Nothing quietly lowers advertised brightness of Phone 1… but it’s complicated [Update: Statement]

Nothing quietly lowers advertised brightness of Phone 1… but it’s complicated [Update: Statement]

Update 1: (08/12/2022 @ 06:29 ET): Nothing provided us a statement. The article as published on the 11th of August at 09:04 ET is preserved below.

The Nothing Phone 1 arrived to much fanfare, packing some pretty powerful specifications at a compelling price. For the uninitiated, Nothing is a new company headed by former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, and the Phone 1 is the company’s first smartphone after having launched its Ear 1 earphones last year. Now the company has hit a bit of a snag though, as it had to quietly lower the advertised maximum brightness of the Nothing Phone 1’s display from 1200 nits all the way down to 700 nits.


This comes after German-based publication ComputerBase contacted Nothing after it had noticed that the advertised brightness was much higher than what they were able to measure. This brightness was advertised not just in the materials given to members of the press, but on the company’s own official product page for the Phone 1, too. ComputerBase was only able to identify a maximum of almost 700 nits, even attempting to recreate very specific situations that might have been able to trigger the phone’s automatic brightness to scale up to the advertised amount. Other sites such as GSMArena and Heise also determined values that are in line with what ComputerBase identified.

The publication contacted Nothing on the 13th of July, and was told on the 3rd of August that “the peak values ​​are around 700 nits for brightness“. Since then, the website’s advertising has been changed to reflect this in the technical specifications at the bottom of the page.

However, things get a bit more complicated after that. Nothing has since told the publication that it is considering rolling out a future software update to bring the panel up to that initially-advertised brightness. This is because the panel that was used actually does support up to 1200 nits of brightness, though it requires the software to support it. Currently, it does not, and the company is looking to assess whether or not releasing an update that supports it is worth it. There will obviously be downsides, such as increased power consumption and higher temperature.

It is currently unclear how Nothing intends on surveying users to collect feedback on the current brightness of the display.

Do you have a Nothing Phone 1? Would you like an increased brightness, even if it means higher temperatures or more power consumption?

Update 1: Nothing’s statement

Nothing provided us a statement affirming that the hardware is capable of reaching 1200 nits peak brightness and that the software currently caps it at 700.

The hardware is capable of reaching up to 1,200 nits peak brightness, but this is currently capped by the software to 700 nits. This decision was made to ensure a balanced user experience regarding heat and battery consumption.
We look forward to hearing from our users about this and will monitor feedback closely to understand if this should be addressed in future software updates.

Background/context – the minimum 500 nits can be achieved in usual conditions – depending on the environment and the content you’re viewing on the device. Product team believe the range of 0-1200 nits for hardware is correct. The software is capped at 700 and this has been tested. They look at software update in future to reach peak 1,200.
0-500, normal range.

500-700 high brightness range. only trigger in auto brightness mode under strong light environment.

700 – 1200 special mode, not available for now due to software limitation.

Source: ComputerBase

About author

Adam Conway
Adam Conway

I'm the senior technical editor at XDA-Developers. I have a BSc in Computer Science from University College Dublin, and I'm a lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter-Strike. You can contact me at [email protected] My Twitter is @AdamConwayIE and my Instagram is adamc.99.

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