The hype machine around Nothing’s Phone 1 was in full swing. However, there are good reasons for the fanfare. The Phone 1 is Carl Pei’s first phone to market since the famed entrepreneur left OnePlus, leading him from a startup beloved by serious Android fans to a world-class global phone supplier.
It goes without saying that it has sold more than half a million pairs of its Ear 1 headphones, its first consumer technology product, since its launch last August. And that’s not counting a glitterati of backers including iPod co-inventor Tony Fadell, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and GV, formerly Google Ventures all betting Pei can make something big out of his oddly named company.
Available in both black and white, the Phone 1 went on sale today, July 12. It is planned for a global release and will hit distributors worldwide including the UK, Germany, India and Hong Kong. There are currently no plans for a U.S. release, a company spokesperson said.
While prices vary by market, the Phone 1 starts at around $475 for the base 8GB RAM, 128GB storage variant and tops out at $590 for the 12GB RAM, 256GB storage variant when converted from international prices. In this price range, the phone 1 is up against the iPhone SE 2022, Google Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, among others. You can also scroll down to the bottom of this page for a side-by-side specs comparison, but be sure to check out our hands-on video of the Phone 1 to get a first-hand look at the device.
The Phone 1 includes a 6.55-inch OLED display, a dual-camera module, a fast enough processor, a large battery with wireless charging and recharging, and a charger in the box – which is increasingly rare even for premium phones. But it’s obvious: The lion’s share of Nothing’s budget went to design.
A first in the industry, the Phone 1 features a transparent back panel that lets you peek inside the device’s components, including the camera, wireless charging coil, and USB-C port. Getting the components to look good and work well under the transparent cover required careful component fit as well as rigorous testing, the company said. In fact, Xiaomi has tried to create a phone with a see-through design in the past and failed – using fake components to mask the real ones.
The back of the Phone 1 is also home to the so-called “glyph” interface, a standout feature of the device. The back of the phone literally lights up, thanks to hundreds of LED lights that can be customized to tell you who’s calling or indicate charging status. Due to the cost of the design, Nothing said it was forced to make some compromises to bring the Phone 1 to fruition at its target price. One is the chipset, which is the Snapdragon 778G Plus instead of the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processors. The company said it chose Qualcomm’s mid-range chipset because it’s tried, tested and “doesn’t overheat”.
Nothing 1 vs. Competitors
|Nothing Phone 1||Apple iPhone SE (2022)||Google Pixel 6||Samsung Galaxy S21 FE||iPhone 13|
|Display size, resolution||6.55-inch OLED display, 2,400×1,080 pixels||4.7-inch LCD; 1,334×750 pixels; 60Hz||6.4-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60 or 90Hz||6.4-inch AMOLED screen; Full HD Plus resolution; 2,340×1,080 pixels; 120Hz||6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels|
|Pixel density||402ppi||326ppi||411 ppi||460 ppi|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm||138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm||158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm||74.5 x 155.7 x 7.9 mm||147 x 72 x 7.65 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||193.5 grams||5.09 oz; 144 grams||7.3 oz; 207 grams||177 grams||6.14 oz; 174 grams|
|Mobile software||Android 12||iOS 15||Android 12||Android 11||iOS 15|
|Camera||50-megapixel (main), 50-megapixel (ultra-wide)||12-megapixel (wide)||50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel ultrawide||12-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 8-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)|
|Video capture||4K at 60fps||4K||4K|
|Processor||Snapdragon 778G+||Apple A15 Bionic||Google Tensor||Snapdragon 888 (in the US)||Apple A15 Bionic|
|Storage and RAM||128GB storage, 8GB RAM; 256 GB, 8GB RAM; 256GB, 12GB RAM||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 6GB RAM; 256GB, 8GB RAM||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Battery/Charger||4,500 mAh (33-watt wired charging, 15W wireless charging, 5W reverse charging)||Battery sized not disclosed (charger not included; supports wireless charging)||4,614 mAh||4,500 mAh (no bundled charger)||Undisclosed; Apple lists 19 hours of video playback|
|Fingerprint sensor||In-display||Under display||In-display||No|
|Headphone jack||No||None||None||None||No (Face ID)|
|Special features||5G, IP53, Three years of Android updates, dual SIM, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate||5G-enabled; supports 25W wired fast charging; Water-resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging||5G sub 6 (some carrier models also have 5G mmWave) support, Wi-Fi 6E, 30W fast charging, Magic Eraser, Motion mode, Real Tone, Face Unblur, Cinematic Pan, five years’ OS and security updates, IP68 rating for dust and water-resistance, Gorilla Glass Victus (front), Gorilla Glass 6 (back), (nano-SIM and e-SIM)||5G (Sub-6GHz and mmWave), 120 Hz display, IP68 rating, 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging||5G enabled; MagSafe; water-resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM)|
|Price (USD)||Roughly converted from UK prices: $470 (128GB), $530 (256GB), $600 (256GB)||$399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)||$599 (128GB)||$700 (128GB/6GB); $770 (256GB/8GB)||$799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB)|
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