OnePlus 10T vs. Nothing Phone 1: more expensive isn’t better

The OnePlus 10T comes as a cheaper version of the OnePlus 10 Pro. Featuring much the same design, it adds the faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and offers fast charging at an incredible 150W. It also retails for $649, making it more affordable than its higher-end stablemate, which retailed for $899 when it released in April (but has now been discounted).

With a starting price of $649, the 10T sits somewhere towards the upper end of the average smartphone price range. This category also includes the Nothing Phone 1, which sought to challenge established phone makers in July when it was released with its unique styles and easy-to-use software. At just £399 (about $480), it’s cheaper than the 10T but still qualifies as a contender. The Nothing Phone 1 has a 6.55-inch OLED display, a 4,500mAh battery, and a powerful dual-lens rear camera setup.

It’s hard to pick a winner between the two Android handsets, but this head-to-head comparison seeks to do just that. It evaluates each device’s designs, displays, performance, cameras, batteries and software – and concludes on which is superior overall. At the very least, this should help those who are undecided to figure out which is the best phone for them.

Specifications

Nothing Phone 1 OnePlus 10T
Cut 159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm (6.27 x 2.98 x 0.33 inch) 163 × 75.37 × 8.75 mm (6.24 x 2.96 x 0.34 inches)
lester 193.5 grams (6.84 ounces) 203.5 grams (7.17 ounces)
Screen size 6.55-inch OLED (120Hz) 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED (120Hz)
Screen resolution 2400 x 1080 pixels (402 pixels per inch) 2412 x 1080 pixels (394 ppi)
Operating system Android 12, Nothing OS 1.1.0 Android 12, OxygenOS 12.1
Storage 128 GB, 256 GB 128 GB, 256 GB
microSD card slot Nope Nope
Touch services Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
RAM 8 GB, 12 GB 8 GB, 16 GB
Camera 50 megapixel wide, 50MP ultrawide, 16MP front 50MP wide, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 16MP front
Video 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps 4K at 30/60fps, 1080p at 30/60fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.2 Bluetooth 5.3
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes, on screen Yes, on screen
Water resistance IP53 IP54
Battery 4500mAh

Quick charge (33W)

Wireless charging (15W)

Reverse wireless charging (5W)

4800mAh

Quick charge (150W)

Application Market Google Play Store Google Play Store
Colors Black and white Moonstone Black & Jade Green
Price ~$480 $649
Exam score 3.5 out of 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars

Design, display and durability

The back of nothing phone 1 with active glyph leds.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

While the OnePlus 10T looks more or less identical to the OnePlus 10 Pro, the Nothing Phone 1 is unlike any phone you’ve ever seen before. Sure, it has a punch-hole selfie lens in the top left corner of its screen, but it also happens to have a clear glass rear. Not only does this mean you see its internals, but you also have Nothing’s Glyph LED lights to keep you entertained, as they light up in different ways in response to calls and/or notifications. Yes, some people will find it all a bit too much, but in an age when most smartphones occupy almost the same design space, the Nothing Phone is a breath of fresh air.

Additionally, the Nothing Phone also has a more premium feel than the OnePlus 10T. Indeed, it benefits from an aluminum frame, while the 10T is housed in a plastic chassis (with front and rear glass). The 10T’s use of plastic gives it a cheaper feel than the Nothing Phone, undermining any sense that it’s a more expensive device.

On the other hand, the OnePlus 10T offers a superior display. It features a 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2412 x 1080 pixels. This is basically the resolution you get with the Nothing Phone, although its 6.55-inch display uses an OLED rather than an AMOLED panel. As a result, it doesn’t quite offer the rich colors and dynamic contrasts of the 10T, although both devices also support a 120Hz refresh rate.

In terms of durability, each phone uses Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back. The Nothing Phone 1 is certified with an IP53 water and dust resistance rating, while the OnePlus 10T manages a slightly higher IP54 (indicating slightly higher water resistance).

Winner: Draw

Performance, range and charging

Oneplus 10t charging port.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The OnePlus 10T runs on the mighty Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a 4nm processor that’s even more capable than its immediate predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Coupled with 8GB of RAM (or 16GB if you pay more), it makes the OnePlus 10T a very fast machine. The same is not true for the Nothing Phone, since if it benefits from 8 GB (or 12 GB) of RAM, it houses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+. It’s a 6nm chip, and while it’s decent enough for most tasks, we found it struggles with more compute-intensive games.

