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The best Nothing Phone 1 alternatives: 5 phones to consider before you buy

From Samsung to OnePlus, these phones are worth considering instead.
By
July 18, 2022
nothing phone 1 rear on wood
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The Nothing Phone 1 has finally arrived after months of teases and information leaks. Nothing’s first handset is indeed an affordable mid-range smartphone, bringing a relatively powerful Snapdragon 778G Plus chipset, a 4,500mAh battery, and a 120Hz OLED screen. Sadly, it’s not available in North America, which means budget phone buyers will need to look elsewhere. Or maybe you can get hold of Nothing’s first phone, but simply want to know what else is out there. Whatever the case, we’ve put together a guide to the best Nothing Phone 1 alternatives around.

Our verdict: Nothing Phone 1 review

Nothing Phone 1
Nothing Phone 1
Fluid flexible OLED display • 3-year Android update promise • Glyph Interface
A mid-ranger with a dash of personality
The Nothing Phone 1 is a mid-range smartphone that stands out thanks to its Glyph Interface. But there's more to the phone than looks alone. The performance is solid, the main camera is decent, and the update promise is great considering the price of the phone.

The best Nothing Phone 1 alternatives

1. Google Pixel 6a

Google IO 2022 pixel 6a green
Google

The Pixel 6a isn’t actually available for purchase at the time of writing, but Google’s mid-ranger goes on sale on July 28. And it definitely makes a good argument for being one of the better Nothing Phone 1 alternatives on the market.

Related: Google Pixel 6a buyer’s guide

The mid-ranger offers features like a powerful Tensor processor, IP67 rating, a 4,410mAh battery, and a dual rear camera system with Google’s great camera software. Toss in five years of security updates and you’ve got a good proposition here.

That’s not to say that the Pixel 6a is perfect for the price though, as it lacks wireless charging, fast wired charging (topping out at 18W), and a higher refresh rate. These are pretty significant omissions in 2022, especially compared to the Nothing Phone 1. But this might not be an issue for some people.

Google Pixel 6a
See review
See review

2. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

samsung galaxy a53 device health
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung’s last few Galaxy A5x phones have been great mid-range devices, and the Galaxy A53 5G continues this trend. The A53 5G brings a mid-range Exynos 1280 chipset that isn’t as powerful as the Nothing Phone 1 processor but should still be a capable SoC for everyday tasks and some advanced games. You’re also getting a similar 120Hz OLED panel here too.

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy A53 review

Otherwise, the Galaxy A53 5G stands out from the Nothing device by virtue of its IP67 rating for water resistance. Other notable features include a 5,000mAh battery, a commitment to four OS updates and five years of security patches, and a quad rear camera system (64MP with OIS, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 5MP depth).

In saying so, the Samsung phone lacks wireless charging, while its 25W wired charging isn’t exactly blazing-fast. But it’s still one of the best Nothing Phone 1 alternatives in terms of availability alone.

3. OnePlus Nord 2T

OnePlus Nord 2T in hand showing back of the phone
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Like the Nothing Phone 1, the OnePlus Nord 2T isn’t available in the US, but it’s a solid alternative for consumers in the likes of Europe and India. In any case, OnePlus brought several welcome additions and changes to its third mainline Nord phone.

Check out: The best budget camera phones

OnePlus is offering a Dimensity 1300 chipset here, which is more or less in the same ballpark as the Snapdragon 778G Plus inside the Nothing Phone 1. So it should handle most advanced games and tasks just fine. Otherwise, the Nord 2T also includes features like a 6.43-inch 90Hz OLED screen and a 4,500mAh battery with 80W charging.

The Nord 2T has the same 50MP IMX766 main camera as the Nothing device, while an 8MP ultrawide camera and 2MP monochrome lens round out the rear camera package. Unfortunately, the phone misses out on features like wireless charging and an official IP rating.

Of course, a lot of these specs are very similar to 2021’s Nord 2 which, if you can find it in a decent sale, is perhaps the better value buy.

OnePlus Nord 2T

4. Poco F4

Poco F4 back on window sill
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Those expecting major upgrades with the Poco F4 over the Poco F3 might be disappointed, but it’s still a great mid-range phone on its own merits.

Our verdict: Poco F4 review

Poco’s phone brings a Snapdragon 870 chipset that offers flagship-tier performance, a 120Hz FHD+ OLED panel, IP53 splash resistance, and a 4,500mAh battery with 67W wired charging. The phone also delivers a 64MP main camera with OIS, as well as an 8MP ultrawide shooter, and a 2MP macro lens.

In saying so, we didn’t appreciate the system ads here, even though they can be disabled for the most part. We also didn’t like Poco’s silence regarding the question of an extended update pledge. Nevertheless, this is a great package for the price.

5. Apple iPhone SE (2022)

iPhone SE 2022 review second opinion rear logo
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The iPhone SE (2022) is another device worth considering, particularly if you don’t mind leaving the Android ecosystem. Apple’s latest SE phone comes in at $429, putting it in a similar segment as the Nothing Phone 1.

Our verdict: iPhone SE 2022 review

You get some neat features here for your money, including IP67 water resistance, a decent rear camera, a powerful processor, wireless charging, and an extended update pledge. You’ve also got a compact design, making it stand out from the rest of the smartphone world at large.

Hiwever, the iPhone SE 2022 makes more than a few compromises to reach this price point. For starters, there’s no secondary rear camera, OLED panel, or high refresh rate. Furthermore, there’s only 64GB of storage in the base model, and it has a tiny battery compared to the Nothing Phone 1.


That’s it for our roundup of the best Nothing Phone 1 alternatives. Are there any other devices that you think should be on the list? Then let us know via the comments below, or if you’re still set on the Nothing Phone 1, hit the links below to grab your own.