General

Nothing Phone (1) review: original, but odd

If anyone is not aware of the appearance of this smartphone, then I explain: in 2020, the former co-founder of OnePlus

(a division of BBK) Mr. Carl Pei left herand headed the Nothing company. Investors include guys like Tony Fadell (creator of the iPod), Steve Huffman (CEO of Reddit), Kevin Lin (co-founder of Twitch), and even media personality Casey Neistet. In general, there was a lot of fog around Nothing, only Angelina Jolie and Sean Penn were missing.

Fun fact: In 2021, Nothing took over the Essential Products brand. Yeah, this is the same sensational company of 2015, which was founded by Andy Rubin himself.

The announcement of the long-awaited smartphone called Nothing Phone took place in March 2022.

The device attracted attention thanks to the transparent rear panel with LED-backlight, which uses more than 900 LEDs.

Well, in terms of technical characteristics, everything is in order here:

  • 120Hz OLED screen matrix
  • Up to 12 GB RAM
  • Two 50 MP cameras
  • Stereo speakers
  • Wireless and reverse charging

Unless they saved on the processor - Snapdragon 778G. But the creators of the smartphone did not have the task of overcoming the current flagship solutions. The device is for everyone.

Today, Nothing Phone can be obtained for 30,000 - 40,000 rubles, depending on the store and the amount of memory on the device.

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Table of Contents

  • Specifications
  • Contents of delivery
  • Design
  • Elements on the case
  • Display
  • Battery
  • Connection
  • Cameras
  • Memory, chipset and performance
  • System
  • About sound
  • Impression

Specifications

Dimensions 159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3mm
Weight 193 g
Screen 6.55 inches
OLED
HDR10+
10 bit
1080x2400 pixels
120 Hz
AOD
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 6nm Adreno 642
Memory 8/12 GB RAM 128/256 GB built-in
Cameras 50 MP 24mm, Sony IMX766 (optical stabilization)
50 MP 14mm, Samsung JN1 (autofocus)
16 MP front, Sony IMX471
Battery 4500 mAh
33W wireless charging
5W reverse charging
Speakers and microphones Two, stereo
3 microphones
Communications WiFi 6 Bluetooth 5.2 NFC
Connection 4×4 MIMO
5G: Bands n1, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n77, n78
4G: Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66
3G: Bands 1,2,4,5,6,8,19
2G: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Positioning GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
USB 2.0
Protection IP53
Colors Black White
Price ~ from 30 000 rubles

Contents of delivery

  • Telephone
  • Type-C cable
  • sim slot extractor
  • Information
  • Warranty card

Design

Developers should be given credit for:the device was “prepared” just fine in all respects. Nothing turned out to be not only a memorable design, but also quite bold: a step to the side - and they would have rolled into obscenity, as it seems to me.

Of course, I'm sure the designers were peepingmany parts from Apple. Therefore, in general, the appearance and tactile sensations resemble the Max versions of the iPhone. And this is good: the power button is large, flat, comfortable, the volume keys are separate, flat, large, they are pressed nicely. The screen is flat, the back cover is flat! It's worth watching!

The main feature is a transparent back panel. It looks unusual, but not very original, as Xiaomi has already shown some smartphones in a similar style.

Behind the transparent glass, the developers placed LED-backlight. It is said that more than 900 LEDs were used in this case.

They frame the cameras, wireless charging, are located at the top right and bottom center.

All this, of course, is beautiful, but inefficient. Personally, it's more important to me to see an AOD screen with missed notifications than a sparkling back cover.

In any case, the constructors of Nothing Phone did their best. For this they have great respect!

The dimensions of the phone are large - 159x75x8.3 mm. For comparison, the dimensions of the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max are 160x77x7.9 mm. That is, Nothing Phone almost completely copies the Max version of the iPhone.

But there is a difference in weight: Apple - 240 grams, NP - 193 grams. To us my opinion, NP weighs as much as it should. But the iPhone is too heavy.

The haptics of the NP are excellent due to the fact that it is flat on all sides, but does not cut the hand like the iPhone 12/13.

The quality of the oleophobic coating is not bad. The frames are metal, the back side is glass.

Below the screen is an optical fingerprint scanner. Recognizes not very quickly, but accurately. (Face recognition does not work well).

More to the advantages of the smartphone Nothing Phone you canattributed to "Haptic touch motors". He is very tough and powerful. On the one hand, this is good - you always feel it, on the other hand, it works very loudly, in silence it even irritates a little. For example, in a classroom or lecture hall during tests (or at a meeting), others will hear all your manipulations with the phone.

