Nothing’s Phone 1’s specs sheet doesn’t explain peak screen brightness. The Nothing Phone 1’s display is brighter than 1200 nits, suggesting it has an OLED screen.
Our Nothing Phone 1 review display benchmarks showed the phone hits “only” 700 nits, significantly below the promised 1200 nits. Not uncommon. Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra has a record 1750 nits of brightness, which is worthless on the beach.
Because that’s the maximum the panel can achieve when a tiny area of it (about a percentage point) shows completely white and that’s the number Nothing advertises.
This small portion of the display uses the most power, hence Samsung defines 1200 nits as “High brightness.” This is presumably a fully powered panel displaying all white; brightness diminishes from there.
Nothing’s Phone 1 Peak Brightness: A scam
With screen reflectance and contrast, it’s a valuable statistic for outside visibility.
Even Samsung’s “High brightness” of 1200 nits is only attainable in auto-brightness mode in direct sunlight.
We retain the phones in their default mode with auto-brightness enabled and shine a bright light over the brightness sensor.
Even then, the S22 Ultra barely managed a number more akin to a typical brightness scenario.
Apple’s “normal” top brightness is 1000 nits, or 1200 nits when showing HDR content. In a “normal” scenario, we measured 1051 nits, and for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which Samsung promises can now achieve 1000 nits, we measured 939 nits, greater than its predecessor and a promise kept.
Nothing’s problem in marketing the peak brightness levels of its Phone 1 is that it didn’t explain when it can obtain them, but other phone manufacturers don’t either and flaunt the highest value.
The panel’s physical brightness is 1200 nits, but battery waste and heat limit it to 700 nits in “high brightness” mode.
“The hardware can reach 1,200 nits peak brightness, but the software caps it at 700 nits,” a Nothing representative told Android Central. “We did this to balance heat and battery consumption,” they said.
Nothing’s only omission may be detailing how the Phone 1 panel can reach 1200 nits for us nerds.
Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra press release touts its “immersive 6.8-inch,12 Dynamic AMOLED 2X display”
We’ll give Nothing the benefit of the doubt because they modified the official Phone 1 specs list to more correctly represent the typical brightness of the display after the fabricated controversy gained attention.
Peak brightness is simply one component for optimal outdoor visibility; low reflectance ratio is possibly more important.