Four months with Nothing phone (1), what does it give? Here are some user feedbacks that we would like to share with you to get a good idea of what Carl Pei’s first smartphone has to offer.
The Nothing phone (1) is the first smartphone launched by the new brand of Carl Pei (ex co-boss of OnePlus). Launched for less than 500 euros, this device wants to stand out from the competition with a design that is a little different from the ordinary. In fact, it has a transparent appearance that is enhanced by some LEDs on the back that light up and come to life according to notifications and certain interactions.
This Nothing phone (1) loaned by the brand was used for four months by our colleague Robin Wycke. The latter is a member of the video team at Frandroid, mostly behind the camera, sometimes in front, for our YouTube and Twitch channels. This is especially for the strong connection with Google Pixels.
However, the phone (1) piqued his curiosity. Here we collect his feedback.
“I recommend it for less than 500 euros”
In general, Robin makes a point on the Nothing phone (1): for the price at which it is sold, this smartphone is a bargain. ” I came from a high end model and never felt like I was upgrading to a cheaper device“.
“ I recommend it for less than 500 euros “, he explained directly. Why? Our respected partner found the smartphone to be very complete overall with many qualities to highlight.
A unique design
Let’s discuss in detail the points that he likes the most. Not surprisingly, design tops the list of attributes mentioned. ” on both discreet and original, we are very close to the aesthetics of the iPhone, but the Cyberpunk version with LEDs on the back. ». He is also satisfied with the grip, the smartphone holds well in the hand and is light enough: ” And it’s very nice “. In addition, “with its screen with borders whose thickness is completely constant, for its price, one wonders how other brands manage to always have a chin“.
How can we talk about the design of the Nothing phone (1) without mentioning the Glyph Interface on the back? This is how the LEDs on the back are called. Our videographer’s verdict? ” Very nice, but not very useful “. It remains a positive point in his eyes, because he sees it as ” a great design element without compromising the user experience. “The most useful in my opinion is the payment level indicator. For some it is very gadgety, and at the end of the day-to-day basis we can easily forget about it. On the other hand, to show at night, it really is above.»
Autonomy and photography
We also talked about “the good autonomywhich is, according to Robin, better than the Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 7 Pro that he currently uses. He is happy to be able to enjoy endurance similar to what he enjoyed at that time with his Honor View 20″who is very good at it“.
For a complete smartphone, you should also be able to trust it in terms of photography. In this place, the Left phone (1) “far from funny“. Robin never felt like he was lagging behind when it came to image quality.
And although in general, a Pixel 6a remains better in exercise in this price range (especially in night mode), there are some times when the Left phone (1) better. “It is better to translate some fabrics, such as office carpet. There are more details“.
But Robin blames the absence of the telephoto lens, but remember that this is normal for this price range.
Some good ideas
By the way, to finish the valued points, let’s talk about the Bluetooth menu that brings a touch of originality with a preview of the image of the connected headphones and their level of charge. Let’s also mention a nice little detail: when the Nothing phone (1) is used horizontally, the notification and quick settings panel has a smart layout.
It is, in fact, cut in two vertically.thereWith quick settings on the left and notifications on the right. The space is better used than the Android Stock/Pixel Experience, it’s well thought out“.
These are not the only qualities of the Nothing phone (1) that our colleague from the video division ofFrandroid. There are other positives that he retains, but they still deserve a little work.
At the moment, his feelings are still mixed with these elements.
This is the case of the haptic engine that “too good level of feeling, we are getting close to Pixels, but capricious“. If you type quickly on the keyboard, for example, it doesn’t need to react to every keystroke:
Sometimes the haptic machine stops working while typing the text, then all the lost vibrations seem to be restored with a big, very noisy vibration (shocking the train passengers where I am). This happened to me four or five times.
The clean side of Nothing OS, the interface offered by the phone (1) has something pleasing with easy-to-use navigation and no frills. However, after four months with this smartphone, Robin regrets an interface that is close to Pixels in DNA that does not offer some useful features such as integrating Google Lens with multitasking or copying text from an image.
“From a box that looks like a “new OnePlus”, I expected more customizations, I expected an interface with a philosophy close to OxygenOS, but this is not the case at all“.
In the same vein, if you can use the Glyph Interface as a more powerful flashlight, you need to go through the camera’s flash options to take advantage of this function. It’s a shame you can’t activate this option directly from the quick settings,”ohu then I did not find“.
The 120Hz screen
A 120Hz screen is “super nicein Robin’s words, but it wasn’t liquid pus either. At times, the Pixel 6’s 90Hz felt too responsive. This is a feeling he has in some applications, while the latency time in some interactions seems to be longer than necessary.
In short, there are beautiful things, but still small optimizations to be made in this area.
More bugs than the Pixel 6
We must now talk about the annoying stuff. And there are some in Nothing phone (1). At four months, Robin ran into technical problems. A lot. “From the Pixel 6, known for its bugs, I still have many bugs in the Nothing phone (1)“.
The worst of these is the lock screen:
Sometimes (almost daily), the fingerprint sensor disappears! The small circular location is no longer visible at the bottom of the screen, and nothing happens when I place my finger where the sensor is. This situation is not immediately resolved by locking/unlocking. Sometimes it is necessary to restart the smartphone completely. Other times, the smartphone freezes: white screen, black screen, and after a few seconds everything returns to normal.
Another bug sparked a surprise. Several times, Robin noticed that the Widevine L1 certification of the Nothing phone (1) was nowhere to be found. However, in the beautiful world of DRM, Widevine L1 – considered more secure than level L3 – is essential on an Android smartphone to access SVoD content with HD quality (or more).
“But generally a reboot accompanied by a clear cache/data of the concerned app solves the problemand Robin once again enjoy video streams in the best quality.
Finally, and this is not a bug, our videographer was frustrated by the impossibility of switching from wide angle to ultra-wide angle (and vice versa) while filming.
At the end of these four months of use, Robin’s feedback allowed us to confirm some impressions during our test. The Nothing phone (1) is an excellent first smartphone for Carl Pei’s young brand.
The product doesn’t feel rushed or sloppy. It is smooth, complete and pleasant to use every day and found its good price of less than 500 euros. However, despite the many efforts made, early mistakes remain, especially in the software part that deserves to be refined to avoid bugs and expand some functions.
So we hope for relevant updates on this model and the upcoming smartphone – the phone (2)? — to learn the right lessons.
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