Bottom line: the most comfortable large Android smartphone I've seen in the last couple of years.

Nothing Phone and Apple iPhone 14

Nothing Phone and Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Elements on the case

There is an RGB sensor on the top of the front panel.Most likely, for an accurate analysis of the light flux in order to correctly adjust the brightness of the matrix. I would add that it adjusts the color according to the True tone type, but the device does not have such a setting.

On the left side of the screen is a round cutout for the camera. It is small and not conspicuous. Careful.

On the bottom end:

  • Nano SIM card slot
  • Microphone
  • USB Type-C
  • speaker

On right:

  • Power button. A clear move, a loud sound, a nice animation of switching on and off the backlight.

Left:

  • Two separate volume buttons. Clear move, loud sound.

Above:

  • Additional microphone

On the back side:

  • Another microphone
  • Two camera modules
  • Flash
  • Glyph designer lighting system

A few words about the Glyph interface. Enabled and disabled in the settings:

  • Backlight brightness
  • Ringtone
  • Notification sound

Each ringtone contains an animationflare of a particular Glyph area. For example, the backlight can blink the camera rim twice, then once - a large circle, and three times - a dot from below. All this to the beat of a kind of "pixel" melody. The sound volume of such ringtones is very high!

The thing is cool, but I turned it off, since the device always lay with the screen up in order to display AOD.

Display

The first impression of the screen is chic! It is large, the colors are saturated, the contrast is high, the matrix is ​​flat. Viewing angles are maximum.

The brightness of the matrix in manual settings is about 720 nits, in HDR mode it reaches 1000 nits. The picture is readable in any lighting conditions.

You can’t particularly dig into PWM: if the brightness of the matrix is ​​​​in the range of 20 - 100%, then the ripple coefficient does not go beyond 16%. Yes, even 1 - 20% brightness - KP in the region of 17%.

Of course, this is good news, especially after Google Pixel devices, where the ripple factor flies up to 120%. And I thought: what is it that my eyes hurt all week while testing the Pixel 6a?

The screen refresh rate of Nothing Phone is up to 120Hz. Fluency is the highest. It's very noticeable.

There is an AOD mode. It is the same as in the "naked" Google Android 12.

Total: one of the best screens in all respects: flat, bright, colorful, almost no PWM, with an adequate AOD mode, with a high refresh rate.

Battery

I don't think you even need to be an expert here.understand: the device will not corny "take out" autonomy. Judge for yourself: the battery is 4500 mAh, the screen is almost 6.6 inches, its brightness is up to 1000 nits, Google services are available. Such a perversion can only be afforded by Huawei, since the devices there work on HMS.

What Nothing Phone demonstrates:

  • Up to 5 hours screen glow when connected to Wi-Fi
  • Up to 4.5 hours of screen glow when connected to 4G
  • Up to 20 hours of video playback at maximum brightness

In my conditions, NP worked until late in the evening, andThen I had to put it on charge anyway. I powered the device from a 33W adapter in 70 minutes. It also has 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse charging.

Connection

Satellite positioning works great. Satellites are fast, there are a lot of them, the accuracy even in the house can be up to 3 meters.

As for the cellular network, I can’t single out any features. Everything is as usual. The device understands both 4G and 5G. VoLTE and VoWi-Fi calls are present. Of course, there is NFC.

Frequency aggregation in the Russian Federation on Nothing Phone functions in full growth. For example, in the screenshot you can see LTE 1800 + 2600 + 2100. So you can take it without fear of slow mobile Internet.

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Cameras

Cameras 50 MP 24mm, Sony IMX766 + OIS
50 MP 14mm, Samsung JN1 + autofocus, macro
16 MP front, Sony IMX471

I already published a material about comparing Google Pixel 6a and Nothing Phone. Including I dismantled the cameras of these gadgets. In short, NP turned out to be better in almost all respects.

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It has better detail, color reproduction, wider viewing angle, less noise, fewer artifacts.

However, the NP camera cannot be called the best. This is just a solid camera at the level of Apple iPhone 12/13 non-Pro versions. Approximately the level of Asus Zenfone 8, somewhere close to Xiaomi 12.

But the NP front camera is the bottom.The developers obviously couldn't do anything worthwhile. There is a 2019 Sony IMX471 sensor at 16 MP. Such a module is used by OnePlus Nord, realme 9 Pro and even Galaxy Z Fold4.

