In the early days, what prompted me to share my experience with devices I have is that marketing and biased reviews does not tell you the whole deal. Having had enough of it, I decided to pursue further on my own to share a more neutral review in the hopes that it changes the trajectory where Nokia was headed.
Call it a coincidence, the many changes that is happening within Nokia is what true fans of Nokia have been hoping for. The days of hyping a device to get sales is far from over but more people are becoming aware of it. How often a device did not turn up to be the way you wanted? It is this bitter truth that we have to understand that consistency and progressive improvements comes with critical assessment and judgement.
My journey with being an occasional contributor to NokiaPowerUser and my channel started with Nokia 9 Pureview. This device has been with me throughout the years and it is a device that i frequently visit to understand it further. To understand where Nokia is currently, and how far it is compared to its competitors, I decided to use the Nothing Phone 1 as my primary device, to replace the respectable Nokia XR20 5G.
And , this is what I learned.
The Bitter Truth
There is a lot to learn from the marketing team of Nothing. And a lot more to learn from their expansion plans. But for now, the Nothing Phone 1 is the direct competitor to many midrangers out there including Nokia X30 5G and Nokia G60 5G.
Coming from the extra durable Nokia XR20 5G, I am quite apprehensive to how the Nothing Phone 1 would fare in real life. Having priced attractively, this device is often compared to current Nokia midrangers. While I have to agree that Nokia devices are priced on the higher side in certain key markets, there is a lot more to factor in before deciding which one to go with.
The Nothing Phone 1 was compared to the Nokia G60 5G initially and subsequently to the Nokia X30 5G before and what is obvious is that specification and hardware is just part of the experience. In a nutshell, the only clear advantage that the Nothing has over the other devices is the stereo output. When it comes to executing daily tasks, all three devices perform well thanks to the near stock Android experience. Even the IPS LCD display on the G60 shines admirably compared to the OLED HDR panel on the Nothing device.
Having the Nothing with me as my primary driver makes me realize the subtle things we have taken for granted. The build qualitY on Nothing is questionable, and I have to be extra careful taking it in and out of the pocket. The Gorilla Glass protection fails to provide any assurance due to the way the device is constructed. You really need to feel in hand to appreciate this. The eye candy Glyph interface, was intrusive, gives no palpable benefits and ironically, switching it off, did not help to improve its mediocre battery performance. I had to constantly charge the device by the end of the day with minimal usage which was a bummer.
While most of the issues above can be and most likely will be addressed in the updates to come, one has to wonder, which device would last longer, Nothing or the new Nokia midrangers?
Much of the advantage Nothing has over the Nokia midrangers is related to its more potent processor. But, in reality, it is still a work in progress. The 4K recording and HDR 1080p recording can get dropped frames and lack stability making it rather less useable than you would want it. Think of Nokia 5.3 , where the 4K is just there for the sake of being there and not really useable without additional gears.
A few images to highlight the Nothing vs Nokia X30 5G( recent camera update), and the Nokia 9 Pureview.
The Nokia 9 Pureview seems to be haunting us once again with its remarkable day time performance for a 2019 device. Let down by its less optimized algorithm and probably inferior hardware, I hope that Nokia is secretly experimenting it further on a more modern hardware.
The Nokia X30 5G is seemingly to be in the right direction with rather improved software updates, but less optimal pricing in key markets like India. Would this sway more buyers into the other side of the fence? Can HMD Global afford to lose more market share for short term profits?
Nothing Phone 1 seems interesting but the cheaper price has me worried for the compromises made. At the end of the life cycle, which device would last?
You can catch my full rant of the above here and as usual more updates at my twitter account so, don’t forget to follow. And a sub for the channel would be much appreciated. As always, stay healthy and be safe.
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