Can the Nothing Telephone 1’s cameras beat a 2-year-old iPhone?


It’s not that a lot of a stretch to see the Nothing Telephone 1 want to be the iPhone of the Android world, with its flat-sided design, clear software program, a rising ecosystem of comparable merchandise, and the dual-camera structure on the again. However can it win over potential iPhone patrons, or steal them away from a fairly priced iPhone? To seek out out, we put the Nothing Telephone 1 in opposition to essentially the most reasonably priced competing iPhone Apple nonetheless sells, the iPhone 11.

The telephones and cameras

Earlier than we get into the images, let’s speak in regards to the selection of iPhone. The Nothing Telephone 1 begins at 400 British kilos, or about $480. For this, it has a midrange processor, a big 6.55-inch display screen, and a twin digital camera on the again. Whereas the iPhone SE (2022) is available in across the identical worth, it’s not precisely comparable in specification, and the most recent iPhone 13 prices $800 or 780 kilos. Whereas it’s nearer in spec, it’s significantly more cash to purchase.

The back of the iPhone 11 and Nothing Phone 1.
Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

To get the equal trendy iPhone that’s bought brand-new, we have to return in time just a little. Apple nonetheless sells the iPhone 12 new for $599 or 679 kilos, which continues to be just a little too costly, however at $499 or 489 kilos, the iPhone 11 is nearly proper. In any case, the highest Nothing Telephone 1 with 12GB RAM and 256GB cupboard space prices 499 kilos, or about $590. In case you’ve obtained $500 most to spend on a big-screen smartphone, the iPhone 11 might be going to be on the record alongside the Nothing Telephone 1.

The Nothing Telephone 1 has a 50-megapixel predominant digital camera with optical and digital stabilization (OIS and EIS), plus a 50MP wide-angle digital camera with EIS. On the entrance is a 16MP selfie digital camera. The iPhone 11, which was launched in 2019, has a 12MP predominant digital camera and a 12MP wide-angle digital camera, each with OIS, and 2x optical zoom. The selfie digital camera additionally has 12 megapixels. Is a struggle between a two-and-a-half-year-old cellphone with twin 12MP cameras and a brand-new cellphone with twin 50MP cameras even honest?

For the check the place we discover out, each telephones had been utilized in auto mode, images had been taken throughout totally different days in several lighting circumstances, examined on a color-calibrated monitor, and at last resized earlier than publishing right here for friendlier on-line viewing.

Foremost digital camera

Maybe you count on there to be a giant distinction between the 2 predominant cameras, as, on paper, the divide between 12MP and 50MP is critical. It seems it’s very troublesome to separate the Nothing Telephone 1 and iPhone 11’s predominant cameras, as each have related tuning and efficiency. We’ll start with the picture of a park.

The sky within the Nothing Telephone 1’s picture is barely much less saturated than the iPhone 11’s, however the inexperienced has just a little extra vibrance, whereas the iPhone 11’s publicity works to indicate the water and its depth extra clearly. The element in each images could be very related, though there’s a trace of noticeable blur within the corners from the Telephone 1. The iPhone 11’s improved publicity helps present the feel of the trail, the column, and the stepping stones.

Transferring on to an overcast day, and at first look, the pair once more take very related images. However it’s whenever you look extra carefully that the variations seem. Take a look at the lamppost, and you’ll see the ridges within the steel and the within of the lamp itself within the iPhone 11’s picture, however not one of the element seems within the Telephone 1’s picture. The higher publicity helps present element within the bushes within the background too, that are partially misplaced within the Telephone 1’s picture.

Now, take a look at two close-up images taken with the principle digital camera, starting with a white flower. As we noticed with the picture of the park, the Telephone 1 emphasizes the inexperienced greater than the iPhone 11, and the stark white of the flower actually stands out. The iPhone 11’s picture is healthier balanced, and whenever you zoom in to take a look at the petals, there’s extra element within the petals, however just a little extra noise within the background. Each have beautiful pure bokeh and are images I actually like.

Lastly, how about getting actually shut? The picture of the bumblebee was shot utilizing the principle digital camera at 1x zoom and tapping on the display screen to make sure the digital camera centered on the insect and never one thing else. I took a number of photos with each cameras, as a result of images of bugs are troublesome to take, and these two are one of the best examples from each cameras.

