis cellphone has an attention-grabbing system of lights on its rear that may point out incoming calls or the charging degree
6.55-inch OLED showThe big display screen boasts HDR10+ help, 10-bit color and an adaptive 120Hz refresh charge
33W fast-chargingNothing claims you will get 50% energy in half-hour when charging wirelessly, and you can even use wi-fi or reverse wi-fi charging to high up the system
The Nothing Cellphone (1) is the primary Android cellphone and second product after the Nothing Ear (1) from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s hyped startup.
Nothing focussed on constructing hype forward of its Cellphone (1) launch. It’s a model that whipped up a frenzy of help on Twitter and offered an unreleased cellphone on a web site extra generally identified for sneakers. This may occasionally sound thrilling, however in case you adopted OnePlus earlier than it grew to become an apparent Oppo offshoot, the story of Nothing shall be achingly acquainted.
However a cellphone is a troublesome proposition and hype alone isn’t sufficient. With a lot competitors in the marketplace and large names like LG extracting themselves from the crowded market dominated by the likes of Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi; Nothing might have a tough highway forward if it desires to change into a model identify individuals know.
It’s price noting that, even though the Nothing Cellphone (2) is now accessible, the unique Nothing Cellphone (1) stays an reasonably priced £399/$390 possibility for people who love the look – particularly contemplating the Cellphone (2) prices an elevated £579/$599.
Design and Display screen
- 120Hz show at this value is all the time good to see
- Glyph lighting system looks like a neat, if restricted, addition
- General look paying homage to the iPhone 13
Standing out is difficult for a smartphone. A decade in the past we had selection by way of design, however now nearly every part – except for expensive foldables which might be out of attain for many consumers – is a rounded-off rectangle.
Nothing isn’t rewriting the rulebook with regards to the Cellphone (1)’s blueprint, however it’s attempting to distinguish itself with a placing design.
Just like the Nintendo Gameboys of my childhood, the Nothing Cellphone (1) has a transparent again that permits you to gaze contained in the cellphone and see the snaking cables and inside elements. I really like this type and it’s executed properly right here whether or not you decide up the system in white (pictured) or black.
From the screws to the encircling of the Qi wi-fi charging coil, a variety of work has clearly gone into making the insides of this cellphone look neat and interesting.
The clear again additionally permits the cellphone’s major ‘function’ – the Glyph Interface – to operate.
Packed contained in the cellphone are a sequence of vibrant, white LED mild strips that act as a – to place it as merely as attainable – flashy notification system. The association of LEDs flash when a notification is available in and a strip in the direction of the underside fills up because the cellphone prices. The Glyph lights can even provide you with a softer hue while you’re recording video.
It’s a design function so distinctive that Nothing additionally opted to make use of the system on the newer Nothing Cellphone (2).
It’s a intelligent trick, at the least for the primary couple of hours of use, however sadly it simply ultimately became a gimmick I might have accomplished with out.
The LEDs mild up when notifications are available and the cellphone is positioned screen-side-down. You’ll be able to manually tweak the rhythm of the lights and Nothing has crafted an entire bunch of particular ringtones that sound in time to the LEDs. The look is intelligent and distinctive, however I finally discovered the fixed mild present extra of an irritant than a profit.
I nonetheless actually like the underside LED that slowly fills up because the cellphone prices providing you with a visible indicator of how shut you might be to 100% with out getting distracted by the cellphone itself.
Issues are improved considerably on the newer Nothing Cellphone (2) with brighter LEDs and automated brightness adjustment, extra LEDs for finer management of the sunshine present and new options like a timer and the flexibility to verify the standing of apps like Uber and Deliveroo by glancing on the Glyph, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not expansive.
Glyph apart, the Nothing Cellphone (1) seems, and feels, very very similar to an iPhone 13. The edges are flat, as is the back and front, whereas a duo of cameras sit in the direction of the highest of the rear. The Nothing Cellphone (1) seems a lot like an unorthodox iPhone 13 that my associate thought it was Apple’s subsequent system when she picked it up for the primary time.
