The Nothing Telephone (1) is an effective mid-range Android cellphone that fails to actually 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 digital camera
The Nothing Telephone (1) simply hit a brilliant low value for Prime Day
The Nothing Telephone (1) is down to simply £289.99, a £110 low cost on an already-cheap £399 RRP.
- Was £399
- Now £289.99
Distinctive LED association on rear panelThis cellphone has an eye catching system of lights on its rear that may point out incoming calls or the charging stage
6.55-inch OLED showThe massive display boasts HDR10+ assist, 10-bit color and an adaptive 120Hz refresh price
33W fast-chargingNothing claims you may get 50% energy in half-hour when charging wirelessly, and you may as well use wi-fi or reverse wi-fi charging to prime up the machine
The Nothing Telephone (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 Telephone (1) launch. It’s a model that whipped up a frenzy of assist on Twitter and offered an unreleased cellphone on a website extra generally identified for sneakers. This may occasionally sound thrilling, however for those who adopted OnePlus earlier than it turned 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 available on the market and massive names like LG extracting themselves from the crowded market dominated by the likes of Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi; Nothing may have a difficult highway forward if it desires to grow to be a model identify individuals know.
It’s value noting that, although the Nothing Telephone (2) is now obtainable, the unique Nothing Telephone (1) stays an reasonably priced £399/$390 possibility for those who love the look – particularly contemplating the Telephone (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 tough for a smartphone. A decade in the past we had selection by way of design, however now nearly every part – apart from expensive foldables which are out of attain for many consumers – is a rounded-off rectangle.
Nothing isn’t rewriting the rulebook with regards to the Telephone (1)’s blueprint, however it’s attempting to distinguish itself with a hanging design.
Just like the Nintendo Gameboys of my childhood, the Nothing Telephone (1) has a transparent again that permits you to gaze contained in the cellphone and see the snaking cables and inside parts. I really like this type and it’s executed effectively right here whether or not you decide up the machine in white (pictured) or black.
From the screws to the encompassing of the Qi wi-fi charging coil, plenty of work has clearly gone into making the insides of this cellphone look neat and interesting.
The clear again additionally permits the cellphone’s essential ‘function’ – the Glyph Interface – to perform.
Packed contained in the cellphone are a sequence of brilliant, white LED gentle strips that act as a – to place it as merely as potential – 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 expenses. The Glyph lights may also provide you with a softer hue whenever 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 Telephone (2).
It’s a intelligent trick, no less than for the primary couple of hours of use, however sadly it simply finally became a gimmick I may have carried out with out.
The LEDs gentle up when notifications are available and the cellphone is positioned screen-side-down. You may 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 ultimately discovered the fixed gentle present extra of an irritant than a profit.
I nonetheless actually like the underside LED that slowly fills up because the cellphone expenses supplying 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 Telephone (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, but it surely’s nonetheless not expansive.
Glyph apart, the Nothing Telephone (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 Telephone (1) seems a lot like an unorthodox iPhone 13 that my associate thought it was Apple’s subsequent machine when she picked it up for the primary time.
Nothing says the Telephone (1) is produced from 100% recycled aluminium, with 50% of the plastic parts coming from ‘bio-based and recycled sources’.
The aluminium body is gentle and has up to now supplied 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 in opposition to the Nothing Telephone (1). It’s a handsome machine, and whereas it will have been good to see an IP68 ranking for added water resistance, that’s a function we not often see at this £399 value.
We’re additionally removed from assured a top-end show at this value however Nothing has no less than determined in opposition to skimping on the display – 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 price and 240Hz contact sampling price for responsive gaming controls. Contemplating Google’s Pixel 6a has a mere 60Hz show, Nothing has a notable one-up on considered one of its greater rivals.