The Nothing Telephone 1 does a superb job, displaying off the bumblebee’s furry physique and the delicacy of its wings (and isolating it from the background too). However it will probably’t fairly match the iPhone 11, which reveals extra element, much less noise or apparent edge enhancement, and higher shade steadiness. It’s extraordinarily good for a smartphone, and maybe even higher contemplating the iPhone 11 is greater than two years outdated.

Total, the 2 predominant cameras took very related images, and it does seem the Nothing Telephone 1 has been tuned to compete with the iPhone greater than a digital camera just like the Samsung Galaxy A53. Nonetheless, it will probably’t fairly match the element, publicity, or means of the iPhone 11.

Winner: Apple iPhone 11

Vast-angle digital camera

The wide-angle digital camera efficiency differs much more than the principle cameras throughout the 2 telephones. This time the iPhone 11 delivers the extra saturated picture, whereas the Nothing Telephone 1 tends to under-expose and has much less outlined colours. Beginning with the picture of the sphere and tree, the iPhone 11’s picture has much more life and vibrancy, whereas the Nothing Telephone 1’s picture is colder.

Zoom in, and neither excels by way of element, with the iPhone 11 smoothing the picture extra in comparison with the Telephone 1. However this therapy leads to much less jagged textures and a far prettier picture whenever you look carefully. The iPhone 11’s picture is way extra correct by way of realism and with the scene I noticed with my very own eyes.

The identical drawback with the Nothing Telephone 1’s wide-angle digital camera reveals up within the shot of the cliffs and sea, the place the water and rocks on the shore are jagged and tough, in comparison with the smoother and extra visually interesting picture from the iPhone. I just like the inexperienced and blue water within the iPhone’s picture too, and the deep blue of the sky. As soon as once more, the Telephone 1 has a colder picture, and there’s noticeable noise on the horizon.

Lastly, a difficult picture wanting into the solar because it went down. The iPhone 11 captures the colour of the sky and the clouds extra successfully, and the reflection on the water has a brighter, extra atmospheric glow. The brighter deck of the ship within the Nothing Telephone 1’s picture carries throughout to the sky, and though it’s arguably extra correct, it’s not as fairly. Neither cellphone excels in any of those images, however the iPhone 11’s photos are much less noisy and extra immediately engaging than the Telephone 1’s, which might profit from enhancing.

Winner: Apple iPhone 11

2x zoom

The iPhone 11 doesn’t have a shortcut to a 2x zoom in its digital camera app, so you must choose it manually, but Apple claims a 2x optical zoom functionality. The Nothing Telephone 1 has a shortcut to a 2x zoom, however doesn’t have an optical zoom functionality. It’s the primary time on this check that the 2 telephones return drastically totally different outcomes from one another.

Neither cellphone takes nice 2x images. The close-up shot of the monument reveals how the Apple cellphone prioritizes the feel and shade, whereas the Nothing Telephone 1 smoothes all the things out extra. However whenever you zoom in, the textual content and particulars are clearer. It’s the identical whenever you look farther into the picture, too, with the license plate on the Hyundai i10 showing much less pixelated within the Nothing cellphone’s picture, for instance. That stated, the iPhone 11’s picture is extra atmospheric usually, regardless of not choosing up as a lot element.

The picture of the driveway is troublesome to guage, because the Telephone 1 over exposes for an excessively shiny picture, whereas the iPhone 11 goes in the other way for a moodier, however much less detailed picture. Zoom in, and the bushes on the correct of the picture are smoothed out an excessive amount of within the Nothing Telephone 1’s picture, and the person leaves are extra apparent within the iPhone 11’s picture. Neither seems to be that nice.

Lastly, the picture of the pub suffers from the identical issues, and whereas the small print are extra apparent within the brighter Telephone 1 picture, the sting enhancement seen across the chimney ruins the image. The iPhone’s picture obscures the great thing about the partitions, the flowers, and even the feel of the tiles in shadow.

Regardless of claiming a 2x optical zoom, it’s most likely a superb factor Apple doesn’t offer you fast entry to it on the iPhone 11, because the outcomes are disappointing. Not that the Nothing Telephone 1 does something higher. Its images lack finesse, and the digital enhancements are far too apparent. Neither wins right here, so the class is a draw with each being as dangerous as one another.

Winner: Draw

Evening mode

The Nothing Telephone 1’s night time mode should be manually activated, whereas the iPhone 11 assesses lighting circumstances and units the publicity itself. The picture of the plant was taken in a darkish room, backlit by a streetlight. In regular mode, the plant was barely seen to both digital camera, supplying you with a sign of how darkish the setting was. Each cameras brighten the scene significantly, and I noticed the identical variations between the 2 in all Evening mode images I took with the telephones.

