Freshly landed on the smartphone market, the Nothing brand offers with its Phone (1) a smartphone with a refreshing design, which stands out from other devices at first glance. But is it really enough to seduce?
The new brand created by Carl Pei, one of the co-founders of OnePlus, had already won over the public with its first product, Bluetooth headphones with a transparent design, offered at an extremely competitive price. With its Phone (1), it is again playing the competitive card with a smartphone with very convincing performance, sold in stores (and on the web) at a price of €469 for the basic model (8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage).
The brand has chosen to distinguish itself from the others above all in terms of design. Its device takes the form of the old iPhone models while adopting a “transparent” design which reveals certain elements such as the induction charger. A very sober design which will however not please everyone. Especially since the manufacturer had the very curious idea of integrating 900 minileds to create a “Glyph”, a notification display system that lights up the back of the phone with each message received. It’s original, fresh and should especially appeal to young people. In practice, however, not everyone will like this feature either.
Still, we can’t blame him for being original. Clearly, the Phone (1) targets a young audience, who want to stand out. The Glyph is clearly a gimmick, but one that has style and will resonate with some users.
On the technical side, the Phone (1) is doing very well overall. Given its price (€469 for the basic model), it is impossible to be disappointed. We still find 8 GB of RAM under the hood, 128 GB of storage (and even 256 GB for only 30€ more!), a Snapdragon 778G+ processor, which drives a fluid interface and also ensures the latest standards in gaming connectivity (Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G, NFC) and a 4500 mAh battery that easily lasts a long day and recharges quite quickly – without however reaching the speeds of Oppo devices.
Two small points are disappointing, however. The screen, first of all, which is nevertheless a 120Hz OLED screen, capable of displaying up to a million colors, but with disappointing colorimetry. If you don’t have the eye, you won’t see it too much. But if you previously had a high-end device, you will probably be a little disappointed with the result displayed on the screen. The colors seemed duller to us than on the screen of a OnePlus 10 Pro or a Find X3 Pro for example.
Same disappointment with the front camera, which, whatever the setting, was unable to match the performance of a €1,000 flagship and even a model like the OnePlus Nord 2T, which was sold for €70 less. . Photos taken with the front camera show less detail, look duller, and tend to be downright too smooth. Fortunately, the situation is different with the back camera, which does much better.
On the back of the device, there is a main sensor of 50 megapixels (f1.8), which is supported by an ultra wide angle sensor of 50 megapixels also (f2.2). No triple sensor therefore, unlike most products sold commercially. But the result is nonetheless very convincing in portraits as with panoramas. The sharpness is correct, the device manages the backlight rather well, the colorimetry is good. In short, the Phone (1) passes the test without flinching, but without shining either against devices at 1,000 €.
Despite its small flaws, the Phone (1) offers excellent value for money. It is also positioned as a good alternative to the Nord 2T from OnePlus, which was considered one of the master purchases in this price bracket. It stands out with its larger screen (6.55″ against 6.43″) and its bolder design. However, the 2T has two advantages over it: a much more successful selfie part and 80W fast charging. So it’s up to you to see what matters most to you…
On the interface side, however, it should be noted that Nothing has chosen a very sober style, which will clearly not please everyone. It’s Android 12 Stock, with however a very particular top menu in terms of design, and very few additional features. A few videos on the web should tell you more about the said interface and confirm or erase your fears.
Data sheet: Nothing Phone (1)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+
8 GB RAM
FHD 30FPS stabilized video
50MP f1.8 main sensor
50MP f2.2 ultra-wide-angle sensor
4K 30FPS stabilized video
FHD 60FPS stabilized video
33W fast charge
15W wireless charging
5W reverse charge
- A refreshing and truly different design
- The 120Hz screen
- The glyph, a distinctive element
- Good photo performance
- A good price-performance ratio
- Solid for gaming
- Good autonomy
The – :
- screen colors
- The selfies, of disappointing quality
- For many, the glyph will ultimately be a mere gimmick
- The “Nothing” interface will not please everyone
- The 33W fast charge, a bit disappointing
So, do we crack?
For its debut on the smartphone market, the Nothing brand hits hard with a high-performance device, offering very good value for money. Admittedly, the Phone (1) is only distinguished from other smartphones by its design – which will not please everyone -, but it has a very solid technical sheet. The youngest will undoubtedly fall under the spell of the glyph, 900 minileds which light up with each notification to warn the smartphone owner of a notification, and its transparent design. On the photo side, the Phone (1) is also doing very well. Except for the selfies. Apart from a few small details, the experience is therefore rather convincing. Be careful however, the sobriety of the interface will clearly not please all users…
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