Nothing says the Cellphone (1) is produced from 100% recycled aluminium, with 50% of the plastic elements coming from ‘bio-based and recycled sources’.
The aluminium body is mild and has up to now provided good ranges of sturdiness, one thing backed up by the Gorilla Glass coverings. The comparability to the iPhone 13 is, in fact, removed from a knock towards the Nothing Cellphone (1). It’s a handsome system, and whereas it will have been good to see an IP68 score for added water resistance, that’s a function we hardly ever see at this £399 value.
We’re additionally removed from assured a top-end show at this value however Nothing has at the least determined towards skimping on the display screen – a transfer I’ll all the time commend. There’s a 1080p HDR10+ succesful 6.55-inch OLED right here, with a clean 120Hz refresh charge and 240Hz contact sampling charge for responsive gaming controls. Contemplating Google’s Pixel 6a has a mere 60Hz show, Nothing has a notable one-up on one in every of its larger rivals.
In contrast to some pricier telephones, the 120Hz refresh charge solely switches that high quantity and 60Hz, moderately than right down to as little as 1Hz. This is named a variable refresh charge display screen, and it could possibly save battery by working the display screen much less in conditions that aren’t as demanding. It’s a function of the newer Nothing Cellphone (2) if that’s of significance to you.
I fired up some HDR movies on YouTube and so they popped with brightness, whereas the display screen can hit just below 500 nits of brightness in on a regular basis use. That is sufficient to deal with brighter days and the Nothing Cellphone (1) managed to keep away from changing into unusable in direct daylight.
Contained in the show is a dependable fingerprint sensor for biometric unlocking and as a substitute of a notch, there’s a small cutout within the high left nook for the entrance digicam.
- Two rear cameras, with the primary sensor being the very best
- Good 16MP selfie digicam
I wasn’t anticipating a lot from the pictures abilities of the Nothing Cellphone (1). Too typically reasonably priced units have promised loads after which dissatisfied with regards to optics – I’m taking a look at you OnePlus. However in actuality, the expertise right here is robust for the worth. The principle digicam churns out nice daylight snaps and the ultrawide is there for a little bit of versatility.
There’s a duo of 50MP sensors on the again, with the primary digicam being a Sony IMX766 sensor toting OIS (optical picture stabilisation). Across the entrance, there’s a 16MP sensor.
The digicam specs sound good on paper as this is identical sensor you’ll discover on glorious smartphones just like the Oppo Discover X5 Professional and Xiaomi 12, which actually impressed us after we examined them. It additionally completely impressed our reviewer of the OnePlus Nord 2T, one other cellphone that makes use of this sensor.
I’ve been taking pictures with the Cellphone (1) for over every week at this level and I really feel I can belief the digicam to snap a superb image in most situations. In fact, the spotlight is in well-lit conditions the place the snaps taken from the cellphone are vibrant, vibrant and detailed.
A superb check of a digicam I all the time discover is snapping a pic of my canine and seeing whether or not the cellphone can pull sufficient element out of the fur with out resorting to heavy sharpening in post-processing. The Nothing Cellphone (1) does a superb job right here, presenting a transparent picture with good fur element with out trying too processed.
On one other day of testing, I took the cellphone out when the solar was vibrant and this confirmed a number of the cellphone’s points with HDR pictures. Typically photos have been method over-exposed and I didn’t really feel just like the software program was doing sufficient to counteract the rays. Nonetheless, the vast majority of pictures I took have been usable.
Pictures are nonetheless good when the lights go down, with the evening mode pulling some additional brightness out of scenes the place motion is stored to a minimal. I’d nonetheless say the Pixel 5a captures higher evening pictures, however the Nothing Cellphone (1) does a commendable job.
