Nothing Phone 1 is the first smartphone from Carl Pei’s new venture. It was hyped to the moon and back before the actual launch. But now that the dust has settled, it’s time to compare it to some of the more established mid-range phones. With a unique transparent design and eye-catching LED light strips, the Nothing Phone 1 is a breath of fresh air in a world of boring phones. But how does it fare against one of the best mid-range smartphones: the Galaxy A53 5G?
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Nothing Phone 1 vs Samsung Galaxy A53: Specifications
|specification||No phone 1||Samsung Galaxy A53 5G|
|Dimensions and weight||
|RAM and storage||
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner||Optical fingerprint sensor on the screen|
|Front camera(s)||16MP, f/2.4|
|Other functions||Glyph lighting interface||Dual SIM card|
Design and presentation
The main selling point of the Nothing Phone 1 is its unique design. Even if you don’t like the transparent back and light strips too much, you have to admit that the company has put a lot of effort into this design. Nothing Phone 1’s overall shape and grip are very similar to Apple’s iPhone 12/13. The device has flat aluminum sides and rounded corners. It’s not the most comfortable phone to hold due to the flat edges, but it feels solid and premium in the hand. On the front, there is a perforated display surrounded by symmetrical frames on all four sides. The fun part is on the back. The semi-transparent back panel offers a glimpse of some of the phone’s internal components, including the wireless charging coil and screws. The back is also home to four light strips – two around the camera module and two around the charging coil. These lights are used for the Glyph interface, which lets you configure specific light patterns for calls, notifications, and more. You can adjust the brightness of the light and also use it as a flash when taking photos in low light conditions. If you’re looking for a phone with a cool design but don’t want to spend $999 on the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Nothing Phone 1 is your best bet.
The Galaxy A53 isn’t as great as the Nothing Phone 1 in the looks department. It shares the same design as its predecessor with a plastic back with a soft-touch coating and flat sides. The phone has a centered hole-punch display and a rectangular camera module on the back, ditching the more curved aesthetic of its predecessor for a squarer, flatter look. But despite the plastic back and flat sides, the Galaxy A53 is comfortable to hold and feels premium in the hand.
In terms of durability, the Galaxy A53 is better as it offers an IP68 rating compared to the Nothing Phone 1’s IP53 rating. The Galaxy A53 comes in the colors black, white, blue, peach and Bora purple. Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone 1 is only available in white and black colors.
Both phones are neck and neck in the display department, with large, vibrant OLED panels. The Galaxy A53 has a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and 800nits brightness. The Nothing Phone 1 has a 6.55-inch FHD+ OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 500nits.
When it comes to cameras, the Nothing Phone 1 takes a “less is more” approach. It has a dual camera system consisting of a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor with OIS and a 50MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide angle lens. The Galaxy A53 is the opposite with a quad-camera system that includes a 64MP main shooter with OIS, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 5MP macro lens and a 5MP depth lens.
The Nothing Phone 1 and the Galaxy A53 are good examples of how far mid-range phones have come in terms of camera performance. Both phones’ main shooters produce excellent images with wide dynamic range and plenty of detail. Low-light performance is also excellent, but understandably not as good as the best flagships. One thing to keep in mind is that the Galaxy A53 tends to oversaturate colors a bit for that extra pop, while the Nothing Phone 1 prefers more neutral tones.
None Phone 1: camera samples
Galaxy A53: sample cameras
Both phones can record 4K video at 30fps and offer good stabilization. However, as we noted in our review, the Nothing Phone 1 is prone to inaccurate color rendering, such as extremely warm skin tones.
The Nothing Phone 1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G Plus chipset, which includes one Cortex-A78 core clocked at 2.5GHz, three Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.4GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores, that are effective at 1.9 GHz. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A53 uses the in-house Exynos 1280 chipset with two Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.4GHz and six Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 2.0GHz.
Not only does the Nothing Phone 1 pack more power, but it also outperforms the Galaxy A53 in the real world. Nothing OS’s smooth system animations paired with a smooth 120Hz display and a powerful processor ensure that the phone performs admirably in day-to-day tasks. The Nothing Phone 1 also uses the UFS 3.1 storage chip, which is significantly faster than the Galaxy A53’s UFS 2.2 storage. Faster storage speeds directly translate to faster load times for apps and games, faster data transfer and faster performance.
As for configurations, the Galaxy A53 comes with 4GB/6GB/8GB RAM and 128GB/256GB internal storage and supports microSD card expansion. The Nothing Phone 1, on the other hand, can be configured with 8GB/12GB RAM and 128GB/256GB storage.
Battery life, charging speed and software
The Galaxy A53 has Nothing Phone 1 in the battery department. It has a larger 5,000 mAh battery compared to the Nothing Phone 1’s 4,500 mAh cell. The Galaxy A53 is your best bet if you want a phone that can easily last more than a day. The Nothing Phone 1’s battery life is good, but not great. On a typical workday, it will last you a full day, but on days you use it a lot, you’ll find yourself reaching for the charger. However, the Nothing Phone 1 has an advantage when it comes to charging speed. It offers fast wired charging speed of 33W, while the Galaxy A53 reaches 25W. Moreover, the Nothing Phone 1 also offers wireless charging, unlike the Galaxy A53.
Software-wise, both phones come with Android 12 out of the box. The Nothing Phone 1 runs Nothing OS, which is a near-stock version of Android with a few extra tweaks. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A53 runs a highly customized interface called One UI 4. When it comes to software support, both phones have one of the best software policies for Android smartphones. The Galaxy A53 is promised four years of operating system updates and five years of security updates from Samsung. Nothing is too far either. It has promised to offer three years of operating system updates and four years of security updates.
Nothing Phone 1 vs Galaxy A53: Which one to buy?
It is not easy to choose a clear winner in the battle of Nothing Phone 1 vs. Galaxy A53. The Nothing Phone 1 has better performance, wireless charging support and a more attractive design, but it loses out to the Galaxy A53 in the battery life and software policy departments. Not to mention that it also costs more than the Galaxy A53 in regions like the UK where both devices are sold.
The Nothing Phone 1 is undoubtedly the coolest mid-range phone on the market today, with a unique semi-transparent design, LED light strips and a gorgeous OLED screen. While its eye-catching design may not appeal to everyone, it offers plenty of power, decent cameras, and a great software experience with long software support. It’s perfect for people who want an eye-catching phone but can’t afford the Galaxy ZFlip 4.
However, those living in the US cannot get the Nothing Phone 1 as it has not been officially launched yet. So for people in the US market, the answer is pretty simple: get the Galaxy A53 5G.
The Galaxy A53 is one of the best mid-range phones that offers a high-quality smartphone experience at a great price.
The Galaxy A53 needs no introduction. It is one of the best mid-range smartphones on the market at the moment. It launched at $449, but has dropped to just $349, making it even more appealing. It offers a vibrant AMOLED screen, a versatile camera system, a highly personalized software experience, and a better software support policy than what Google offered for its Pixel line.