The device writes video well, especially since it has optical stabilization. Maximum - 4K 30 fps. But these parameters are valid for two cameras.

And the smartphone can shoot macro wide. The quality is much better for gadgets with a separate simple camera for such purposes.

The interface almost completely repeats the Google Pixel or a pure Android system.

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Total: the smartphone shoots well on both cameras; video is excellent, but limited to 30 fps at 4K resolution.

Examples of photos and videos:

  • Original photos (zip, 128 MB)
  • Sample video (MP4, 265 MB)
  • Sample video (MP4, 51 MB)
  • Sample video (MP4, 50 MB)
  • Sample video (MP4, 92 MB)
  • Sample video (MP4, 46 MB)
  • Sample video (MP4, 25 MB)

Memory, chipset and performance

Smartphone Nothing Phone is sold with two options for RAM - either 8 GB or 12 GB. The latter is only available in the 256 GB version of internal memory.

RAM speed - 8700 Mbps. It’s frankly not enough, usually smartphones in the price category up to 20,000 rubles show so much.

Built-in memory - 1400/480 Mbps - worthy of praise! Not every flagship produces such numbers.

As for the processor, it's a Qualcomm SoCSnapdragon 778G+. It has 6 nm, 8 cores and 3 clusters. The announcement date is October 2021. In general, relatively fresh. By the way, very few smartphones were released on this chip: Honor 70, Moto Edge 30, vivo iQoo Z6 for the Chinese market, and a couple more.

In the test, Antutu shows about 580,000 points. What tells us about a device that has slightly above average performance.

In the material about the comparison with the Pixel 6a, I wrote thatNothing Phone seemed slow to me. This manifests itself in interface lags even in normal tasks. And the phone rebooted several times out of the blue. But here it is necessary to understand that NP worked as the main gadget with all the consequences. For example, my Asus Zenfone 8 reboots once a month. But there are about 100 applications crammed in there, all test accessories are connected to the device, and so on. This is such a working tool.

If NP does not slow down, then it works very smoothlyand fast. Animation "wild, bold, sharp as a bullet!". Plus active tactile vibration feedback. Therefore, in the moments of “enlightenment” of the OS, it is a pleasure to use the phone.

System

In fact, in front of you is a pure Google Android OS.version 12. Why not the 13th - do not know. There are no references to the positioning of the phone in the shell. Unless sometimes there is a pixel font. I like this arrangement: no useless customizations from the manufacturer, just what Google intended.

About sound

Here you will find two stereo speakers.The volume is very high, especially if these are branded ringtones. The sound quality is normal, the stereo base is narrow, the sound is flat. But this option is definitely better than any other in a smartphone with a single speaker. The test vivo V25 Pro immediately comes to mind: the device seems to be a semi-flagship, and the speaker is one and simple.

The Nothing Phone smartphone supports all possible Bluetooth audio codecs for a modern gadget: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive, aptX TWS+, aptXHD, LDAC, Savitech LHDC V1/2/3/5.

Impression

I started testing with great enthusiasm.the Nothing Phone smartphone, because outwardly it seemed to me an ideal option: flat edges, a flat screen and a back surface, comfortable large buttons, quite adequate size and weight. But in the course of working with the gadget, shoals related to the brakes of the system got out. It is extremely sad, I already thought that I had found the perfect smartphone for myself, because there are a lot of pluses here:

  1. Cool matrix at 120 Hz and almost no PWM
  2. Good cameras
  3. Quick interface
  4. Clean System
  5. Nice appearance
  6. Good performance

I thought NP was slow because of such a strange sample, but the feedback from real users says that the phone is really strange.

However, I cannot say that NP is so dumb that it cannot be used. It is quite possible and necessary. It would just be nice to know about the nuances that are likely to be “fixed” with firmware over time.

In general, Nothing Phone is a kayfous “pepelats” that needs to be understood and forgiven.

For 30,000 rubles there is Xiaomi 12 Lite. Reminiscent of NP with a flat shape design. But he is also not a role model.

For a little more money, you can buy some iPhone 12 or 13. You can look towards the Google Pixel. But only if you are not worried about high PWM values.

If you just need a powerful device without regard to design, then there are a lot of recommendations: realme GT series, different Xiaomi and Redmi.

The author expresses his gratitude to the friendliest gadget store BiGGeek.ru for providing Nothing Phone for review.

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