Nothing Phone 1 was introduced to the world with a ton of hype. The last few months saw a brilliant media play that garnered attention for the phone, and now, it is finally official. The company told us: “Undo. Unfollow. And unlearn everything the industry has taught you. It changes now. With phone (1).”
I didn’t believe them then. After the launch, I have had a good look at the specs and watched a few hands-on videos, and…what can I say? Let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t expecting anything groundbreaking, and it turns out I was right. It turned out exactly as I predicted it would.
Nothing Phone 1 runs Android 12. It isn’t stock Android, because Nothing has a custom UI called Nothing OS in there. What you will be interacting with most of the time is a 6.55-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass protection. There is an IP53 splash resistance.
Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 778G+ chipset. It is a capable upper mid-range processor, and delivers good performance. There are three variants of the phone – 8/128 GB, 8/256 GB, and 12/256 GB. Those are enough options for you to pick from.
Is the Nothing phone good? Well, it is a mid-range smartphone whose only bragging rights are that it has little bloatware, and has fancy notification lights. The user interface isn’t anything special, the wallpapers are rather drab, to be honest. There is no charging brick in the box; you have to fork out some extra cash to buy Nothing’s 45W charger, if you want that. Not that the phone charges at 45W speeds: it maxes out at just 33W. Which begs the question….. Oh, let’s leave the question alone. You likey have a fast charger already, anyway.
What of the cameras? Nothing phone 1 takes good photos, if the samples we have seen are anything to go by. As good as we have seen from Apple, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung, and others. So, again, nothing exceptional. Nothing that wows us above what we are used to. The in-display fingerprint scanner is not ultrasonic; it isn’t new, cutting ede, or revolutionary.
I have nothing (that word again) against the phone; it is just that we got all that hype about innovation and the phone being different, only to get nothing of the sort. Perhaps that’s the point and we were being played with all along. It looks like a really good phone – an Android smartphone in the shell of an iPhone. Perhaps the best iPhone copycat ever, and that’s not a bad thing, though I suspect that the guys at Nothing Technology do not want their pet described that way. But it can’t be helped.
I do get the sense that Nothing Phone 1 reminds people of what OnePlus used to be – the lean and trim software with little or no bloat. We will see how the company handles software support. But in terms of pricing, Nothing Phone 1 does not feel like the OnePlus you used to know. This model is no flagship killer. As a matter of fact, some say it is relatively pricey for what it offers. I shall leave that to you to argue for or against.
If you haven’t yet, do have a look at the full specifications of Nothing Phone 1. Prices for the three variants are included there.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.