Simple operability and unique design are attractive! Middle range smartphone “nothing phone (1)” review

On August 19, 2022, UK-based digital product maker nothing released the 5G-compatible middle-high smartphone “phone (1)”. It features a design with 900 LEDs arranged on a completely transparent back using glass, but the operability following the Android standard is also attractive. Let’s deliver a review using the basic model with 8GB memory and 128GB storage.
High-performance middle-high model compatible with Qi, 120Hz drive and HDR10+
“phone (1)” is the first smartphone produced by nothing, known for its wireless earphone “ear (1)”. It is a product for the middle range that supports 5G. The body size is about 75.8 (width) x 159.2 (height) x 8.3 (thickness) mm and weighs about 193.5g. The installed 6.55-inch organic EL display supports 2400 x 1080 full HD + display, 60-120Hz variable refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, and HDR10 +. You can also use the display fingerprint authentication. The body is compatible with IPX3 grade drip-proof specifications and IP5X dust-proof specifications, and is water resistant to the extent that it is exposed to rain and splashes. The back has a Qi compatible wireless charging port. In addition, the FeliCa port is not installed.
The main feature of this machine is its unique back design. The back cover is made of transparent glass, so you can see through the inside. This glass has been specially processed to make fingerprint stains relatively inconspicuous. The back is equipped with a “Glyph Interface” with 900 LEDs to notify you of incoming calls and notifications. Until now, there have been cases where the back is partially transparent, but it is novel that the inside is fully visible so far.

In addition, the transparent base is painted and designed while maintaining functionality, so it does not have the rugged impression of a skeleton design. However, in order to take advantage of this back, you will need to choose either no cover or a transparent or translucent cover. It is not compatible when you want to assert individuality on the cover. The cover is not included in the product package, and is available as an option for 2,980 yen (tax included). Also, the back made of glass is slippery, so it is necessary to be a little careful about where to put it.
“Glyph Interface” can select and use 10 types of light emission patterns that are set with ringtones, and also has a function to notify the charging status. However, you cannot customize the light emission pattern, etc.

Let’s take a look at the sound features. Although it has stereo speakers, it does not have a headphone jack, does not include a conversion adapter, and is not available on the direct sales site. Be careful when using wired earphones. In addition, when I connected the Apple conversion adapter for “iPad Pro” that was at hand, I was able to play the sound.

Let’s look at basic performance. The installed SoC is “Snapdragon 778G+”, and 8GB memory and 12GB memory models are available. In addition, 128GB and 256GB storage can be selected for the 8GB memory model. Only the 256GB model is available for the 12GB memory model. The OS is Android 12-based “NothingOS”. It can be said that the fact that the appearance does not differ greatly from the usual Android 12 is an element that makes it easy to gather support in the Japanese market. Also, by optimizing the internal processing, there is also a feature that the operation is lightened.
The policy of reducing the burden of software and lightening the operation is also reflected in the number of pre-installed applications. Of course, there are no carrier-made apps, but besides the basic apps provided by Google, there are only voice recorders and camera apps that seem to be their own apps. Therefore, since the system area occupied by the storage is about 23GB in the initial state, users can use 100GB or more even with the 128GB model. Also, since the operation is light, I didn’t feel a big problem even with 8GB of memory. If you’re switching between several apps, including large games, 12GB might be more than enough.
Compared to the base “Snapdragon 778G”, the SoC of this unit has a CPU operating clock increased from 2.4GHz to 2.5GHz, and processing performance is improved by about 5%. The result of the standard benchmark application “AnTuTu benchmark (version 9.4.4) is a total score of 563585 (breakdown, CPU: 152806, GPU: 174255, MEM: 107869, UX: 128655), and the 2019 high-end SoC “Snapdragon 855 ” is relatively close to The graphics performance is also high, so the miHoYo game “Genshin”, which is known for its high load, ran relatively smoothly.
In addition, the OS has been updated at least three times, and there are implications for further version upgrades. In addition, it is announced that security patches will be distributed once every two months for four years from the release.

Dual SIM compatible. 5G does not support n79, but operation has been confirmed with 4 carriers
This machine has two nanoSIM card slots and is compatible with DSDV (dual SIM dual VoLTE), and is compatible with NTT Docomo, KDDI, Softbank, and Rakuten Mobile (MNO) networks. However, the corresponding frequency bands for 5G are n1, n3, n28, n41, n77, and n78, and it does not support millimeter wave n257 and n79. In particular, the latter n79, along with n78, is an important frequency band for NTT DoCoMo’s 5G, and roughly speaking, half of DoCoMo’s 5G area cannot be used. Regarding the three carriers other than NTT DoCoMo, there is no problem with the 5G compatible frequency bands. In addition, all four carriers are compatible with emergency disaster warning (ETWS) and providing detailed location information to the other party when calling 110 or 119 (SUPL).

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