This smartphone has aroused great interest. Of course, the size of this same interest is relative. However, this is, in fact, a no-name company. Interest in her first device in a new segment long before the release can only be called excessive hype.
And now Nothing Phone (1) came out. From the side, the interest seemed artificial: he puffed as if nothing had happened – no one needs a smartphone. But let’s still figure out what it is.
Equipment and design
In addition to the smartphone, there is only a cable in the kit. Everything. A typical story for 2022. The smartphone, of course, attracts attention only with the back cover.
Someone can say something about the screen, but no. Back cover:
There is a black version and a white version. Back cover:
It feels like I’m holding an unnecessarily large iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. At the same time, it seems that the smartphone apparently lacks weight. This smartphone is smaller but heavier. Probably getting used to it.
In front, we are greeted by a flat screen with relatively narrow identical frames on all sides. By the way, they are slightly wider than the latest iPhones:
The fingerprint scanner is built into the screen. His work does not call attention to himself: he performs his task with a speed that causes neither surprise nor discontent. Of course, it can’t be compared with the first iterations of fingerprint scanners built into the screen, but it’s also impossible to put them on par with modern ultrasonic ones.
The scanner’s location is also not encouraging: it is too low. I have seen this in other BBK smartphones. Wait, isn’t Nothing, an independent company from BBK?
The screen is good; 120 Hz pleases the eye, and the brightness is enough in most cases until you go outside.
If you follow the hysteria around Nothing, you know journalists caught the company in overstated display specifications. Like, the brightness is not 1000 nits, but less than 700. Unfortunately, we don’t have a device that measures brightness at hand, but when used outdoors on a bright sunny day, it becomes clear that something is wrong here. At these moments, it seems that the brightness is fundamentally lacking.
Moreover, after unlocking, the smartphone periodically starts acting weird: the screen is too dim, everything slows down wildly, and the interface is updated at a frequency of about 10 Hz, but this comes after a few seconds of stupidity. You add brightness, and its slider crawls, but the brightness does not increase. What’s happening?
Then out of habit, you tap on the back panel. And you hear a crunch with tapping. In principle, all cameras make such sounds – the optical stabilizer implemented in the lenses always moves relative to the phone body. But I’ve never heard it so loud. Therefore, if you are confused by this fact when buying, then know this is normal.
All 900 LEDs installed at the back form the original pattern. LEDs take on several tasks:
- charging indicator;
- additional light source when shooting.
The first two points work if you are used to putting your smartphone upside down. I honestly tried, but after two weeks of use, I could not get rid of the reverse habit.
Notifications here are called glyphs. These are rhythmic patterns combined with sound signals. Ten different glyphs are pre-installed:
Each of the glyphs can be assigned to specific contacts. So if you manage to remember this rhythmic pattern, you can even find out who exactly is writing or calling you upside down.
The soundtracks for the glyphs are well done in terms of sound design. However, I find them annoying in places.
LEDs can also be used as an additional light source when shooting. To do this, in the camera application interface in the upper left corner, you need to tap on the flash icon a couple of times:
Is there any point in this backlight when shooting? Here is a shot of one White object in three modes: night, flash, and all 900 LEDs:
For the first time in my practice, I want to praise the flash of a smartphone. She did her job well. But the glyphs and the camera, for my taste, do not know how to work together: the white balance has rolled into the green, and stray lights appear.
In my opinion, the only thing this backlight is for is to photograph the puzzled faces of their friends who first saw the backlight of the Nichegofon:
I have the 8/256 GB version on hand. All Nothing Phones (1) received a Snapdragon 778+ system-on-a-chip. Here are the numbers for numbers lovers:
I’ll leave it up to you to choose whether your smartphone’s tendency to throttle is expected after 17 minutes of testing.
The smartphone received a battery with a nominal capacity of 4500 mAh. The kit does not include a power supply; support for 33 watts is declared. Power Delivery 3.0 and Quick Charge 4.0 standards are supported. There’s also 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging for earbuds.
