The mid-range smartphone market is filled with offerings from Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, and even Google. Nothing, Carl Pei’s new technology startup, just launched its first-ever smartphone, the Nothing Phone (1). The Nothing Phone 1 has been priced at £399 and is ready to disrupt the mid-range market. In this article, we put down the Nothing Phone 1 vs Samsung Galaxy A53 to see which £399 smartphone is best for you.
Starting off with the design, it’s quite evident that the Nothing Phone (1) doesn’t look like any other mid-range Android smartphone. The smartphone sports a transparent back that shows off its industrial elements, like screws that hold the panel in place and the wireless charging coil. There’s also a set of LED light strips present on the back of the phone. Nothing calls this “Glyph Interface”. You can read more about the functionality and what the Glyph Interface offers right here.
Apart from the futuristic-looking back, Nothing Phone (1) is surrounded by an aluminum metal frame. The Phone 1 also features Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and back. The Nothing logo, engraved in the dot matrix font, can be found in the bottom left corner. Overall, it’s safe to say that the design of the Nothing Phone 1 is quite unique and eye-catching.
On the other hand, the design of the Galaxy A53 isn’t very different from the other Galaxy A-series smartphones. This is because the design has been, in fact, left unchanged from the last year. The rectangular camera module still sits on the top left corner with the continuous polycarbonate back sitting over it. Just like the Nothing Phone 1, the Samsung Galaxy A53 also uses an aluminum metal frame.
Samsung is known for offering excellent-looking displays even on budget smartphones, and the Galaxy A53 is no exception. The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G comes with a big 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution (1080 x 2340 pixels) and support for up to a 120Hz refresh rate. As you would expect from a Samsung smartphone, the display on the Galaxy A53 will offer vibrant and punchy colors.
On the other hand, we have Nothing’s first smartphone. The Nothing Phone (1) comes with a 6.55-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels at 402 PPI. The display supports a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. One advantage that the Nothing Phone 1 has over the Galaxy A53 is that it has a peak brightness of 1200 nits vs 800 nits on the Galaxy A53. On paper, this means that the outdoor visibility of the Nothing Phone 1 should be better than the Galaxy A53.
The Nothing Phone (1) also offers uniform (and slim) bezels in comparison to the Samsung Galaxy A53. This is due to the flexible OLED display technology Nothing has used in the Phone 1, wherein it bends the bottom part of the display so as to give a uniform look. Other than the peak brightness and the display bezels, both the smartphones offer fantastic displays, and you won’t be disappointed with either of them.
This is one of the areas where smartphone makers make some compromises to keep the price low, and both the Nothing Phone 1 and Samsung Galaxy A53 are no different. The Nothing Phone (1) is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G+ processor. This is an octa-core chipset with one Cortex-A78 core clocked at 2.5GHz, three Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.4GHz, and four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz. In addition, the chipset features Adreno 642L GPU and an X53 5G modem.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy A53 is powered by the company’s own Exynos 1280 processor. This is a 5nm node process-based octa-core chipset with two Cortex-A78 CPU cores clocked at 2.4GHz and six Cortex-A55 CPU cores clocked at 2GHz. While both the processors won’t offer performance anywhere close to the $1000 Android smartphones, they will “just enough” manage to ensure that the device can handle day-to-day activities and multitasking.
Moving onto the camera setup, the Galaxy A53 features a quad-camera setup that includes a 64MP primary camera sensor (f/1.8), one 12MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2), a 5MP depth sensor (f/2.4), and a 5MP macro lens (f/2.4). The software on the Galaxy A53 is much improved as it features an all-new Night mode and a lot of features, such as an object eraser, Photo Remaster, and more, that the flagship Samsung devices come with.
On the other hand, the Nothing Phone 1 comes with a dual 50MP camera setup. This camera system contains a 50MP Sony IMX 766 primary camera and a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL JN1 ultra-wide angle lens with 114-degree FoV. Software features include Portrait mode, Night mode, Panorama Night mode, Google Filter, Bokeh, Beauty mode, Night Video, and Expert mode.
More cameras (and higher resolution) don’t necessarily mean that Samsung Galaxy A53 camera is better than Nothing Phone (1). While the Samsung Galaxy A53 is a solid performer, we’re still waiting to see the camera performance of the Nothing Phone 1. Make sure you’re subscribed to Pocketnow’s YouTube channel for the full review of the Nothing Phone (1).
Focussing on the batteries both the smartphones offer, the Samsung Galaxy A53 comes with a 5000 mAh cell. This battery should easily last a whole day for most users. In comparison, the Nothing Phone 1 has a smaller 4500 mAh cell. While Nothing claims that the battery of the Phone 1 can last up to 18 hours, it also depends on the phone’s usage and how the company has optimized the software.
When it comes to charging, the Nothing Phone 1 leaves behind the Samsung Galaxy A53. While the Galaxy A53 supports only 25W fast charging, the Nothing Phone 1 supports up to 33W fast charging. And not only (slightly) faster wired charging, the Nothing Phone 1 also supports 15W Qi wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging. Using the reverse wireless charging feature, you can charge your Qi-compatible products, such as the company’s own Ear (1), by placing them on the back of the phone.
