Nothing Phone (1) vs Apple iPhone 12: which phone should you buy?

The Nothing Phone (1) is the latest, much-hyped entrant in the Android smartphone space, backed by a somewhat unique design and interface.

The Nothing Phone (1) has been officially launched, thus bringing to a wrap a sizeable amount of hype surrounding the latest Android smartphone on the block. In a bid to differentiate its offering in a sea of homologous industrial design in smartphones, Nothing has offered a somewhat unique take with a design that’s driven by a quirky LED lighting arrangement on the back of the phone. Along with that, it has also offered what it claims is an Android interface with plenty of user experience tricks up its sleeve. However, is this enough for the fledgling company to take on Apple – specifically, the iPhone 12? Here’s how the two phones compare.

Nothing Phone (1) vs Apple iPhone 12: price in India

The Nothing Phone (1) has been launched in India in three RAM and storage variants – 8GB + 128GB, 8GB + 256GB and 12GB + 256GB. The devices are priced at Rs 31,999, Rs 34,999 and Rs 37,999 respectively, and the prices will increase by Rs 1,000 after its introductory sale period.

The iPhone 12 presently costs Rs 65,900 in India via Apple for the 64GB storage variant, Rs 70,900 for the 128GB variant, and Rs 80,900 for the 256GB variant. However, on Amazon India, the smartphone is available at a significantly lower price – costing Rs 55,900 for the 64GB variant, and Rs 60,900 for the 128GB variant. The 256GB variant is not available at the time of publishing.

Nothing Phone (1) vs Apple iPhone 12: design, specs

Design

Nothing’s big play on design comes with its transparent back panel on the phone, inlaid with five LED strips that the company calls ‘Glyph interface’. The latter is a unique LED lighting scheme that will offer a range of light-based alerts to users based on notifications, calls and more. This seeks to make it stand out in a generation of industrial design in smartphones. The phone otherwise gets a dual rear camera without much of a module demarcation to the rear, and to the front, has mostly uniform bezels with a centrally placed front camera. The phone measures 8.3mm in thickness and weighs 194 grams, and there are two colours to choose from – black and white.

The Apple iPhone 12, meanwhile, was the first iPhone that brought back the flat edges design language once made iconic by the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. It is the first rendition of the iconic design on a large display iPhone, and sparked an industry trend where other manufacturers – including Nothing – has used it since then. It has a simple camera module housing the dual rear camera setup at the rear, with the Apple logo at the middle. The front has fully uniform bezels, but carries the famous Apple ‘notch’ that houses the Face ID infrared sensor and the front camera. The device weighs 164 grams and measures 7.4mm in thickness, and is therefore much smaller, lighter and slimmer than the Nothing Phone (1). You can buy it in green, purple, blue, white, black and red colours.

Processor, storage and RAM

The Nothing Phone (1) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G SoC, which is a mid-range chipset. This is paired with up to 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.

In comparison, the iPhone 12 – although soon to be two generations old now – features Apple’s custom A14 Bionic SoC that is significantly more powerful than the Snapdragon 778G+. Apple also develops the full, vertical stack of hardware and software by itself, which allows it to offer better performance, graphics and efficiency even with much lesser RAM (only 4GB on the iPhone 12) and older generation processors. In the storage department, both phones are even.

Display

Nothing clearly has a larger display, using a full HD+, 6.55-inch OLED panel on the Phone (1). The display gets HDR10+ certification and 120Hz refresh rate.

Apple, meanwhile, uses a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED panel that is sharper than its competitors. The display has marginally higher resolution, and being compact, has better pixel density as well. It also has HDR10, and adds Dolby Vision to it. However, it misses out on a fast refresh rate – sticking only to 60Hz.

Cameras

The Nothing Phone (1) uses two 50MP cameras, with the primary offering optical stabilisation and the second camera using an ultra-wide lens. The device offers 4K video recording at 30fps, while to the front is a 16MP selfie camera with full HD video recording.

The iPhone 12 has two 12MP cameras to the rear – with the primary unit offering optical stabilisation and the second camera offering an ultra-wide lens. However, it can record up to 60fps 4K videos and 240fps 1080p videos, along with Dolby Vision HDR and stereo sound, with the rear camera. The 12MP front camera has 3D depth sensing, and can also record 4K 60fps or 120fps full HD videos.

Battery

The Nothing Phone (1) gets a 4,500mAh battery with 33W fast charging, 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging.

The iPhone 12, meanwhile, gets a 2,815mAh battery with 20W fast charging, and 15W wireless charging through its proprietary MagSafe wireless charger.

Connectivity

The Nothing Phone (1) comes with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and a USB-C port. It skips the 3.5mm audio port, but has an under-display fingerprint sensor.

The iPhone 12 has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5, but has Apple’s proprietary Lightning port. It doesn’t have a 3.5mm audio port or fingerprint sensors, but uses Face ID as the biometric authentication system instead.