Nothing Phone (1) Review – Don’t Miss This!

Nothing Phone (1) Review – Don’t Miss This!
Nothing Phone (1) Review – Don’t Miss This!

Luke ten Velde

In 2022, smartphones will largely look the same. Devices are around six inches in size, have a load of cameras in the top left corner and enjoy a neat housing that makes the phones look stylish. Nothing, on the other hand, takes a different tack with the Phone (1).

Flashing in the dark

What is immediately noticeable on the phone is that the back of the device is transparent. The phone is transparent through a glass plate and you can look at parts of the device, such as the surface of the wireless charger. That’s just not the most striking aspect of the rear. That’s the Glyph.

The Glyph is a set of LED panels that sit under the glass on the back of the phone. Together, the panels form a lighting system that goes off when you receive notifications, when you receive a call or when you take photos in low light. It is also possible to set ten different patterns depending on who you call.

Taking photos in low light is right where the Glyph excels. The LED lights are bright enough to properly illuminate the largest focus of the image to be captured without causing overexposure. With most flashlight functions that is a problem and in this way Nothing has found a good solution.

It is therefore a pity that such situations occur so rarely. You see night photography more often, but then it is usually not about photos where you are less than one meter from the object you want to photograph. This is necessary if you want to get the ideal exposure of the Glyph.

Luke ten Velde


Apart from the exceptional cases, the Glyph is mainly a nice idea. In practice, it mainly works as a gimmick. When you turn the phone upside down, you mainly do this to avoid distraction, but the opposite happens when you receive a message or receive a call. Then it’s like having a disco ball on your desk.

If distraction doesn’t bother you, it’s still awkward. After all, when you receive a message, you can just as well put the phone down with the screen side up. Then you can not only see who sent the message, but also read what was sent.

Outstanding design

Although the Glyph is not of much use in practice, Nothing can still receive a round of applause for the design. Better stolen well than badly conceived is definitely the case here, but the design of the iPhone (12) is also very beautiful. With flat aluminum edges and a beautiful (and slippery) OLED screen of Gorrilla Glass 5, the phone looks extremely luxurious.

Nothing perhaps excels more in this than the company they imitate, because Carl Pei’s company has chosen to add contemporary features such as a 120Hz screen to the phone. The phone is also equipped with a 1080 resolution. It is less than the flagships, but you can expect that from a midrange phone like this.

Where the midranger is better than the flagships is in the choice to make the screen completely symmetrical. This simply costs a company more to make. It is a small detail that makes the smartphone more beautiful, but certainly a choice that can be appreciated.

Powerful enough

With such a 120Hz display, you also expect the phone to have a good performance. Fortunately, that is the case with games such as Pokémon GO and Call of Duty Mobile. The phone does get a bit warm, but the titles run fine, while the smooth images dance neatly across the screen.

This is partly due to the Snapdragon 778G+ processor that Nothing uses. It is not the processor that the flagships use, but fortunately this phone does not have to. After all, the phone costs only 469 euros and therefore falls under the midrange section. It is therefore impressive how much you get for that price, because the camera also excels.

Popping shots

Nothing uses a 50 megapixel camera for its best camera, while the second camera serves as the ultra-wide angle camera. This lens can also take macro photos, which is a nice extra. This means you don’t have a large camera island on the back of your smartphone, but you do have the same features.

The Phone (1) makes beautiful, clear pictures in all these respects that are nicely accurate in terms of colors. When you zoom in on the photos, you can still see that some detail is lost, which is not surprising in this segment. The phone can also zoom in less far than some competitors, because the phone does not have a special 3x telephoto camera that is present with Samsung’s Galaxy S21 FE, for example.

The phone also manages to do well with night photos, unless there are virtually no light sources in the image. Then the performance is considerably less. A street lamp or something similar is necessary to get a nice picture in the dark.

Luke ten Velde

Patience is a virtue

With the Nothing Phone (1), Pei also opened the box of tricks with which he managed to make OnePlus great. That is, a major campaign to create hype for the device, after which the phone officially appeared on July 19. Just under three months later, the phone is normally in stock and the hype machine is cooling down a bit.

That’s a good thing, because with a few extra months, Nothing has been able to improve the phone a bit further. The phone received a lot of criticism for bugs, but they have largely disappeared. Very occasionally there is still a hitch on the home screen when you scan your fingerprint, but that’s it.

It shows that in three months, Nothing has shifted very quickly to improve the phone. This is also evident with promised features, such as Tesla support and an NFT widget. These are now also available and work very well with NothingOS.

The operating system of the smartphone is a fairly bare-bones version of Android 12. That’s a good thing. Stylistically, the phone looks very nice in terms of software and there is no question of bloatware.

Nothing Phone (1) Review – Almost Nothing Wrong With It!

Roughly three months after the release of the Nothing Phone (1), the phone is a fantastic choice for anyone who doesn’t want to spend more than 500 euros on a phone. While the Glyph is largely a gimmick, it does make for a fun conversation with friends and doesn’t detract from its stylish design. In fact, the already fantastic looking iPhone clone stands out because of the Glyph and with a 120Hz refresh rate also has a better screen.

In terms of camera and performance, the phone falls exactly in the middle segment and there is nothing wrong with that. It is a pity, however, that the camera presents poor results for night photos with little to no light. On the other hand, the fact that the majority of the bugs have now been removed from the phone is wonderful with one exception, while NothingOS is extremely pleasant to use.

The pros and cons

  • Fantastic (and famous) design
  • Beautiful, smooth screen
  • NothingOS
  • Glyph grabs attention…
  • …but it is a gimmick
  • Night photos are a bit less

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Phone Review Dont

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