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Phone is nothing to worry about (1)

OPINION: We’ve had a lot of buzz around the Trusted Reviews office this week, thanks in large part to the arrival of the Nothing phone (1).

If you missed months of marketing, this is the first smartphone from Nothing, the latest startup from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei.

The reason it caused such a buzz is because Pei, who has undoubtedly had great success with OnePlus, turning it from a small unknown brand into a well-known name in the tech industry, has applied many of the same tricks he used to get people interested in your old company. early phones.

In particular, he donned a black T-shirt and gave the best Steve Jobs impression I have ever seen in the last half century, posting a series of cryptic publicity “leaks” and using buzzwords like “revolutionary” without revealing any exact details about the phone for several years. months before its launch.

Admittedly, I found the whole circus quite amusing – especially his use of Jobs’ speech patterns at the phone launch, where he stated that “phones are boring” and that he and his firm would “make them funny again” and “interesting”, nothing having said. specifically about how – and there is no doubt that it worked.

When he did some of the same tricks he did with OnePlus, from limiting the initial availability of the device to opting for pop-ups and a lottery-like early registration system on the Nothing site, pre-orders skyrocketed. This wave of excitement even spilled over into my personal life as the Nothing Phone (1) became the first non-Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone phone that even got my non-tech friends so excited they sent WhatsApp messages asking about it.

But now that our mobile editor Max Parker has finally got his hands on the phone, I have to say… I just don’t get it.

Whether it’s a series of late nights I’ve spent scrolling through the deal tables for Prime Day 2022, or the fact that the UK is currently going through a heat wave, that White Walker-like Scots like me just aren’t built to survive, I’m just I can’t find anything interesting in the phone (1).

To be clear, I haven’t used it yet. Our review department works with editor Max Parker. But as far as I can tell, it’s just a standard mid-range phone with a fairly heavy new Android skin and a transparent LED-lit back that can be customized to play different patterns. There are no previously unseen features here (gaming phones from Asus and Black Shark have had useless RGB lighting for centuries), and all the details are ready. There’s no dedicated Tensor silicon like the rival Pixel 6a, and looking at the feature list I’m genuinely baffled by how much more interesting it is than all the other £399 phones flooding the market.

This is especially true when I look back at other newcomers to the phone market and the innovation they have brought. Take, for example, Razer. When the company tried to break into the phone market, it at least had a unique selling point. In particular, the company entered the market with the launch of the Razer Phone, the first phone I’ve ever seen with a high refresh rate screen specifically built for gaming.

Of course, the phone was not for sale, but at least it was unique. There are plenty of gaming phones out there these days, such as the recently released ROG Phone 6 Pro, which has controversially picked up where the Razer Phone left off. Most phones also now feature high, sometimes variable refresh rate screens by default, showing the firm was at least ahead of its time.

Compared to that, Nothing Phone reminds me of Wiley Fox’s efforts at best. For those too young to remember, this was a short-lived telephone company that produced a series of apparently average phones using pre-assembled mid-range phone parts. Their only unique advantage was that they were “British”, and this fact, in their opinion, was enough to stimulate sales and interest – yay…

That’s why, despite the hype, I currently don’t find anything to excite me with the phone (1). Hopefully this will change when Max Parker finishes reviewing it for us and delivers his final verdict – but I didn’t hold my breath.

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