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Updated | Nothing quietly changes Nothing Phone (1) specifications after release

The Nothing Phone (1) does not have a 1,200-nit capable display. (Image source: NotebookCheck)
The Nothing Phone (1) does not have a 1,200-nit capable display. (Image source: NotebookCheck)
Updated: Nothing provides statements on brightness discrepancies.
At launch, Nothing advertised the Nothing Phone (1) as being capable of reaching 1,200 nits when viewing HDR content. Considering the smartphone's price, this would have been an impressive feature, if it were true. Instead, Nothing has subsequently changed its advertising, following the publication of numerous reviews quoting this incorrect peak brightness value.

ComputerBase has discovered a notable change for the Nothing Phone (1), which we reviewed last month. At launch, Nothing advertised its first smartphone as being capable of reaching 1,200 nits, albeit only with HDR content active. In all cases, the Nothing Phone (1) would peak at 500 nits, still a respectable value and on par with many other cheaper handsets. Incidentally, our review unit averaged 625 nits in our X-Rite i1Pro 2 tests, just shy of the Motorola Edge 30.

However, under no circumstances did the Nothing Phone (1) achieve its advertised 1,200 nits. Subsequently, Nothing has altered the specifications of the Phone (1) on its website, reducing its peak brightness value to 700 nits. Thankfully, Web Archive holds snapshots of Nothing's website with the original display specifications of the Phone (1). Incidentally, Nothing has not publicly commented on the matter, nor are we aware that it has informed early adopters of the device's actual peak brightness.

Worse still, Nothing has benefited from millions of impressions courtesy of initial reviews, in which this false brightness value is quoted. In fact, reviewers like Marques Brownlee highlighted this 1,200-nit figure as a Nothing Phone (1) selling point. Ultimately, all other display specifications were accurate, such as its 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate, 240 Hz touch sampling and HDR10+ support. Still, Nothing has changed a key specification without acknowledgement or apology to its fans, nor has it sought reviewers to correct its incorrect reporting.

Update - 08.13

A Nothing PR representative has since provided a statement clarifying the issues discussed above. We have included the statement below.

The hardware is capable of reaching up to 1,200 nits peak brightness, but this is currently capped by the software to 700 nits. This decision was made to ensure a balanced user experience regarding heat and battery consumption.

We look forward to hearing from our users about this and will monitor feedback closely to understand if this should be addressed in future software updates.

Meanwhile, @RealKarthikNair pointed out that Nothing's Indian website continues to show the Phone (1) as supporting 1,200 nits. In fact, it seems that Nothing has reverted its technical specifications across all websites. Upon asking the same PR representative, we were informed of the following:

After hearing the feedback, our product team is exploring opportunities to raise the cap in future software updates.

Nothing Phone (1) specifications at launch. (Image source: Nothing)
Nothing Phone (1) specifications at launch. (Image source: Nothing)
Nothing Phone (1) specifications today. (Image source: Nothing)
Nothing Phone (1) specifications today. (Image source: Nothing)
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 08 > Nothing quietly changes Nothing Phone (1) specifications after release
Alex Alderson, 2022-08-10 (Update: 2022-08-13)