The Nothing Cellphone 1 was maybe the most well liked smartphone launch of 2022, reminding us of the outdated OnePlus days with all the thrill within the bigger tech group. Though its exterior design stole the limelight, its clear, near-stock Android expertise stood out from the group. It launched working Android 12 out of the field, and the corporate is now updating the Nothing Cellphone 1 with an Android 13 beta, placing it proper on monitor for an early 2023 steady launch.

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The primary Android 13 beta arrived final month delivered a refreshed design, however what shocked us essentially the most was how fluid every little thing felt, particularly for beta software program. Nothing OS 1.5 is now in its second beta stage, and the corporate is including fairly just a few visually interesting and a number of other helpful, quality-of-life enhancements. Let’s bounce proper in to take a look at each new factor coming to the Nothing Cellphone 1 with the second Android 13 beta.


1. Nothing particular in regards to the aesthetics

That eye-catching Glyph lighting impact is what makes the Nothing Cellphone 1 stand out from the group, and the corporate is embracing it to the fullest with the most recent beta. The newly added Nothing Machines (2) is a library of over a dozen ringtones and notification chimes which might be all coordinated with matching vibrations and Glyph patterns.

A number of of them are downright bizarre whereas others supply some attention-grabbing retro tech sound results that you could be discover interesting. Whereas positively not all people’s cup of tea, this eccentric effort does handle to face out, and is particularly what many individuals purchased the Nothing Cellphone for.

The second beta additionally will get you three units of minimalist, geometric wallpapers that use a mix of grey, white, and crimson to match Nothing’s iconic design strategy. Every of those units has a pair of wallpapers with mild and darkish theme choices so that you can select from relying in your liking.

2. High quality-of-life enhancements

I’ve for lengthy complained that there isn’t any option to rapidly swap between knowledge SIMs on Pixel telephones — a necessity in areas the place two SIM playing cards are generally used. Fortunately, the Nothing Cellphone 1 has no less than addressed my concern by including a shortcut within the Fast Settings window to supply precisely that, which earlier required digging deep into the cellphone’s community settings.

One other helpful function coming to the Nothing Cellphone 1 is the help for customizable lock display shortcuts. You possibly can select amongst Google House machine controls, Google Pockets, flashlight, and digital camera, whereas additionally choosing the place they seem on the lock display to rapidly entry your steadily used options.

3. Nothing X is now a part of the OS

Most smartphone manufacturers have a companion app for his or her first-party headphones constructed proper into the cellphone OS, and Nothing is now following go well with. To regulate and handle your Nothing Ear 1 and the Ear Stick earbuds, you will not have to individually set up the Nothing X app. The app is now a part of Nothing OS, saving you just a few faucets and a go to to the Play Retailer.

4. Materials You for the win!

Android 12 launched themed app icons together with the brand new Materials You styling, nevertheless it’s Android 13 that is bringing them to extra apps exterior the Google ecosystem. Meaning extra app builders and cellphone makers are actually proactively bringing themed icons to their apps and gadgets. The Nothing Cellphone 1 will get all that with the Android 13 replace, however takes it a notch larger.

On Pixel telephones, app icons can match the wallpaper’s colour scheme, however solely when positioned on the house display. The Nothing Cellphone 1 can now present themed app icons within the app drawer, delivering the type of theme uniformity that the sticklers amongst us want to have. And as you’d anticipate, the handset additionally will get the extra Materials You colour schemes that Android 13 launched on Pixel telephones to make full use of app icon theming.

5. Nothing-style climate app

Whereas Android 13 has a contemporary vibe of its personal, Nothing has a aptitude for its distinctive dot-matrix design components which might be additionally a part of the brand new climate app. Nothing’s present house display widget can already present climate updates, nevertheless it now connects to the brand new app that is available in tow with the Nothing OS 1.5 beta.

