Nothing Phone (1): it does not revolutionize repair options

3

Nothing Phone 1 tried to breathe new life into a somewhat monotonous mobile industry. And while the release of the phone attracted attention, early feedback about repair options is not very encouraging.

No Phone (1)

Introductory price €499

  • Amazon warehouse

    436.17

  • Amazon warehouseAmazon warehouse

    464.07

  • Amazon warehouseAmazon warehouse

    464.07

  • AmazonAmazon

    469.00

  • AmazonAmazon

    499.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    504.09

  • Amazon warehouseAmazon warehouse

    436.17

  • Amazon warehouseAmazon warehouse

    464.07

  • AmazonAmazon

    469.00

  • AmazonAmazon

    499.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    504.09

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    537.00

  • Amazon warehouseAmazon warehouse

    464.07

  • AmazonAmazon

    499.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    537.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    594.90

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    799.00

This is how the price table works

Nothing Phone (1) is a phone that wants to kick the anthill by changing the codes of the mobile industry. But on the repair front, it’s clear that the LED phone doesn’t really fare better than the competition.

Small screws, small screws, always small screws

A recent and painstaking disassembly by the YouTube channel PBKreviews delivers a clear observation: changing the screen on mobile is a bore. Blame it on a complex arrangement of parts and cables.

At first glance, the Nothing Phone comes apart like most other phones on the market. Once you’ve removed the glass back, you can pop out the plastic pieces that hide the circuit boards and see the inside of the phone. Armed with a precision screwdriver and a lot of patience, it is then possible to separate the motherboard and daughterboard, where all the mobile’s critical components are located.

After which the battery is removed by pulling on the adhesive strips. Finally, make room for the speaker block and the charging plug, which can be removed and replaced if necessary. Tackling the screen, on the other hand, requires a good deal of patience and know-how.

A well-hung screen

The cable that connects the plate to the motherboard goes through the phone’s metal frame, then connects to some kind of extension cord that passes under the battery to finally connect to the motherboard. This means that to change the screen, it is necessary to disassemble the phone in its entirety, remove the protective glass with a heat gun, push the cable out of its location, recover the display block and replace it with a new part, then repeat the operation in reverse. All without harming anything.

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Add to that the not-yet-optimal availability of spare parts, and you’ve got a phone to watch out for if you don’t want to send it back to after-sales service at the first drop.

Repairability, a serious subject

The Nothing Phone is a perfect illustration of the weaknesses of the French repairability index. Despite this complex process to change the screen, the mobile inherits a respectable score of 7.9/10 on the hexagonal scale of repair. The two 5/10s that the phone achieves on the criterion of “delivery times for parts” are, among other things, captured by the note on “soft reset”, where the phone achieves 10/10 (like most mobiles on the market) PBKreviews is much more serious and gives Nothing Phone a rating of 3/10.

Illustration No Phone

Nothing Phone (1) and its LEDs —

© The Digital

Let’s be clear, the phone envisioned by Carl Pei, the former founder of OnePlus, is not the worst phone in the world to repair. But in 2022, when we claim to make a phone that will shake up the market, there is something embarrassing about not making progress in terms of repair. Recycled aluminum and bamboo fiber boxes are good, but they’re not really enough anymore.

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