Tuesday, 16 Aug 2022

Nothing Phone 1 review: an Android with funky lights on its transparent back

Nothing Phone 1 review: an Android with funky lights on its transparent back


Nothing Phone 1 review: an Android with funky lights on its transparent back

The Phone 1 is the first smartphone from the British technology startup Nothing, led by the OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, who set up on his own with the aim of bringing back a bit of interest and excitement to the increasingly samey world of consumer electronics.

The glyphs and transparent back add a bit of interest to an otherwise fairly understated design. The recycled aluminium sides and flat OLED screen look remarkably similar to an Apple phone, leading more than one person to ask if I was holding an iPhone 13. Still, the build quality is very good, and the full HD 6.55in screen is excellent for the money: big, bright, crisp and super-smooth, thanks to a 120Hz refresh rate.

The phone has a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus chip, which is perfectly capable in day-to-day usage, with the interface and apps feeling pretty snappy.

The battery life is good, lasting about 38 hours between charges including two hours on 5G, putting it on a par with most top devices. You will probably have to charge it once a day.

Nothing rates the battery for at least 800 full charge cycles while maintaining at least 80% of its original capacity. The Phone 1 is generally repairable in the UK and the battery is replaceable by Nothing.

The Phone 1 is made of 100% recycled aluminium with more than 50% of its plastic components made from bio-based or recycled materials. The company plans to publish an environmental impact report for the phone, which it says has a carbon footprint of 58.5Kg CO2 equivalent.

The Phone 1 ships with a stripped-back version of Android 12 called Nothing OS. It provides all the features you would expect but without the bloat of duplicated apps, mostly relying on those provided by Google, which is a good thing.

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