The OnePlus 10T and Nothing Phone 1 both offer 128GB of internal memory as standard and both can be upgraded to 256GB. Neither includes a microSD card slot, which can be disappointing for photographers and/or avid downloaders.

In terms of battery size, the two devices are not that far apart. The OnePlus 10T comes with a 4,800 mAh battery and the Nothing Phone 1 comes with its 4,500 mAh cell. That doesn’t sound like a big discrepancy, but in reality the OnePlus lasts much longer before you need to charge it – surviving a day and a half (as opposed to around a day with the Nothing Phone). On top of that, OnePlus’ device supports 150W fast charging (or 125W in the US), which will take you from flat to 100% charging in around 20 minutes. It’s pretty amazing, and it’s something the Nothing Phone just can’t touch.

Winner: OnePlus 10T

Cameras

The active glyph lights around the nothing phone 1 camera module.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The OnePlus 10T features a triple-lens rear camera setup, comprising a 50-megapixel main lens with an 8MP wide-angle lens and a 2MP macro camera. With the Nothing Phone 1, users get a dual-lens array, featuring a 50MP main lens and a 50MP ultra-wide.

It’s always difficult to directly compare specs and deduce which phone has a better camera. That said, experience shows that the Nothing Phone 1 overall exceeds 10T. Its primary lens captures very well-balanced photos, with a vibrant yet natural color palette that doesn’t suffer from oversaturation. Similarly, the OnePlus’ primary lens also takes generally balanced shots, without being as vibrant as the Nothing Phone.

Where the phones separate is with their respective ultra-wide lenses. If you were being harsh, you could say the 10T’s ultra-wide camera is there simply as a selling point, given that it doesn’t capture much detail and results in slightly washed-out photos too often. With the Nothing Phone, the ultra-wide lens can be used to take some very shareable photos, and while it doesn’t quite match its primary lens, it can very well be used in the right hands.

Winner: Nothing Phone 1

Software and updates

Oneplus 10t showing the chrome browser.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The OnePlus 10T runs on OxygenOS 12, which is OnePlus’ Android 12 skin. Similarly, the Nothing Phone 1 also runs on its own version of Android 12, Nothing OS. The latter is probably one of the best versions of Android available today, which is certainly good for an entirely new system. It is remarkably free of bloatware and unnecessary apps or features, freeing it up to function properly.

This is in slight contrast to OxygenOS, which is still quite fast and reliable, but also has some startup issues. As our OnePlus 10T review revealed, these include a tendency to show old notifications before new ones, an overzealous display of system notifications (which can overload the notification shade), as well as a few bugs that compromise its practicality (like not showing an option to change the USB-C port from charging mode to data transfer mode).

Overall, OxygenOS is definitely not a bad operating system, but it doesn’t impress as much as Nothing OS. Both devices promise three core software updates, so given that Nothing OS is a more capable system overall, the Nothing Phone takes the win here.

Winner: Nothing Phone 1

Special features

Nothing lights up on the phone glyph interface 1.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Probably the first thing everyone notices about the Nothing Phone 1 are the lights hidden under its clear glass back. Nothing refers to it quite like the phone’s Glyph interface, which combines said lights with various sounds and haptics that react differently to notifications and events. Some might consider such a feature a big gimmick, but at least it adds a distinctive element to the phone, while making sure you don’t miss an important text or call.

Unfortunately, the OnePlus 10T lacks this unique special feature. It gets rid of the one material feature that had served to set its predecessor apart from the crowd. This is the alert slider, which you could find on all previous OnePlus phones, and allows you to mute notifications or put them on vibrate.

Its absence is a definite loss for the 10T, although it does come with a consistent in-screen fingerprint sensor, 5G support (but not mmWave 5G) and the aforementioned 150W charging. For its part, the Nothing Phone 1 also supports 5G networks and has a decent in-display fingerprint sensor.

Winner: Nothing Phone 1

Price and availability

The OnePlus 10T starts at $649 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of memory. It can be pre-ordered from OnePlus starting September 1 in the US

The Nothing Phone 1 starts at 399 pounds (around $480) for the 8GB/128GB model. It’s available in the UK, parts of Europe, Japan and India, but not in the US. United, unfortunately.

Overall winner: Nothing from the phone 1

Nothing phone 1 held in hand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It can be nearly $200 cheaper than the OnePlus 10T, but the Nothing Phone 1 is a more rewarding device overall. It boasts a more striking design, a more useful camera system, very user-friendly software and a special new feature. Yes, the OnePlus 10T offers superior performance, faster charging and a more vivid display, but it ultimately doesn’t do enough to justify being much more expensive.

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