The outcomes have been much less spectacular with the secondary ultrawide lens. The colors are very completely different while you swap and the top product is a bit disappointing. Nonetheless, I just like the addition of this focal size and it could possibly nonetheless produce some good photos.
Nothing must be recommended for not including an additional horrible telephoto sensor or a pointless macro sensor right here only for advertising functions. Sure, a real telephoto digicam would have been good, however I’ve but to make use of a cellphone at this value that may do zoomed photos justice.
Video doesn’t appear to have been a lot of a spotlight for Nothing right here, because the feature-set is minimal. You’ll be able to shoot in 4K as much as 60fps with a reasonably customary degree of stabilisation and that’s about it.
For reference, the newer Nothing Cellphone (2) sports activities an equivalent dual-50MP digicam setup, although with a distinct major sensor and an improved ISP that may seize way more knowledge – although whether or not this ends in notably higher outcomes is but to be seen.
- Much less of a deal with specs than a lot of the competitors – which isn’t a foul factor
- The Snapdragon 778G+ chip is succesful
- Some efficiency points, seemingly right down to software program optimisation
In contrast to OnePlus, Nothing isn’t touting the Cellphone (1) as a flagship by way of efficiency. The truth is, the spec checklist right here could be very modest. If a top-tier Qualcomm chipset or ridiculously quick charging is a must have function, you is perhaps higher off taking a look at one thing from Realme or Xiaomi – and even the newer Nothing Cellphone (2).
With that stated, what’s on supply with the Nothing Cellphone (1) is greater than sufficient for many customers. RAM is available in both 8 or 12GB sizes, whereas the mid-range Snapdragon 778G+ chip has been tweaked particularly for Nothing due to the addition of each wi-fi, and reverse wi-fi charging.
There’s 5G – a function you’ll discover on increasingly more telephones even at this value – although there isn’t any mmWave help.
I’ve had some blended outcomes with the efficiency of this cellphone, although I don’t actually see the chipset as the primary wrongdoer. I’ve run into many situations of stuttering, notably when scrolling across the house screens and particularly contained in the digicam app. The entire taking pictures expertise is sluggish, with frames dropping after I’m taking a photograph and frequent drops to black after I swap between modes.
Nonetheless, in benchmark checks and gaming the cellphone delivers the outcomes I might anticipate at this value level. It will probably deal with lengthy bouts of Name of Responsibility Cell with out getting scorching and when I’m in apps the efficiency is regular.
I might say the problems I’ve skilled are right down to software program optimisation, one thing common for a brand new model creating its first cellphone. It does result in an typically irritating expertise although.
Name high quality, Wi-Fi efficiency and mobile connectivity are all good and the 8GB RAM in my evaluation unit is greater than sufficient for a day’s price of apps to remain in reminiscence.
The Nothing Cellphone (1) runs Android 12 with a promised three years of software program updates, nonetheless, as the corporate is new we’re but to essentially see how shortly it delivers these updates. Nothing OS sits atop Android 12 and it’s a very minimal coating so hopefully they’ll come shortly, however solely time will inform.
There are some new wallpapers, liberal use of Nothing’s dot-matrix font and a barely tweaked fast settings bar. There are additionally a few new widgets, together with an NFT Gallery and one to pair with a Tesla. I can’t assist however suppose Nothing is hoping its potential consumers are additionally the type who would purchase a Tesla.
I just like the clear look of the UI and respect the entire lack of bloatware put in. Nonetheless to name this an OS is pushing it. Actually it’s a really mild pores and skin the place all the very best bits have been designed by Google.
Issues have been improved with the Android 13-based Nothing OS 2.0 on the Nothing Cellphone (2), nonetheless, and Nothing has promised that the replace will hit the Nothing Cellphone (1) within the coming months.