In terms of running time, Nothing Phone (1) is surprising. It’s just enough. The smartphone will withstand one light day for sure. In this case, in half an hour from a 33-watt power supply, you can get 48-50% of the charge.
Also, the smartphone can play stereo, but there is no separate upper speaker, so the sound is played from the same speaker you bring to your ear during a call. The sound is loud, but it is very far from flagship smartphones. Listening to such music or just watching YouTube is quite painful. There are simply no bottoms here, and there is no lower middle either.
It, like the battery, does not cause any enthusiasm or negative emotions unless you want to praise the company that it decided to abandon stupid sensors like a macro module, which only increase the number of holes in the back but does not give anything to the user.
The smartphone has three cameras:
- Wide-angle received a Sony IMX766 sensor at 50 megapixels. Its diagonal is 1/1.56 Vidicon inches; that is, the size of each pixel without binning is 1.0 µm. In the case of combining four pixels into one (which is how you will take pictures in most cases), the size will increase to 2.0 µm. This camera received a 24 mm EGF lens with a fixed aperture of f / 1.88.
- The ultra-wide-angle camera is also capable of capturing 50MP photos. However, instead of Sony, there is a Samsung JN1 sensor. Its physical size is 1/2.76 Vidicon inches. The size of each pixel without binning does not exceed 0.64 µm. In the case of combining four pixels into one, this indicator will increase to 1.28 µm. The sensor is paired with a 14mm EGF lens with an f/2.2 aperture.
- The front camera received a 16-megapixel Sony IMX471 sensor with a size of 1/3.1 inch Vidicon inches. The size of each pixel is 1.0 µm. Binning is not provided. The camera received a lens with EGF 24 mm and a constant aperture of f / 2.45.
Like most mid-range smartphone cameras, the Nothing Phone (1) performs well in enough light and is mediocre when there is too little light. Here are examples of shots taken in sufficient light conditions with a wide-angle camera:
And here is an example taken with an ultra wide-angle camera in sufficient light conditions:
You can download the originals of all pictures taken with the Nothing Phone (1) camera from our “Yandex Disk.”
The camera is not inclined to make the picture too saturated, greatly embellishing reality. The photographs come out neutral, but whether this is good is up to you. I, for one, like it better.
Let’s look at photos taken in low light with a wide-angle camera:
Same conditions, but ultra-wide:
The front camera does not have autofocus, but you can still take a picture of decent quality:
But then the night falls, and even a substantial digital banner shining in your face will not save the situation:
The smartphone shoots video in a maximum resolution of 4K at 30 frames per second. When shooting, you can pay attention to the work of optical stabilization, which is far from perfect, in which the picture twitches at each of the steps, as well as a very mediocre recorded sound, in which artifacts of the rough noise reduction work are heard:
However, the situation becomes better if the video resolution is reduced to 1080p. Here, by the way, you can shoot at 60 frames per second. It is worth noting that the front camera can only shoot video in 720p or 1080p and only at 30 frames per second!
The smartphone runs on Android 12 with small patches of its design:
The dotted font, which you will see only in the headings in the “Settings” of the smartphone, is only available in languages that use the Latin alphabet in writing. At least this font is available in English and Spanish.
You switch to Russian – and the dots disappear, leaving only the Android 12 font. Because of this, we seem to have the very “naked android” that many dreamed of a few years ago.
Whether it’s good or bad, again, it’s up to you, but after two weeks of use, I still couldn’t get used to the search bar, which cannot be removed:
In all the two weeks I spent with Nothing Phone (1), I got the impression that all the hype around this smartphone was masterfully thought out. Somehow, the company managed to return to 2016 when smartphones were still interesting to many people, and you could find something individual in each of the handsets.
On the other hand, the smartphone is not devoid of this very individuality. And this, in a vast s looks like a breath of fresh berries of identical mid-budget smartphones (and flagships, too), it seems like one (1) is attractive in design, but its functionality is not unique. This is another good mid-budget smartphone with a set of apparent flaws: an unimpressive screen, camera, battery, poor sound, and frequent lags in the interface.
However, Nothing Phone (1) draws attention. And for some, it’s worth a lot.