September 26, 2022

The quote from the introduction above is not from Donald Trump but from Carl Pei’s Twitter bio. He is the founder of Nothing and co-founder of OnePlus. With the Nothing Phone (1) he has once again succeeded in making waves in the tech scene.

We summarize how he and his new company managed to garner so much attention and how the device is resonating with the community and media so far.

Table of Contents

That’s what the nothing hype is all about

Rarely does a single smartphone polarize the industry so much and cause a lot of explosives. But how did it even come about?

Let us briefly recall the early days of OnePlus. If you wanted to get hold of this insider tip at the time, you first had to be authorized via OnePlus’ Invite system. The purchase could then be completed via the official website. Sound crazy? – It was! However, this also provided a charming sense of exclusivity.

This should now be repeated with the Nothing Phone (1). However, the company behind Carl Pei went one step further this time. The device should actually appear much later. However, Nothing is the community according to their own statements very connected and gave fans a chance to get their hands on the device sooner.

The Nothing Phone 1 sets itself apart from the competition with the so-called »Glyph« on the back.

The Nothing Phone 1 sets itself apart from the competition with the so-called »Glyph« on the back.

Similar to OnePlus, there was an invite system that gave buyers a code. Interested parties had to put themselves on a waiting list. In order to move up the rankings, the company had come up with a special marketing trick: Anyone who shared the recommendation link with their circle of acquaintances increased their own chance of getting a code in a timely manner.

The invites went out to the buyers by July 11th. Within 48 hours, the chosen ones had to pay a deposit of 20 euros, which was not refunded if the buyer changed their mind. Tricky here: The exact prices were only announced on July 12th. On this date, the private links were also sent out to the waiting interested parties to finally order the device.

Carl Pei creates a new hype with the Nothing Phone (1).

Carl Pei creates a new hype with the Nothing Phone (1).

Pre-orders began to be accepted from June 25th. On June 26th, Carl Lei posted on Twitter as shown above that over 100,000 pre-orders had been placed. The hype was omnipresent.

What are the opinions of the press and on YouTube?

The great Tech Youtuber MKBHD describes the device as follows: It looks very familiar, yet different. Of course, the back is striking, the linchpin of the unusual design. The aluminum frame and the arrangement of the volume up/down rocker, on the other hand, are strongly reminiscent of the design of newer iPhone models. The device is repeatedly accused of this similarity on social media. Many users describe the device as a beautiful iPhone with the wrong operating system.

That is praised

  • Unique design
  • Solid camera
  • No bloatware
  • Nice screen

That is criticized

  • battery power OK
  • Artificial shortage before takeoff
  • No Google Pay possible

Even though little has changed in terms of design in recent years, the Nothing Phone (1) can definitely stand out from the crowd. The so-called glyph on the back responds to various events, such as when the device is charging. Ringtones can also be customized to match the Glyph’s lighting. If you don’t need this gimmick, you can optionally deactivate it in the settings. The LEDs on the back do not offer RGB functionality. According to the manufacturer, this should be purely functional and not a gimmick.

On the front there is a punch hole with even display edges and a 120 Hz display with FHD+ resolution (2220 x 1080). Noisy golem and hot the display convinces all along the line. Only the missing dynamic refresh rate (LTPO technology) takes the cherry off the cake. In the price range of less than 500 euros, however, this shortcoming can certainly be overcome.

With a mid-range smartphone, the expectations of a camera should not be set too high. Next to golem various YouTubers describe how iKnow Review and MKBHD the camera shots, however, as solid. Of a flagship killer however, cannot be the issue here. Nothing uses the Sony IMX766 sensor as the main lens, which can also be found in top devices such as the Oppo Find X5 Pro and has a resolution of 50 MP. Video recordings are possible in 4k with a maximum of 30 fps.

A battery with a capacity of 4500mAh ensures endurance. Nothing asserts that the glyph on the back shouldn’t significantly affect battery performance. The Verge however, lists the battery performance as a counterpoint with the note just ok on. However, usage behavior is also very important here. Other voices describe the performance as solid, even under heavy use.

The Nothing Phone (1) does not currently support Google Pay.

The Nothing Phone (1) does not currently support Google Pay.

The software is a common point of criticism that one often stumbles upon in the reports. In addition to rare stutters, the device refuses to use the Google Pay payment service. Whether this will be changed with a future update is currently unknown. On the other hand, the lack of bloatware is positively emphasized. As is well known, other devices in this price range often take a different approach. Nothing also guarantees three years of Android updates and four years of security patches. The developers should therefore screw something on the OS.

How do users react on the Internet?

The online debate could hardly be more heated. One side can hardly wait to hold the device in their hands, the other camp doesn’t understand the hype surrounding the device. Nothing, however, has to put up with accusations of artificial scarcity. This is how the user describes it darkarvan on YouTube under one Videothat Carl Pei is doing the same thing as back then under OnePlus: Creating hype and exclusivity artificially by pre-ordering. Many other users on the Internet, on the other hand, are celebrating the hustle and bustle and are happy that a breath of fresh air is blowing again in the sluggish smartphone industry.

On one point at least everyone agrees, both media and users: It’s a good mid-range device that knows how to stand out from the competition. The Verge even regrets that the device is not available in the US: It’s exactly the kind of phone we could use more of in the US, so it’s a real shame that it won’t be available here.

In Germany, the device can be purchased via the official website from 469 euros in black with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB memory. The device with a capacity of 256 GB is available in white from 499 euros. The smartphone can now also be connected via Amazon order. The devices will be delivered from July 21 at the earliest, but buyers should be prepared for longer delivery times.

If you want to spend less money on your new smartphone, you might find the right device in our buying guide for entry-level models up to 250 euros:

The best smartphones for beginners up to 250 euros


more on the subject

The best smartphones for beginners up to 250 euros

First messages about display and housing problems in the network

Messages about display and housing problems have been circulating on Twitter for a few days, such as Notebook check reported.

the user IronHrt reports several problems with the hype phone on Twitter. His first device was plagued by a green tint, which also occasionally appeared on the OnePlus 8 Pro at the time. His replacement device struggled with dead pixels on the front of the display next to the punch hole. Also the Twitter channel Beebom reported dead pixels on the device.

According to the user IronHrt, moisture should also collect on the back of the device after prolonged use of the camera. Under the Twitter thread he linked Additional Reports to the above problems.

Since these are still isolated cases, at least for the time being, these reports should be treated with caution. A statement from Nothing on the allegations has not yet been published.

That’s what our smartphone expert says

Patrick Schneider: The hype surrounding the Nothing Phone (1) left me cold. However, I can understand the (anticipatory) joy about the device. It combines many things that OnePlus has neglected in recent years: solid hardware and a unique design at a fair price. Hype or not, I’m always happy when a manufacturer wants to break new ground or tries to stand out from the competition with a unique feature. There’s just too much of a standardization on the smartphone market.

How do you feel about the Nothing Phone (1)? A good, unusual mid-range smartphone that rightly gets a lot of attention, a completely overrated cell phone with fancy LEDs, or something in between? Feel free to write it in the comments!

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