We have to hand it over to Nothing and its CEO, they created a lot of hype for the Nothing phone (1). We are sure to have someone like Casey Neistat as an investor does not exactly hurt either. But it seemed, the Nothing phone (1) is everything everyone seems to talk about, it’s been a feature of our most read stories since it was first teased, and its specs page tops our daily interest lists in a while now – good start.
But now the phone is sending hands, and in our office to review our review process, it’s time to look past the hype and see what the Nothing phone (1) is really about. Let’s start with an unboxing.
The box is made of cardboard, but is appealing and different. It looks more like a CD box than a phone package.
Inside is the phone – you can have a white or a black, a USB-C to USB-C cable and a SIM tool that reminds us of a fuse. There is no case or charger. Nothing sells both of these items as well as a screen saver on its website. Remember that the phone has a pre-attached plastic screen protector from the box.
Giving up extras helped keep the price reasonable, even though we wouldn’t call it dinner low. The 8 / 128GB base Nothing phone (1) costs € 469 / £ 399, while a move up to 8 / 256GB is € 499 / £ 449.
The Nothing phone (1) is similar to most front-end phones, but it’s more a limitation of current technology than the phone. It has a 6.55-inch OLED with 120Hz refresh rate, which feels just right in terms of size.
The phone is almost completely free of curves. The front and rear glass are both flat, and the sides in matt aluminum are also flat. That makes the phone (1) more than a little bit like an iPhone 13. Although its size enables it to strike blows with an iPhone 13 Pro Max, the two are priced very differently, so they are unlikely to cross paths .
A word about features and performance at hand – the Nothing phone (1) feels light, lighter than its 194g weight would suggest. And the performance is amazing. Nothing launcher makes this phone feel like a Pixel, and that’s a compliment.
The back of the Nothing phone (1) is, of course, its eye-catching part. That’s what’s in each promo and what you’ll see on Nothing’s website. There are two reasons for this – the distinctive transparent design, which is not fake either – you actually see parts of the phone. The second reason is the LED lights – Nothing calls these Glyph. About Wikipedia it means “any kind of purposeful mark, such as a simple vertical line carved on a building, a single letter in a font, or a carved symbol.“
The LED strips are visible even when not lit. Each strip can be lit independently. They light up when you receive a notification or a call, but can also be used as a fill light for selfies or videos. Nothing has made any technical announcements and call sounds that synchronize with different parts of the glyph interface. It’s really cool, though its usefulness is questionable.
The Nothing phone (1) looks like an interesting option for many people. It has solid hardware and an interesting look and feel in a victory of boring middle rangers. But you may want to wait for our full review before hitting the trigger. There are many things to consider – battery life, camera quality, performance, especially under load. Keep an eye on this room!