Hype creates unrealistic expectation which ends up setting the bar up too high. Is Nothing Phone 1 a good buy? Read on to know about all key features and specifications of the newly-launched phone.
Nothing Phone 1
By Ayush Das
Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus happens to be the brainchild of NOTHING. If you have been following the tech industry closely, you must be aware of the craze for ‘Nothing Phone 1’ which was launched last month. It is virtually impossible to build that kind of hype for any company releasing its first smartphone. But Nothing did it anyway. As a result, some 100,000 people signed up the waitlist to buy this phone. Many people were just curious to see what Carl was going to bring in with his new venture. It has now been over a month and professional reviews have started coming in, thereby easing the process of an unbiased verdict. The Phone 1 might not have the advanced specifications that some of its competitors offer at this price but it is the combination of little things that add up to a good experience.
The Nothing Phone 1 has a 6.55” FHD+ AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate (can be reduced to 60Hz if one wants to save battery) which is a pretty common feature at this price range. It is powered by Snapdragon 778G+ SoC which might not have mighty power but it shouldn’t be mistaken to be a weak chipset either. It delivers satisfactory performance which is comparable to Dimensity 1300SoC.
There is a dual rear camera setup with the primary camera being 50 MP having Sony IMX766 sensor with optical stabilization and aperture off/1.88. The ultra-wide camera also has a 50-megapixel resolution but it is based on a Samsung JN1 sensor. It also has autofocus which makes macro lens pretty decent. The front camera has a resolution of 16 MP and uses a Sony IMX471 sensor which works just fine. The usual camera features such as Time lapse, Panorama, and Expert, are in addition to the basic ones such as Portrait and Slow-mo. You can tap on the crescent moon icon to use night shooting mode as there is a separate option for it.
The notable hardware features Nothing Phone 1 include a IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, stereo speakers, in-display fingerprint sensor, and wireless charging. It supports charging up to 33w which is on the lower end. The Phone also has a support for up to 12 5G bands, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and the usual line-up of sensors. Both the front and back of the phone are made from Gorilla Glass 5 which is scratch-resistant.
The Phone 1 runs on Nothing OS which is based on Android 12. The company has promised three years of Android updates and four years of security updates with this phone.
The one thing which makes this phone stand out from any other smart phone in the mid-range segment, let alone every other segment, is its unique design and a solid build quality. The Phone 1 practically feels like an iPhone to hold. The phone has a semi-transparent back side with a specific array of attention grabbing lights which the company calls “glyph interface”. The user can assign different glyph patterns to different notifications, contacts, and even different kind of notifications from the same app. But yes, to use this feature you have to keep your phone up-side down. Along with these primary functions, the glyph lights may also be used to check the charging status of the phone or when Google Assistant is activated. The ‘Flip to Glyph' gesture automatically puts the phone on silent mode and uses just the lights to alert you.
The Phone 1 comes with no charger or protective case in the box. You may also need to buy the Nothing earbuds for better sound experience.
Hype creates unrealistic expectation which ends up setting the bar up too high. And when these expectations are not met, the product flops. Likewise when you see through the hype, Phone 1 is not something extraordinary rather an ordinary phone which offers unique features to stand out from the crowded mid-range segment. Other than the glyph interface and premium built quality at this price point there isn’t really anything else we hadn’t seen before. Ultimately, the semi-transparent back and glyphs will prove to be the main reason for someone to pick this phone. Well, why not? It does look attractive. A good primary camera, colorful display, wireless charging and a clean android experience are some of its strong points. Things like battery back-up and low light camera sensor could have been improved.
There are other smartphones in the sub 40k range which provide better specs than the Phone 1. But if you’re really keen to try something new which has all the essential rather bare minimum features with out of the box design then Phone 1 is the ONE for you.
In India, the Phone 1 is available on Flipkart for purchase. The base variant of Phone 1 in India with a storage capacity of 8GB of RAM and 128GB is priced at Rs 32,999. For Rs 35,999, you get 256 GB of storage for the same RAM. The higher storage variant i.e. 12 GB RAM and 256 GB costs Rs 38,999.
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)
The 6.55-inch device offers 50MP dual-camera at the rear, a refined Nothing operating system (OS), 120Hz OLED display with HDR10+ and a custom-built Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ chipset.
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