(Pocket-lint) - Nothing announced its first smartphone - the phone (1) - at an event in the middle of July. The device goes up against the likes of the OnePlus Nord 2T and Google Pixel 6a, adding a little bit of differentiation to the mid-range sector.
Which mid-range smartphone should you buy? The Nothing phone (1) or the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G? Let's break the two down.
- Nothing phone (1): 159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3mm, 193.5g
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: 159.9 x 74.7 x 8.1mm, 189g
The Nothing phone (1) and the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G are almost identical in terms of size and weight, but they look quite different in terms of design with the Nothing phone (1) taking a more rough and ready approach.
The Nothing phone (1) has a translucent back, showing off some of the internals and it also offers flat edges, like the iPhone 13 models. The rear has LEDs that light up for notifications - called the Glyph Interface - and there is a dual camera in the top left corner.
On the front, the Nothing phone (1) has a punch hole camera positioned in the top left corner and it offers an under-display fingerprint sensor. It comes in black and white colour options and it offers an IP53 water and dust resistance.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 meanwhile is more traditional in its design approach. There's a choice of colours - Blue, Peach, White, Black - and it offers a quad rear camera in the top left corner, integrated within a seamless island. It's arguably less exciting than the Nothing phone (1) but some will appreciate the simplicity.
On the front, there's a centralised punch hole camera, an under display fingerprint sensor and the edges are curved. It also offers an IP67 water and dust resistance.
- Nothing phone (1): 6.55-inch, Full HD+, 60-120Hz
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: 6.5-inch, Full HD+, 120Hz
Both the Nothing phone (1) and the Samsung Galaxy A53 have flat displays and as we mentioned, they both have punch hole cameras, though positioned differently.
The Nothing phone (1) has a 6.55-inch flexible OLED display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and it comes with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution that results in a pixel density of 401ppi. It also has an adaptive refresh rate between 60Hz and 120Hz.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G has a 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, also with a Full HD+ resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 404ppi. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate, though this isn't adaptive.
Hardware and specs
- Nothing phone (1): Snapdragon 778G+, 8/12GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 4500mAh
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Exynos 1280, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, microSD, 5000mAh
The Nothing phone (1) runs on the Snapdragon 778G+ and it comes with a choice of 8GB of RAM with 128GB or 256GB storage, or 12GB of RAM with 256GB.
There's a 4500mAh battery on board, which offers support for 33W wired charging, 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging. There's also Dual SIM support and 5G support, though regional availability and local operator support will vary.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G runs on the Exynos 1280 chipset, supported by 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage. There is support for microSD for storage expansion up to 1TB though and it's also possible to allocate up to 6GB of storage as virtual RAM.
The A53's battery capacity stands at 5000mAh, with support for 25W wired charging. It doesn't offer wireless charging or reverse wireless charging though.
Both devices run on Android with Samsung opting for its One UI and Nothing for its NothingOS so while the foundation is Android, there's a different user experience between these two handsets. Nothing is closer to stock, while Samsung is highly adapted.
- Nothing phone (1): Dual 50MP rear, 16MP front
- Samsung Galaxy A53 5G: Quad rear (64MP+12MP+5MP+5MP), 32MP front
The Nothing phone (1) has a dual rear camera comprised of a 50-megapixel main camera and 50-megapixel ultrawide camera.
The main camera offers a f/1.88 aperture, OIS and EIS and features including Night Mode, Extreme Night Mode, Portrait Mode and Beauty Mode. The ultrawide has an f/2.2 aperture and offers a 114-degree field of view, Macro mode and Night Mode.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G comes with a quad rear camera that is comprised of a 64-megapixel main camera with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilisation, 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with f/2.2 aperture, 5-megapixel depth camera with f/2.4 aperture and 5-megapixel macro camera with f/2.4 aperture.
More cameras don't necessarily mean better, but the same goes for high resolutions too. The Samsung Galaxy A53 is a solid performer, but we're still waiting to see how the Nothing phone (1) performs.
On the front, the Nothing phone (1) has a 16-megapixel sensor, while the Samsung Galaxy A53 has a 32-megapixel sensor.
In terms of video recording, both phones offer the ability to record 4K up to 30fps.
The Nothing phone (1) starts at £399. It will be available from 21 July.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G also costs £399. It is available now.
The Nothing phone (1) certainly looks different and while it won't be to everyone's tastes, it's a break away from the norm. It has some decent specs on board too, including an adaptive refresh rate display, Snapdragon processor, a good amount of RAM, fast charging and a lot of potential in the dual 50-megapixel camera.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 is a great performing mid-range handset, with good camera results, a great battery, and an overall good experience from both the hardware and software. It's perhaps safer in terms of design, but some people will prefer this.