Nothing Phone (1): Nothing Has Improved! | 1-Month Full Review

You know, I HATE doing negative reviews. And while some may consider that it is still important to do this sort of negative reviews, but I really wanted to avoid doing a negative review on this Nothing Phone (1).

Because when the Nothing Phone (1) was launched, the software was a little buggy, and worst of all, the image quality of the ultrawide cameras was mediocre and the main video camera’s stabilization was quite bad.

So I decided to wait for more than a month, patiently waiting for a software update to come.

So based on this software update, are all of these so-called issues improved? Well, let’s find out!

 

Specs

Since I never dive into the specs in my full review videos, here is a quick spec sheet of the variant that I have.

[Check out my first impressions video on the Nothing Phone (1) here – https://youtu.be/1HhNtvy1e9Q]

 

Design & Build

Yes, the reviewers were right, it does feel like you’re holding an iPhone 12 onwards, and mind you, that is NOT a bad thing because of its flat screen and the squared matte finish at the sides felt extremely nice and grippy in the hands to the point that I never had that sort of anxiety of dropping the phone. 

And yes, I did not use a case on the phone at all, and speaking of which, is there official cases available for this phone? Because not that I have seen, so probably go on Shopee or Lazada if you really need one, but yes I did not use a case at all.

Now, having used both the black and white, I have say that obviously I love the white, not because I just love white-colored smartphones and also because I love any tech items which is available in white, but the slightly greenish hue towards the side of the LED Glyph lights on the black variant just made me feel a little turned off when I was looking at the rear of the phone, and since that is the main selling point, I did prefer the white compared to the black.

Now speaking of this Glyph Lighting Interface, I’m going to be honest to say that I barely even use it as time goes by because I’m always the kind of person who either leaves the phone face up or in my pocket when I’m not using it.

So while many people may benefit from this, I tried living with putting the phone face down, but I couldn’t get to terms where the screen might get scratched, especially without the case to give that slight elevation to protect the screen.

And while I did use Google Assistant a lot, which lit up the bottom part and followed my voice when I was saying a command, but once again, the thought of turning the phone around to see the reply was a little counter-productive.

Display

So this 6.55-inch OLED display was something that I grew to love the more I used it. Just as a refresher, in case you did not know that Nothing has decided to use a flexible OLED panel in order to keep the phone’s bezels from the top, bottom and the sides to be symmetrical, and I feel that really crazy effort was certainly appreciated.

Watching video on the phone was great; the screen was bright, and the adaptive brightness was also very well adjusted no matter the lighting condition.

And coupled with the 120Hz refresh rate and touch sampling rate of 240Hz, using the phone daily was a really nice experience and surely one of the key features of using this phone is the overall display.

 

Cameras

 

Next, on to the phone’s cameras, a quick recap of the specs first,  it comes with:

  • A main 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor with an aperture value of F1.88, that is a 24mm wide lens, with both OIS and EIS image stabilization
  • Then there is another 50MP camera, which uses Samsung’s JN1 sensor, where it has an aperture value of F2.2
  • Then the front camera is a 16MP F2.45 aperture which uses Sony’s IMX 471 Sensor

So did it improve, especially when it comes to the ultrawide lenses?

Ultrawide Lens

On the left is an image before the update and on the right is after the update, so yes, there is a vast improvement, not only for the dynamic range but the overall contrast and shadows have been significantly improved as well. So overall I was very pleased with the ultrawide lenses as seen over here.

 

Main Lens

The Main lens was still my favorite lens even before the update, where all of the images did turn out really nice.

 

Zoom

And while some complained about the phone not having a dedicated telephoto lens, the 2x digital zoom still looked nice and sharp, but you will lose more detail when you zoom up to 10x.

 

Portrait Mode 

Portrait Mode on objects was flawless, so it was for humans as well.

 

Macro

Then as for the Macro mode, while you can get up close and personal to get some very close up images but still I felt that it was still just decent. Nothing to really shout about, as you will only get the sharpness right in the middle of the image, where the sides were a bit blurred out.

 

Night Mode

Then looking at the night mode, I still felt like the images here looked quite mediocre where I felt that the image processing really overcompensated on the highlights and shadows just too much. The quality of the main lens was better than the ultrawide lenses, and I have personally seen many other cheaper smartphones having better night shots on their phones, especially for the night mode selfies.

 

Day Selfies

As for selfie shots during the day, they looked great both on the regular and the portrait mode as well, with excellent edge detection and overall dynamic range for the blurred background as well, even during a harsh lighting situation.

 

Day Video Recording

Then looking at the video footage, before the update, you can see that the footage looked pretty shaky, and here is where I knew there was going to be an improved software update because the main lens has OIS. And thankfully after the update, it was fixed, and the overall quality of the 4K video footage was also excellent as well.

[Check out my YouTube video for the sample video footage]

So that’s the overall camera review and do let me know what you guys think? Is this one of the best cameras within this price range?

 

Software

So nothing much, pun not intended, could be said about the software experience as I just felt that it was extremely nice and just familiar. Coming from the OnePlus 5 days, I always loved the old school iteration of the Oxygen OS, and now, on the Nothing Phone (1), you will have a similar experience. 

With an easy-to-navigate menu system, and yes you don’t have to dive deep into the menu system just like how you do it on the MIUI skin. And yes, all of the bugs like the apps closing by themselves and delay in scrolling on websites have all been fixed!

 

Gaming

As for gaming, my usual tests were on Genshin Impact and PUBG Mobile.

Genshin Impact

The gaming experience was great without any issues based on those settings, which was something that I kind of expected with this mid-range smartphone chipset and the overall performance as well.

 

PUBG Mobile

Then since PUBG Mobile is a game that is always optimized very well with mid-range smartphones, it did perform well, and the graphic settings were at HDR and the frame rate set to Ultra.

 

Battery

The battery life on the Nothing Phone (1) is another solid highlight of the phone, the battery drain was at the optimum level, where I got a whopping 11 hours and 5 minutes when I was at 10% battery with dark mode turned on.

Compared to many mid-range smartphones, this phone has wireless charging up to 15W and 5W of reverse wireless charging, and it gives you 33W of charge through wired charging, and the charger is included inside of the box.

 

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, who is this Nothing Phone (1) for? Well, in my humble opinion, it is a kind of phone with such a masculine design, but the features may not be appealing for most people. 

I humbly feel that things like using the Glyph Interface for notifications and such are only for a certain amount of people, and using that light to light up images for a shot does not give you proper justice because of its not-so-great image processing at night anyways.

So hopefully, the next software update could fix this.

But I feel that this phone could be appealing for any TikTokers or Instagram content creators who are up and coming, who does not necessarily need a higher flagship phone, but that being said, with a starting price of RM2399, it’s quite a tough challenge to go against other mid-range smartphones which have more features.

Get the Nothing Phone (1) at the link below:-

Crossover Online:- https://bit.ly/3Oq0Xhp

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