In contrast to some pricier telephones, the 120Hz refresh price solely switches that prime quantity and 60Hz, fairly than right down to as little as 1Hz. This is named a variable refresh price display, and it may possibly save battery by working the display much less in conditions that aren’t as demanding. It’s a function of the newer Nothing Telephone (2) if that’s of significance to you.
I fired up some HDR movies on YouTube they usually popped with brightness, whereas the display 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 Telephone (1) managed to keep away from turning into unusable in direct daylight.
Contained in the show is a dependable fingerprint sensor for biometric unlocking and as an alternative of a notch, there’s a small cutout within the prime left nook for the entrance digital camera.
- Two rear cameras, with the principle sensor being one of the best
- Good 16MP selfie digital camera
I wasn’t anticipating a lot from the images abilities of the Nothing Telephone (1). Too usually reasonably priced units have promised loads after which disenchanted with regards to optics – I’m you OnePlus. However in actuality, the expertise right here is robust for the worth. The principle digital camera 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 principle digital camera being a Sony IMX766 sensor toting OIS (optical picture stabilisation). Across the entrance, there’s a 16MP sensor.
The digital camera specs sound good on paper as this is similar sensor you’ll discover on wonderful smartphones just like the Oppo Discover X5 Professional and Xiaomi 12, which actually impressed us after we examined them. It additionally totally impressed our reviewer of the OnePlus Nord 2T, one other cellphone that makes use of this sensor.
I’ve been taking pictures with the Telephone (1) for over per week at this level and I really feel I can belief the digital camera to snap image in most circumstances. In fact, the spotlight is in well-lit conditions the place the snaps taken from the cellphone are brilliant, vibrant and detailed.
A superb take a look at of a digital camera 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 Telephone (1) does 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 brilliant and this confirmed a number of the cellphone’s points with HDR images. Usually photographs have been method over-exposed and I didn’t really feel just like the software program was doing sufficient to counteract the rays. Nonetheless, nearly all of photographs I took have been usable.
Photos are nonetheless good when the lights go down, with the night time mode pulling some additional brightness out of scenes the place motion is saved to a minimal. I’d nonetheless say the Pixel 5a captures higher night time photographs, however the Nothing Telephone (1) does a commendable job.
The outcomes have been much less spectacular with the secondary ultrawide lens. The colors are very completely different whenever you change and the top product is a bit disappointing. Nonetheless, I just like the addition of this focal size and it may possibly nonetheless produce some good photographs.
Nothing must be recommended for not including an additional horrible telephoto sensor or a pointless macro sensor right here only for advertising and marketing functions. Sure, a real telephoto digital camera would have been good, however I’ve but to make use of a cellphone at this value that may do zoomed photographs justice.
Video doesn’t appear to have been a lot of a spotlight for Nothing right here, because the feature-set is minimal. You may shoot in 4K as much as 60fps with a reasonably commonplace stage of stabilisation and that’s about it.
For reference, the newer Nothing Telephone (2) sports activities an similar dual-50MP digital camera setup, although with a distinct essential sensor and an improved ISP that may seize way more information – although whether or not this leads to notably higher outcomes is but to be seen.
- Much less of a concentrate on specs than a lot of the competitors – which isn’t a nasty factor
- The Snapdragon 778G+ chip is succesful
- Some efficiency points, doubtless right down to software program optimisation
In contrast to OnePlus, Nothing isn’t touting the Telephone (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 could be higher off one thing from Realme or Xiaomi – and even the newer Nothing Telephone (2).
With that stated, what’s on provide with the Nothing Telephone (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 because of the addition of each wi-fi, and reverse wi-fi charging.
There’s 5G – a function you’ll discover on an increasing number of telephones even at this value – although there isn’t a mmWave assist.
I’ve had some blended outcomes with the efficiency of this cellphone, although I don’t actually see the chipset as the principle wrongdoer. I’ve run into many situations of stuttering, notably when scrolling across the house screens and particularly contained in the digital camera app. The entire taking pictures expertise is sluggish, with frames dropping after I’m taking a photograph and frequent drops to black after I change between modes.