With an unmistakable Nothing design, giant icons and dotted components are sprinkled throughout the app. For its climate updates, the app depends on AccuWeather and may give you hourly and weekly predictions together with the flexibility to ship excessive climate warnings. You need to use the left menu to entry and handle your saved places, whereas the settings tab enables you to swap between metrics and imperial measurements and alter app themes, amongst different choices.

6. The whole lot new from Android 13

Google packed Android 13 with a ton of enhancements and have additions, and numerous that has been introduced over to the Nothing Cellphone 1. A few of the extra notable upgrades embody Android 13’s privateness controls, notification opt-in, and granular media permissions.

The helpful clipboard preview device has made it to Nothing OS, and so has per-app language help, which multilingual people are going to understand. Nothing has additionally spruced up the amount controls, permitting you to vary alarm and name volumes from the identical window. Stay Caption is one other neat addition to the Nothing OS beta.

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Lastly, Nothing’s Recreation Mode now contains Google’s Recreation Dashboard. So, while you launch a sport in your Nothing Cellphone 1, you will note a brand new overlay menu with choices for display recording, displaying the body charge, and going stay on YouTube with out leaving the app.

7. Some Nothing-exclusive software program magic

A brand new Bluetooth pop-up window exhibits some primary info and controls in your linked headphones — it could possibly even pull the OnePlus Buds Z2’s icon from Google’s Quick Pair servers, including a extra personalized effect to the Bluetooth tile. Nonetheless, it will get even higher when you have a pair of Nothing Ear 1. In the identical pop-up window, you will note the choice to vary the noise cancellation profile together with the battery share. There’s additionally a brand new QR code scanner tile within the fast settings menu, powered by Google Play Companies.

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Whereas one thing lower than a momentous change, Nothing has added some new transition animations that seem whereas locking and unlocking the cellphone. Each animations monitor your faucets on the show, like within the instance GIF under. Whereas minor, it is nonetheless a pleasant contact that makes utilizing the cellphone a tiny bit extra nice.

Nothing says that it has made fairly just a few adjustments beneath the hood to make the Cellphone 1 really feel smoother than earlier than. For example, a self-repair function clears the cache and the system dumps routinely. Your Nothing Cellphone 1 can prioritize load occasions for the apps that you just use most; Nothing claims a 50% enchancment over Android 12.

Metrics like these are arduous to gauge in actual life except you’re evaluating the 2 variations facet by facet, however we’ve some excellent news: whereas Nothing OS 1.5 continues to be in beta, which is sure to have just a few points, the cellphone felt a lot smoother and does not appear as buggy as Android 12 was even in steady — one thing my colleague Manuel Vonau who reviewed the Nothing Cellphone additionally corroborates. We could have extra to touch upon the efficiency when Nothing’s tackle Android 13 hits steady channels, however to this point, issues are promising.

Nothing Phone 1 1

It is Nothing like something

A technique smartphone makers differentiate themselves from others is with their OS skins, which typically stray fairly removed from Google’s model of Android for Pixel telephones. Nothing OS sits proper within the center, netween these extremes. It will get you some (not all) niceties of the Pixel expertise however with out the bloatware that different OEMs are inclined to pack — you mainly get the very best of each worlds.

Nothing Phone 1 standing back

You possibly can set up the Android 13 beta in your Nothing Cellphone 1 immediately to try it out, however be ready for some damaged options (like Google Pay not working). Ensure to put in it solely when you have a secondary cellphone you possibly can depend on.

The primary Android 13 beta for the Nothing Cellphone 1 has already confirmed to be significantly better by way of stability than the earlier Nothing OS iterations. The corporate has used that sturdy basis to ship a feature-rich second beta that doubles down on its Nothing identification whereas nonetheless catering to minor person wants. If Nothing sticks to this trajectory, you possibly can anticipate the upcoming steady Android 13 model to not solely pack numerous neat options, but additionally be much more dependable in on a regular basis use than Nothing’s Android 12 implementation.