The picture taken with the iPhone 11 has a greater shade steadiness, displaying the whites extra successfully and realistically in comparison with the Telephone 1, and there’s usually much less noise within the background (see the partially lowered blind for proof), however the plant is noisier within the iPhone’s picture whenever you zoom in.

The general tone of the Nothing Telephone 1’s picture is nice, and I like the way in which it has captured the chrome on the sunshine bulb-shaped lamp. That stated, the iPhone’s picture is much less noisy usually, and the colours are extra true-to-life. It’s a really shut factor, and a few might want the ambiance within the Nothing Telephone 1’s picture, however the iPhone 11’s picture is extra reasonable. Taking a look at different Evening mode photos, neither ever produces a very profitable picture, with the identical execs and cons in every.

Winner: Draw

Portrait mode

Throughout a number of portrait images shot with the 2 telephones, the identical issues confirmed up every time. The picture of the signal reveals all of them off in a single picture. I tapped on the display screen to verify the cameras centered on the signal itself, and the textual content in each is sharp, the feel of the board is pure, and the colours in every picture are eye-catching and engaging.

The place the Nothing Telephone 1 falls down is in its depth recognition. It constantly did not separate the focus from the background as successfully because the iPhone 11. You possibly can learn the “100 Years” flag within the Telephone 1’s picture, but it surely’s appropriately blurred within the iPhone 11’s picture, whereas the bush on the left is usually in focus too. The iPhone doesn’t get that half utterly appropriate both, but it surely’s higher than the Telephone 1.

The iPhone 11 produces a stronger blur impact usually, whereas the Nothing Telephone 1’s much less apparent background blur doesn’t make the impact look extra pure as a result of confused focal factors. The iPhone 11 isn’t excellent, but it surely will get the picture proper extra usually than the Telephone 1, and takes one other win right here.

Winner: Apple iPhone 11

Portrait selfie

Switching to the entrance digital camera and utilizing Portrait mode, each telephones take respectable portrait selfies, with a powerful background blur, good shade steadiness, and pure textures. Nonetheless, the iPhone 11 produces a vastly extra reasonable picture, with correct tones which might be extra consultant of actual life.

The Nothing Telephone 1’s selfie digital camera smooths my pores and skin out just a little an excessive amount of, regardless of not altering the digital camera from its default setting. I don’t have an issue with the look, however the changes gained’t be to everybody’s style, and the iPhone’s desire for recreating your precise look is prone to be preferable.

Edge recognition is analogous in each images, with neither actually getting my cap proper, and each getting the facet of my glasses blended up with the background, though the iPhone appropriately blurred the background within the lens. This improved accuracy, fewer jagged edges on my cheek, and extra pure tones make it the winner on this class.

Winner: Apple iPhone 11


The Apple iPhone 11 has gained 4 out of the six classes, and the pair drew within the different two classes, leaving the Nothing Telephone 1 with no class win. It’s an awesome win for the cellphone launched in 2019, then, and though that’s the large takeaway right here, it must be famous how shut the Nothing Telephone 1’s predominant digital camera tuning is to the iPhone. I took dozens of images with each predominant cameras, and generally discovering something to separate them was a little bit of a problem. If the Telephone 1’s normal design reminds you of the iPhone, then the digital camera efficiency will too.

One factor to notice is Nothing has promised to replace its digital camera, and through my exams, a software program replace did arrive however didn’t have an effect on efficiency dramatically. The vast majority of photos right here had been taken after the software program replace.

So, what’s the ultimate verdict? Are we recommending you purchase the iPhone 11 over the Nothing Telephone 1? It’s an fascinating dilemma, as suggesting to purchase a 2019 cellphone over a 2022 cellphone goes in opposition to our traditional recommendation, which is to purchase the most recent tech you possibly can afford. Nonetheless, Apple nonetheless sells and helps the iPhone 11, so it’s nonetheless technically present, and gained’t be outdated for a number of years but. There are far worse methods to spend $500.

The place does this depart the Nothing Telephone 1? The cellphone is competitively priced, I discover the Glyph Interface and its lights surprisingly helpful, the design is exclusive, and the software program is at the moment nice to make use of. It’s a superb smartphone, however this check reveals the digital camera nonetheless wants work.

Editors’ Suggestions


Supply hyperlink