Carl Pei and the Nothing team have finally revealed a complete look at the company’s first smartphone, the Phone (1).
There are a few standout features surrounding the device, but like the Nothing Ear(1) buds, the new Phone (1) looks to strike a solid compromise of features, price and design.
The look is the most striking part of the phone (which comes in black and white). There’s a transparent back made of Gorilla Glass 5, and Pei described the Glyph interface as very customizable and integral to helping the phone stand out during the Nothing launch event.
Some elements like the small LED at the bottom that notifies users of their phone’s charging status seem helpful, but the large light surrounding the wireless charger seems like overkill. Pei said that this light comes on when the phone is wirelessly charging, so I assume it will be covered in most situations.
You can use all the rear lights as notification lights, and Pei mentioned that you can customize each light for different contacts so you can make the phone your own. It still remains to be seen how distracting all these lights will be. You can dial back the brightness if the lights are too intense or disable them entirely.
With all of this in mind, I still love the unique look of the phone, and the fact that it’s running a very light skin on top of Android 13 makes me excited to see where Nothing goes with it in the future. As much as the lead-up to the phone overhyped a few things, the reveal of the device was relatively chill, and the Nothing team even shot the entire event on the Nothing Phone (1).
We also learned that the company placed two cameras on the phone to favour quality over quantity.
As I mentioned, the full reveal video was shot on the Phone (1), and it looked decent but a little over-saturated. That said, the company’s sample photos before the event looked solid with decent detail and smooth colours.
The primary camera is a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor with a 24mm focal length and a combination of optical and electronic image stabilization. This camera also houses most of the extra camera modes. There are panoramas, portrait mode, night mode and tons of others.
The Ultra-wide camera is a Samsung JN1 sensor that’s also 50-megapixels, and it has macro capabilities and a 114-degree field of view.
The selfie camera is a 16-megapixel shooter that can also do portrait mode, night mode and capture Live Photos like an iPhone.
Nothing has a few samples available here if you want to check them out. During the event, Pei also noted that all the sample photos were snapped by real people and not photographers.
As with many flagship handsets, the Phone (1) features an in-display fingerprint scanner, reverse-wireless charging and fast charging. The battery is a 4,500mAh cell and can be topped up with a 33-watt PD charger in 70 minutes. This isn’t superfast, but it should be enough for most people.
As noted before the event, the phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ chipset. This is basically the same version in devices like the Motorola Edge, but Nothing and Qualcomm have tacked wireless charging for the Phone (1).
The phone has a rather reasonable starting price of £399 (roughly $624 CAD) for the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. A model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is £449 (roughly $702 CAD) and the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage = £499 (about $780 CAD). These are reasonable prices for a device with these specs, and the few tech press and YouTubers that have the Phone (1) seem to like it so far.
To keep the phone feeling modern, Nothing also plans to provide three years of software updates and four years of security patches.
The bad news
The phone also only has an IP53 rating, protecting it from light dust ingress and minimal water spray. For reference, an iPhone 11 has an IP68 rating that makes it fully submersible in water.
Unfortunately, Phone (1) won’t be sold in Canada. There may be a global version available on Nothing’s website at some point after July 21st, but it’s still unclear.
If you want to learn more about Nothing’s Phone (1), check out Nothing’s website, but you’ll need to make sure that you set your region to the UK as the Canadian version isn’t updated yet.