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Nothing Phone (1) Review

Nothing Phone (1) Review

This is the new nothing phone one, and I’m going to keep things simple. I’m not going to go into the hype of this phone. I’m going to tell you my thoughts on this one, because I know you’ve been waiting for it. And I’m going to tell you you if this is the phone to get in the long run, let’s go. So this is a phone that has got a lot of interesting things going for it.

But all the hype, all the controversy is around this. The transparent back design with the cliff lights, and I have mixed feelings around it. I mean, I’ve been using this phone for almost two weeks now. And on day one, when I first got hands on this phone, I was really excited about these lights. See, I was loving how bright these lights got.

The haptic feedback while checking out the ringtone is really good. I was loving the charging indicator. I was wirelessly charging here for us to see how cool it looks. It was fun. Day two, the excitement kind of lowered, but I was still purposefully keeping the phone like this phase down to check out the lights.

Nothing Phone (1) Review

I was also discovering things like how the pack looks with the torch on, the cool music visualization featured as hidden and syncs the glyph lights with the music. It was still fun. Day three is when it signed me. These lights are cool, but they aren’t very useful. I mean, all of us generally keep our phones face up, and most of the new phones have always on display, which notifies us of any new messages or emails.

So do we actually need these lights in the next few days? I actually started forgetting about these lights. Yes, there are people around me commenting on the back the lights. Yes, this phone is an attention grabber, but I stopped noticing the lights or playing with it. Say, I get it.

Nothing needed to have that one cool feature that grabbed all the attention. And maybe in the future, nothing falls. These lights will actually get more practical, more useful. But right now, these are just cool lights. Look these lights apart.

The nothing form one actually looks really good. This is a very cool looking phone with the white variant or the black one. These stand out among every other smartphone. I really like this. I know the frame gives it an iPhone, like, why?

Nothing Phone (1) Review

But I’m okay with that because it’s aluminum and it looks good. The phone is on the bigger and heavier side, and that’s something I noticed the moment I started using it. But I have gotten used to it. The fingerprint scanner is fast and fairly consistent. The serial speakers are very loud, but that’s mostly due to the bottom speaker, because the earpiece, which houses the proximity sensor and a secondary speaker, is kind of low on volume.

I also really like the nice symmetrical bezels on the front and the display is actually good. These are specs, and I know there’s no LTP, but this is a very nice display. I’ve been using this one as my daily driver, and I’ve had no problems with it. In fact, I like this display a lot. It’s smooth, it’s pride, it gets very dim when you wanted to, and it’s an all round good panel.

Nothing claims HDR 10 plus support, but that’s not supported in apps like Netflix. But movies and shows do look good on the screen. So this whole design is very premium, no doubt. But there are big issues. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of photos of dust getting inside this back.

One of the Led strips in a white unit is kind of peeling off. There’s some yellowing around the LEDs in both the phones. The wireless charging at times does not work, although starting the phone fixes it. On a similar note, our black unit got a dead pixel on the very first day with it ever spreading. There is a problem with quality control in this phone, and I’m sure nothing knows about this.

Nothing Phone (1) Review

Anyway, these issues apart, the performance here is good. The phone is very smooth in day to day usage, and even gaming is good too. I was kind of expecting this because the 778 G is a very refined chip set that does not throttle or have any heating issues, and it shows in the Nothing phone one. I never noticed the phone getting heated up. There was a bit of warmth when gaming for an hour or so, but that’s very normal.

I know you do get phones with Snapdragon 888, Snapdragon 870, Dimension 8100, but it’s not always about the specs personally. It’s the experience that matters, and nothing for one lives up on that. Nothing OS is also a big factor here. It’s super clean experience with absolutely nothing in the way of bloatware. No shady features, and I like the subtle nothingness in the UI.

I like these Widgets and how the always on display and the lock screen are the same, so it looks very seamless. I like animation when you unlock the phone or lock it. The Glyph interface is cool too. There are different ringtones notification sounds, and I like that you can even add your own ringtone to it.

You can even turn off the clip lights if you want. And the UI is nice. Another thing we noticed is that when you hit the camera indicator on top while you’re in a video call, you get ported mode option. I’m not sure I’ve seen it on other phones. Nothing over here is mostly like stock Android.

