Riding on a global wave of unstoppable hype, the Nothing Phone (1) made its debut in Malaysia at an event at Sentul Depot tonight. The first smartphone from the company of OnePlus founder Carl Pei, it has grabbed headlines with its eye-catching design and Nothing’s astute marketing. But strip away the fripperies and you’ll find a midrange device at premium midrange prices.
Nothing Phone (1) Malaysia pricing and availability
The Phone (1) went on sale on Monday through sneaker retailer Crossover and almost immediately sold out. But don’t worry – you can pre-order the device starting tomorrow, July 21, at Nothing’s pop-up store at The Starhill Piazza. Thereafter, the phone will go on sale from August 1 through SenQ, DirectD, TMT, Satu Gadget and the company’s official Lazada and Shopee stores.
Unlike in some other markets, you won’t be able to get the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in Malaysia. Here’s what the Phone (1) will cost you:
- 8GB RAM + 256GB storage – RM2,399
- 12GB RAM + 256GB storage – RM2,699
The version with 8GB of RAM will be the one available from August 1, with the 12GB variant arriving in mid to late August. Both models come in either white or black, and Nothing is also offering a couple of accessories – a clear case (to match the clear back, which we’ll come to in a second) at RM49 and a screen protector at RM69.
Nothing Phone (1) specs
There’s been much ado about Nothing’s design language, but given that this is exactly what the vast majority of people will be buying it for, we should talk about it first. While the flat front, back and aluminium rails of the Phone (1) are reminiscent of phones from a certain Cupertino company, the highlight is the clear glass back, giving the device a transparent look that was so striking on last year’s Ear (1) wireless earbuds.
But the Phone (1)’s defining feature is the Glyph interface, consisting of several lights that illuminate the back. There are over 900 LEDs that make up the distinctive graphic, and what’s cool is that when you receive a call, they can play a light show that’s in sync with the ringtone you choose. The Glyph can also be used as a charging indicator and a notification light, the latter in the silent Flip to Glyph mode.
Flip the Phone (1) the other way and you’ll find a 6.55-inch OLED display, which boasts a resolution of 2400×1080 pixels (402ppi), an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. It also supports HDR10+, has a brightness of 500 nits and reaches peak brightness of 1,200 nits. Both the front and back of the device are covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for increased drop protection.
Under the skin lies a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ processor, which is distinctly average for this price range. Nothing says it has customised the chip to enable wireless charging (at 15W) and reverse wireless charging (at 5W), although wired charging only goes up to 33W. You also get LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, along with a 4,500mAh battery that Nothing claims provides 18 hours of use.
The Phone (1) is also fitted with two 50MP cameras – the main unit comes with a Sony IMX766 sensor and an f/1.88 aperture, while the ultrawide gets a Samsung JN1 sensor, an f/2.2 aperture and a macro mode. Both cameras offer electronic image stabilisation and a night mode, with the main camera adding the functionality for panoramic photos as well as optical image stabilisation, a portrait mode and an ‘extreme’ night mode.
The device can also shoot 4K videos at 30fps, 1080p videos at 30 and 60fps and slow-motion videos at 120fps. Nothing says the Glyph lights can function as a gentler fill light as an alternative to the standard flash. Sitting at the front left corner of the phone is a hole-punch selfie camera with a 16MP Sony IMX471 sensor, an f/2.45 aperture and a night mode; it also shoots 1080p videos at 30fps.
Elsewhere, the Phone (1) gets an in-display fingerprint sensor, facial recognition (claimed to also work with masks), dual stereo speakers, a dual SIM tray, 5G connectivity, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC with Google Pay support. One thing the phone lacks is any meaningful water resistance, coming with only an IP53 rating.
The Phone (1) ships with Android 12 that’s been skinned with the Nothing OS, claimed to offer a close to stock Android experience with no bloatware. The device comes with bespoke widgets, fonts, sounds and wallpapers and will apparently support third-party functionality in the future.
You will, for instance, be able to unlock the doors, turn on the air-conditioning and check the range of a Tesla right from the Quick Settings screen, as well as being able to check the battery life of a pair of AirPods, of all things. There’s a gallery for you to view your NFTs and check floor prices, too.
Finally, sustainability. The Phone (1) uses 100% recycled aluminium and over 50% of the plastic used inside comes from bio-based and recycled sources. The device also comes in slim recycled fibre packaging, and as is fast becoming a norm, you don’t get a charger in the box (a 45W power brick is being offered at RM139, but you can get a compatible PD USB-C charger for much less elsewhere), just a USB-C cable and a SIM card tray ejector.
Nothing is promising three years of Android updates and four years of security patches every two months, which is pretty good going. Zitron has been appointed the official distributor for the Phone (1) in Malaysia, although Nothing says it will set up its own local office for servicing, adding that it will announce more details on the latter later on.