Nothing Phone 1 hands-on: Not a breath of nothing

With Nothing, a new manufacturer is stepping onto the stage of the smartphone world. The Nothing Phone 1 not only looks extraordinary, it can also do a lot.

 Nothing Phone 1 hands-on: not a hint of nothing

In the past year, Nothing brought in- Ear headphones, his first device on the market, now the first larger product follows. Nothing Phone 1 is an Android smartphone with a special design, characterized by the transparent back and the characteristic LED strips. But if you only limit the Phone 1 to its looks, you will overlook its other strengths.

First of all, however, you will notice the glass back of the Nothing Phone 1, which allows you to see inside the smartphone – or at least what the manufacturer allows. The technical components are covered by white or black plastic, depending on the model. It should be 50 percent bio-based and recycled, the aluminum of the frame is completely recycled. The workmanship of our test sample is flawless, the smartphone, which weighs just under 200 grams, looks high-quality.

 Nothing Phone 1 hands-on: None Breath of nothing

Several LED elements are hidden under the cover glass on the back, which together form the so-called glyph. These light elements not only serve as eye-catchers, but also as extensively configurable notification lights. In the system settings, for example, different flashing patterns can be defined for different actions and contacts – and a night mode can also be set so that the white lights are not disturbing. The brightness of the Glyph is continuously adjustable.

The smartphone’s double camera is also located on the back. It consists of a 50-megapixel main camera with a Sony IMX766 sensor and an ultra-wide-angle snap that also has 50 megapixels, this time with a Samsung JN1 sensor. At the front, the front camera with a maximum resolution of 16 megapixels looks through a hole in the top left of the display.

Display from Samsung, processor from Qualcomm

Speaking of the display: the screen that is symmetrical everywhere the same distance to just in front of the edge of the smartphone nestles, is 6.55 inches in size and represents 2400 × 1080 pixels. The OLED panel comes from Samsung and achieves a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz. The display pleases with beautiful colors and sharp contrasts, the picture is bright enough even in bright light. There are two color modes to choose from, and the color temperature of the display can also be adjusted. A Snapdragon 778G+ from Qualcomm provides sufficient performance. The chip ranks one notch below the top SoCs of the 8 series in terms of graphics performance, but has more than enough performance for everyday smartphone use. Current games like “Diablo Immortal” also run smoothly on the Nothing Phone 1.

 Nothing Phone 1 in hands-on mode: not a whiff of nothing

The built-in battery of the smartphone has a capacity of 4500 mAh. It is charged either via USB-C cable with up to 33 watts or wirelessly via Qi with a maximum of 15 watts. Other devices can also be charged wirelessly via reverse charging, such as the in-ear headphones from Nothing. A charger is not included with the Nothing Phone 1, if you need one you have to pay extra. The optical fingerprint sensor in the display works quite quickly, and the face recognition often needs several attempts to recognize the person in front of the smartphone.

But the software in particular still poses a few puzzles. It is commendable that Nothing offers the Phone 1 completely without bloatware and sends it on its way with barely adapted, naked Android 12. However, the operating system lacks practical additional features that are available in other manufacturers’ interfaces. The Phone 1 doesn’t even have a one-hand mode. The smartphone also refuses to set up payment methods via Google Pay, saying that it could have been rooted or the software had been modified in some other way. Nothing should quickly fix this limitation with an update. On the other hand, the translation error in the German version of the camera app is a minor detail: the portrait mode was somewhat confusingly called upright mode.

 Nothing Phone 1 hands-on: Not a breath of nothing

Nothing promises Android 15 for the Phone 1

So the Nothing programmers still have a lot of work to do The manufacturer promises to provide the Phone 1 with Android upgrades for three years and security patches for four years, which means that the smartphone will get at least Android 15 and will remain at the current security level until mid-2026.

The Nothing Phone 1 is available in three memory sizes: 8/128 GB, 8/256 GB and 12/256 GB The smallest version costs 470 euros to start with, the medium 500 euros for the large one 550 euros are due. These are quite aggressively calculated prices in view of the equipment. In addition to the free sale at Amazon and Otto, but not at Media Markt and Saturn, the Phone 1 is also offered at Telekom.

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