Nothing Phone (1) Review

But I noticed a couple of strange things. For example, there are no option to block camera and mic in the quick settings, which stock android has. I also don’t like the fact that if I have to turn off WiFi, I have to open notifications, swipe down brackets, all the quick settings now swipe here and then tap on WiFi and then turn it off. This is crazy. Now, these are not exactly deal breakers, and honestly, Nothing OS kind of reminds me of the OG Oxygen OS.

I mean, it’s not as featured as Oxygen OS was, but its source code is available. The bootloader is easily unlockable. Google camera mods are already out there working really well. And I also like that Nothing has promised three major updates and four years of security patches. So it’s a nice experience, which hopefully get better.

But it’s not all perfect because there are quite a few bugs. For example, the phone crashes sometimes when you open a notification from the lock screen and then use the fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone. There’s also this weird bug where the bag gesture just gets stuck like this. Sometimes the system UI just crashes. See, these bugs can be bugging, but I really hope Nothing fixes them, because other than that, the experience here is really good.

Anyway, the cameras on the Nothing phone one are also actually good. I mean, I’m not a big fan of the camera. The UI is okay, and there was a bit of shutter lag, but the photos are good. The main camera takes detailed photos with good dynamic range, nice contrast, and I like that the colors are very realistic. I did notice some focusing issues in the camera at times, but other than that, I like the performance here because even low light camera performance is pretty good.

The night mode automatically kicks in, and most of the low light shots look really sharp and detailed with fairly good noise reduction. In fact, we compare things with the pixel 6 A, and 6 A is better in daytime, although Nothing comes close. But in low light, the nothing phone one actually takes better shots a lot of times with better sharpness and details.

The power camera, the Nothing phone one is good in terms of details and sharpness as far as ultra wide angle cameras go, but there is some difference in the color tone versus the main camera. It’s not a big deal because the ultra wide photos look natural tone, but yeah, that’s something to note. The selfie camera is a 16 megapixel sensor, and the selfies are mostly sharp and fairly detailed, but nothing extraordinary when it comes to videos. There’s 4K thirty FPS recording on the back, ten ATP recording on the front. And I also noticed that there’s no way to switch between the ultra wide camera and the main camera while shooting videos.

Nothing Phone (1) Review

Anyway, 4K videos on the phone are fairly good. They’re natural with good sharpness, and I also like the dynamic range. One thing to note is that stability, even with OIs, is kind of decent. The battery size is 4500 mah , which is fine, but the battery performance is good on light usage with some calls, some social media, some browsing. On Chrome, I got a screen on time from 6 hours, which is pretty good on heavy usage.

With some gaming, some camera usage. I got a screen on time of 5 hours, which is again good. The phone one does not come with a charge in the box, which is sad. Anyway, it’s a post PD charging, and with the MacBook Pro charger, the phone took 1 hour to go from ten to 100%, which is fine. The phone also has wireless charging support, which is great because you don’t get that in phones in this segment.

The phone is solid in terms of connectivity. I face no issues with network coverage or calling. And there’s also carrier aggregation support, if you’re wondering. And there’s twelve 5G band WiFi 6 support and Bluetooth 5.2. So everything is pretty much covered.

It’s time for the verdict. Now. See, the nothing Phone One is a phone I actually like mostly. But there’s one big doubt. See, I like it because once you look past the lights, this is a fairly premium mid range smartphone.

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It looks very cool, it feels very premium. The display cameras are good, the software experience is well thought out and clean. Yes, there are bugs in the software that Nothing needs to fix, but I’m willing to ignore them because this is Nothing’s first attempt at a smartphone. So I want to recommend this phone. But the biggest doubt I have is how will this phone do in the long run?

With all the quality control issues I’ve been seeing and hearing about, it just makes me skeptical. Will it get all dusty? Will all the LEDs get yellow or just peel off? I mean, I don’t know. These are answers we’d only get six months one year down the line, so we’ll have to wait and watch.

Anyway, I have a question for you guys. Will you buy the nothing phone one or wait for a more refined second generation nothing phone two? Comment down your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading!

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