Nonetheless, in benchmark checks and gaming the cellphone delivers the outcomes I might count on at this value level. It could possibly deal with lengthy bouts of Name of Responsibility Cellular with out getting sizzling 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 commonplace for a brand new model creating its first cellphone. It does result in an usually irritating expertise although.
Name high quality, Wi-Fi efficiency and mobile connectivity are all good and the 8GB RAM in my overview unit is greater than sufficient for a day’s value of apps to remain in reminiscence.
The Nothing Telephone (1) runs Android 12 with a promised three years of software program updates, nonetheless, as the corporate is new we’re but to actually see how rapidly it delivers these updates. Nothing OS sits atop Android 12 and it’s a very minimal coating so hopefully they’ll come rapidly, 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 recognize the whole lack of bloatware put in. Nonetheless to name this an OS is pushing it. Actually it’s a really gentle pores and skin the place all one of the best bits have been designed by Google.
Issues have been improved with the Android 13-based Nothing OS 2.0 on the Nothing Telephone (2), nonetheless, and Nothing has promised that the replace will hit the Nothing Telephone (1) within the coming months.
- Wi-fi charging is nice to see at this value
- No boxed charger included
Contained in the Telephone (1) is a 4500mAh battery and through my time with the cellphone, it has by no means didn’t get me via the day. Notably busy days have referred to as for the decreasing of the display to 60Hz, however for essentially the most half, it is a machine 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 most likely a more sensible choice for those who’re eager on getting as a lot juice from a cost as potential.
Standby instances are oddly poor, far worse than what I might normally count on 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 may very well 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 no less than that pace for those who’re buying round. A full cost takes roughly an hour, which isn’t nearly 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 not often 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 desire a cellphone that catches the attention: The Nothing Telephone (1) does have a singular look, with the clear again and the Glyph UI. It actually catches the attention and stands out.
You’re after a prime performing machine: I seen a number of efficiency points with the cellphone, from the sluggish digital camera to basic points all through.
Even in comparison with the newer Nothing Telephone (2), the Nothing Telephone (1) is an effective reasonably priced Android cellphone. For £399 you’re getting a pleasant display, versatile digital camera, a day-long battery and a singular design. In comparison with the £579 asking value of the similar-looking Nothing Telephone (2), it’s a steal.
Nonetheless, nothing actually stands out right here as being higher than what was already available on the market. The Pixel A sequence takes nicer images, the OnePlus Nord 2T is a greater performer and the Realme GT Neo 3T expenses quicker.
Not less than the Nothing Telephone (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 actually get individuals speaking.
How we take a look at
We take a look at each cell phone we overview totally. We use trade commonplace checks to check options correctly and we use the cellphone as our essential machine over the overview interval. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to overview a product.
Used as our essential handset throughout take a look at interval
Digicam examined in number of conditions with all modes
Examined with artificial benchmarks and actual world use
There isn’t any charger included right here, only a USB-C cable. The cellphone does assist 33w charging (together with Qi wi-fi charging) so it’s value selecting up a charger that helps these speeds.
There’s 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 additional considered one of safety updates. That’s good for this finish of the market.
Trusted Critiques take a look at information
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (gentle)
1 hour music streaming (on-line)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% cost
Time from 0-50% cost
Nothing Telephone (1)
Display screen Dimension
First Reviewed Date
Nothing Telephone (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 could be waterproof or dustproof.
Variable Refresh Charges
Variable Refresh Fee allow a sport console/PC to ship video frames as fast as potential to a show, with the display adapting its personal refresh price in real-time to match the supply, lowering visible artefacts and providing a extra responsive efficiency
The variety of instances the display refreshes itself per second.
OLED and AMOLED
Kinds of shows that use self-lighting pixels to supply better distinction and extra vibrant colors than a typical LCD show, in addition to sharper blacks.