Nothing Phone (1)
Phone 1 is Nothing’s first-ever smartphone. It comes with a 6.55-inch 120Hz OLED display with slim bezels, Qualcomm’s custom-tuned Snapdragon 778G+ processor, LEDs on the back, Dual 50MP camera sensors, and more.
Samsung Galaxy A53
Samsung Galaxy A53 packs in a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED Display, the Exynos 1280, and a 5000 mAh battery alongside a decent set of camera sensors. For $450, it offers a combination that is a perfect balance of price and specifications.
|Smartphone||Nothing Phone 1||Samsung Galaxy A53|
|Operating System||Android 12||Android 12|
|Dimensions||159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm||159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1 mm|
|Display||6.55-inch, 2400×1080, OLED, 120Hz||6.5-inch, 1080 x 2400, Super AMOLED, 120Hz|
|Display Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 5||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+||Exynos 1280|
|CPU Specs||– 6nm
– 1x 2.5GHz Cortex-A78
– 3x 2.4GHz Cortex-A78
– 4x 1.8GHz Cortex-A55
-2x 2.4GHz Cortex A78
– 6x 2.0GHz Cortex A55
|RAM||8/12 GB||4/6/8 GB|
|ROM||128/256 GB||128/256 GB|
|Expandable Storage||No||Yes (uses shared SIM slot)|
|Rear Cameras||Primary: 50 MP, f/1.88, wide, OIS, HDR
Ultra-wide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 1140-degree FoV, HDR
|64MP, ƒ/1.8, OIS
12MP, ƒ/2.2, Ultra-Wide
5MP, ƒ/2.4, Depth
5MP, ƒ/2.4, Macro
|Front Camera||16 MP, ƒ/2.24, HDR||32 MP, ƒ/2.2, Wide, HDR|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2||5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC|
|Battery||4500 mAh||5000 mAh|
|Wireless Charging||– 15W Qi wireless charging
– 5W reverse wireless
|Colors||White, Black||Black, White, Blue, Peach|
How Good is Android 13 on Pixel Phones?
The stable Android 13 update has been out since the beginning of the week and that means a couple of days for you to run it and establish first impressions. I’m curious what those are, as the update is somewhat minor in new features, but huge in terms of bug fixes from Android 12.
To recap, Android 13 dropped on Monday for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6a. The update was available immediately if you felt like playing in adb, plus we’ve seen it rollout over-the-air as well to some phones. Tim, for example, says he can pull it yet I can’t on my Pixel 6 Pro. Rude, Google.
We talked about all of the new features in Android 13 that you’ll want to be on the lookout for and then spent a lengthy amount of time looking through the list of 150 bugs that Google fixed. Google says it was able to improve “performance, stability, and reliability,” fixed bugs related to charging and Gboard and touch screen palm detection and so much more. Google even says it addressed fingerprint reader performance on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a.
After browsing through reddit, I can see that a number of folks have been quick to share that their fingerprint reader is indeed faster (Do people really believe this?) and that overall performance and stuttering has improved, especially on older Pixel phones.
What about you? How has Android 13 been running on your Pixel phone this week? Or are you still waiting for it?
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.
There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.
To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:
- PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
- PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW
Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.
To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.
The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).
Pixel 7 network bands
Pixel 7 Pro network bands
There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.
If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.
Verizon’s Visible Added a Sweet New Visible+ Plan
From the day it launched back in 2018, Verizon’s Visible has had a single plan that costs just $40/mo. Visible has continued to update and upgrade the plan over the years, but that price has always stuck and it remained the only plan option for those looking at Verizon’s “all-digital wireless carrier.” Today, Visible is making a big move – we now have 2 plans.
Visible announced today that they offer two plans: Visible and Visible+. Visible is a similar offering to the old Visible plan, only now it costs $30/mo instead of $40. For Visible+, a couple of additional features and upgrades will cost you $45/mo.
So what are the differences between Visible and Visible+? I have the visual breakdown for you below, but the basics are that the regular Visible plan is going to be for those who don’t need a super speedy 5G experience and who don’t travel outside of the US much. The only network access you get is on 5G nationwide and LTE, where your connection could be slowed if in heavy trafficked areas. It still has talk and text to Mexico and Canada.
The Visible+ plan adds unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico, roaming use when in those two countries, calling from the US to 30+ other countries, texting to 200+ countries, and premium 5G connections. The “Premium Network Experience” from Visible+ means access to 5G Ultra Wideband (both mmW and C-Band) from Verizon’s network in an unlimited capacity. When on the 5G Nationwide of LTE networks, you’ll get 50GB of data to use before possibly being slowed.
Both plans also offer unlimited mobile hotspot with a 5Mbps speed cap and Spam Protection.
Visible vs. Visible+ Plans
Taxes and fees are included in both prices on these plans, so you’ll pay $30 or $45 each month. Both plans are also live right away, in case you want to sign-up. Visible supports eSIM now as well, so if you were interested in trying them, you can do so without a physical SIM card.
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