Nothing Phone 1 Puts Its Defining Feature at the Back, however Is It Useful?

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For years, telephone producers have excited by their gadgets’ monitors — boosting resolutions whilst amping up refresh charges and display brightness. But Nothing, the shopper tech startup helmed via OnePlus founder Carl Pei, is taking part in up the opposite facet.

It may sound counterintuitive, however the Phone 1, introduced to a lot anticipation this month, has its defining function at the again. That defining function is the glyph interface, which is composed of flashing gentle strips displayed at the instrument’s clear bottom. There are greater than 900 LEDs powering the sunshine strips, that flash rhythmically to the beat of a ringtone while you obtain a decision, as an example.

This it is not only a cool gentle display. The glyph interface may be designed with the purpose of minimizing display time, in keeping with Nothing. Since you’ll pair person contacts to a particular ringtone, and due to this fact a corresponding gentle trend, you shouldn’t have to look at your display to be told who is calling. This nonetheless way you’ll must memorize the sunshine trend, and in my revel in it resulted in a a negligible relief in display time. The Phone 1 has a “Flip to Glyph” mode, which turns on best when the Phone 1 is flipped over, with the display facet down. This mode silences the instrument, however nonetheless pulses the lighting to suggest an incoming name or notifications. There’s additionally a notification gentle at the rear. 

Read More: Nothing’s Phone 1 Is Missing This Important Feature: Waterproofing

The Nothing Phone 1's back, featuring an LED "glyph"

You are having a look at Phone 1’s glyph interface. It has more than a few gentle patterns that may be decided on from the settings panel.


Andrew Lanxon/unitechradar

How helpful is the glyph interface?

There’s an undoubted novelty to the glyph interface, which Nothing indubitably merits credit score for, however I did not in finding it very helpful. It used to be extra like a flashy additional. That’s as a result of to ensure that one thing to be helpful to me, I’d want to be susceptible to in fact use it. Because I obtain way more messages than calls, I did not finally end up the usage of the glyph interface ceaselessly. That’s but even so the truth that I continuously did not use it at all since I’ve a dependancy of laying my telephone down with the entrance facet up. As such, I needed to consciously make an effort to place it down with the again facet up. That mentioned, I consider that dependancy could be simple sufficient to select up. 

Read extra: Why the Nothing Phone 1 May Not Be as Durable as Its Peers


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So while the feature is cool, I can’t vouch for the Phone 1 reducing my screen time in a meaningful way, which is one of the supposed aims of the glyph feature. Nearly every time the notification light flashed, I’d immediately flip the phone over to check if the source was my Nanit, the camera app I use to monitor my 4-month-old child. It would be great if Nothing let you customize the light patterns to apps, the way you can with calls from personal contacts. (It would be even better if I could customize glyph patterns to prioritize notifications over calls.) That way, I’d know just by looking at the back when I receive important notifications, like the ones from my Nanit. However, Nothing has said to expect software updates to bring added functionality to the Phone 1, so the glyph interface may evolve to a more useful and less gimmicky feature.

In addition to Phone 1’s funky back, Phone 1 has a solid set of specs to back it up. It’s also available for a reasonable price at just £399 (roughly $480 or AU$700). For more details on what the phone has to offer beyond the glyph interface, make sure to read our in-depth Nothing Phone 1 review.

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