Nothing Phone (1) officially unveiled

After countless leaks, teasing sneak peeks, and glossy previews, the Nothing Phone (1) has been officially unveiled.

At a special launch event beamed out from London, former OnePlus CEO Carl Pei unveiled the first smartphone from his new UK venture.

The design of the Nothing Phone (1) is no surprise at this point, but it’s still a striking piece of work. It’s 8.3mm thick, weighs 193.5g, and sports an aluminium frame and Gorilla Glass to the front and rear. Nothing has secure IP53 certification which, while not flagship standard, isn’t a common mid-range provision.

The rear panel is semi-transparent, allowing you to catch a glimpse of some of the phone’s key components and revealing the phone’s distinctive LED lights. This so-called Glyph Interface lights up in different ways for charging, incoming calls, notifications, and the like. You can even pair individual contacts to a specific light-up pattern.

Around front there’s a 6.55-inch FHD+ OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support, flanked by stereo speakers. That screen is adaptive to a point, ranging from 60Hz to 120Hz, but it’s not the full LTPO treatment. It gets to a peak brightness of 1,200 nits, and houses a fingerprint sensor.

It’s powered by the upper mid-range Snapdragon 778G+ processor, which supports 5G connectivity, and there’s a choice of 8 or 12GB of RAM. Storage comes in 128GB or 256GB flavours.

As was tipped ahead of launch, the Nothing Phone (1) eschews the usual camera bloat for a simple dual-50MP camera set-up. The wide sensor is a Sony IMX766, which we’ve seen recently in the OnePlus Nord 2T and the Realme 9 Pro Plus. The ultra-wide is handled by the Samsung JN1, which the OnePlus 10 Pro recently opted for.

The Glyph Interface can be cranked up to full to provide a ring light for night time close-up subjects. 4K video at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps are also supported, ably supported by both OIS and EIS. You also get a 16MP Sony IMX471 sensor around front for selfies.

Nothing promises 18 hours of use with every charge from its 4500mAh battery. While there’s no charger in the box, providing your own 33W charger will get you to 50% power in 30 minutes. More impressively for a device of this price, there’s also support for 15W Qi wireless charging and 5W reverse charging.

Nothing OS boasts a uniquely clean visual language, together with custom widgets, fonts, sounds and wallpapers. Nothing is also at pains to highlight how well its custom Android OS plays with major third parties, from enabling you to unlock the doors on your Tesla to checking the power on your AirPods – all without the need for a third-party app.

You also get a guaranteed 3 years of Android updates and 4 years of security patches, which will be issued every 2 months.

The Nothing Phone (1) gets its general release on 21 July 2021, with prices starting from £399 for a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. That extends to £449 for 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and tops out at £499 for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It will be available to buy directly from Nothing, as a network exclusive on O2, and from Selfridges and Amazon.

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