Camera test

Nothing Phone 1 teardown and durability test reveals inside joke

A curious mark was found inside phone 1

Like many new brands, Carl Pei’s Nothing got off to a shaky start. Although the Phone 1 was a literal beacon in a sea of ​​lackluster smartphones, it had some issues. The company quickly rolled out patches, but updates cannot change hardware. Zack Nelson (JerryRigEverything) and PBKreviews on YouTube tested the durability and repairability of the Phone 1 to determine how easily the device breaks and the convenience of subsequent repairs – and found a curious easter egg in the process.


Zack took every opportunity to highlight the iPhone’s design and pun the company’s name, but the Phone 1 remained unfazed by both the banter and its tools. A scratch with a razor blade revealed an aluminum frame with power and volume buttons made from the same material. Like most modern Gorilla Glass, the screen scratches at level 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Phone 1 creaked in protest during Zack’s bend test, with most of the bends visible near the antenna lines, but it didn’t snap like a cracker. To its credit, the phone was much more resilient when folded backwards. However, Zack noted that the optical fingerprint reader failed twice and the IP53 water resistance isn’t the best despite the protective rubber gaskets on the SIM card tray.

Gaskets are also visible around several internal connectors upon PBKreviews teardown, though we wonder if these help with the water and dust resistance rating. The YouTuber’s biggest discovery was the tedious screen replacement process, so if you bought a Nothing Phone 1, hopefully nothing ever happens to its screen. Other notable finds include sheets of graphite to help with heat dissipation, a copper foil behind the cameras, and a rather substantial bottom-firing speaker.

Although PBKreviews probably missed it, someone at Nothing made the effort to put the “Pokemon” mark on two adjacent ribbon cables under the battery. It may be a literal private joke, given Carl Pei’s penchant for Pokémon. Giving credence to our guess, Android Authority notes that the phone’s internal codename “Abra” is also a reference to one of the franchise’s creatures.

On PBK’s 10-point scale, the Nothing Phone 1 scored a dismal three for repairability, mostly due to the low availability of parts right now and their hard-to-reach location inside the phone. The Phone 1 could learn a thing or two from the Fairphone range, but we wouldn’t mind seeing other OEMs emulate the Phone 1’s flashy Glyph interface to appeal to consumers.