- Wi-fi charging is nice to see at this value
- No boxed charger included
Contained in the Cellphone (1) is a 4500mAh battery and through my time with the cellphone, it has by no means did not get me by way of the day. Notably busy days have referred to as for the reducing of the display screen to 60Hz, however for essentially the most half, this can be a system you received’t be worrying about charging earlier than you allow the workplace. Nonetheless, the cellphone doesn’t final fairly so long as the OnePlus Nord 2T – in order that’s in all probability a better option in case you’re eager on getting as a lot juice from a cost as attainable.
Standby occasions are oddly poor, far worse than what I might normally anticipate from an Android cellphone at this value. Leaving the cellphone unplugged in a single day noticed it drop by 15% 4 nights in a row. Just like the sluggish cameras, there’s each likelihood this might be a results of poorly optimised software program.
Nothing has run with the instance set by Apple and Samsung and never included a charger within the field, although it hasn’t matched the Xperia 1 IV by eradicating the USB-C cable. The cellphone is able to 33w quick charging, so decide up a plug able to at the least that pace in case you’re buying round. A full cost takes roughly an hour, which isn’t pretty much as good because the 37 minutes it took to cost the Realme GT Neo 3T however nonetheless quicker than charging an iPhone 13.
It’s nice to see Qi wi-fi charging right here too, a function hardly ever seen at this value. There’s even reversible wi-fi charging, so you’ll be able to cost a pair of Qi earbuds on the again at 5w.
Must you purchase it?
You need a cellphone that catches the attention: The Nothing Cellphone (1) does have a novel look, with the clear again and the Glyph UI. It definitely catches the attention and stands out.
You’re after a high performing system: I seen a number of efficiency points with the cellphone, from the sluggish digicam to common points all through.
Even in comparison with the newer Nothing Cellphone (2), the Nothing Cellphone (1) is an effective reasonably priced Android cellphone. For £399 you’re getting a pleasant display screen, versatile digicam, a day-long battery and a novel design. In comparison with the £579 asking value of the similar-looking Nothing Cellphone (2), it’s a steal.
Nonetheless, nothing actually stands out right here as being higher than what was already in the marketplace. The Pixel A sequence takes nicer images, the OnePlus Nord 2T is a greater performer and the Realme GT Neo 3T prices quicker.
At the very least the Nothing Cellphone (1) is an effective all-rounder and for a lot of, that’ll be sufficient, particularly when it’s paired with a neat design that’ll definitely get individuals speaking.
How we check
We check each cell phone we evaluation completely. We use trade customary checks to match options correctly and we use the cellphone as our major system over the evaluation interval. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to evaluation a product.
Used as our major handset throughout check interval
Digicam examined in number of conditions with all modes
Examined with artificial benchmarks and actual world use
There isn’t a charger included right here, only a USB-C cable. The cellphone does help 33w charging (together with Qi wi-fi charging) so it’s price choosing up a charger that helps these speeds.
There may be not a case included, nonetheless Nothing is promoting a case that reveals off the Glyph interface.
It’s promising three years of huge Android updates and an extra one in every of safety updates. That’s good for this finish of the market.
Trusted Evaluations check knowledge
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (mild)
1 hour music streaming (on-line)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% cost
Time from 0-50% cost
Nothing Cellphone (1)
Display screen Measurement
First Reviewed Date
Nothing Cellphone (1)
50MP + 50MP
75.8 x 8.3 x 159.2 MM
2400 x 1080
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An abbreviation for ‘Ingress Safety Code’, which helps you to know to what extent a tool is perhaps waterproof or dustproof.
Variable Refresh Charges
Variable Refresh Price allow a sport console/PC to ship video frames as fast as attainable to a show, with the display screen adapting its personal refresh charge in real-time to match the supply, lowering visible artefacts and providing a extra responsive efficiency
The variety of occasions the display screen refreshes itself per second.
OLED and AMOLED
Kinds of shows that use self-lighting pixels to offer larger distinction and extra vibrant colors than a typical LCD show, in addition to sharper blacks.