The Nothing (1) phone and Xiaomi 12 Lite appeared on the market at the same time, but which one is better to buy? Premium mid-range smartphones, or upper—mid-range smartphones as some call them, are smartphones with average specs combined with several features available on flagships. This category of phones is designed for those who do not care about the best performance, but want a device that does not look cheap and is able to meet their daily needs.
Xiaomi is no stranger to this segment, given that it has been selling lightweight versions of its flagships for some time. Nothing, on the other hand, decided to plunge into the middle class category with its first smartphone. When Nothing first announced that they were working on a phone, many assumed that the brand would release a flagship, given co-founder Carl Pei’s history with OnePlus. However, Nothing has chosen a different approach, which is likely to serve a wider segment of buyers.
There is an unmistakable difference between the design of the Nothing (1) phone and the Xiaomi 12 Lite. Unlike its more expensive siblings, Xiaomi 12 Lite smooths out the bends. The display is flat, as is the frame and rear window. However, it retains the hole in the center of the display and uses a triple camera like the Xiaomi 12 Pro. The Nothing phone has a flat metal frame, but its front camera is in the upper left corner, and there are dual cameras on the back. What sets it apart from Xiaomi 12 Lite and most other phones is its transparent back panel, on which there are several LEDs that act as a kind of notification system. The Nothing (1) phone is available in white and black, and the Xiaomi 12 Lite is available in black, light green and light pink.
Almost equal characteristics
As for the technical characteristics, there are some similarities between both phones. Starting with the display, Xiaomi 12 Lite and Nothing Phone (1) have a 6.55-inch screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and Gorilla Glass 5. However, while Xiaomi uses a rigid AMOLED panel with a peak brightness of 950 nits and support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, Nothing uses a flexible OLED display with HDR10+ and a maximum brightness of 1200 nits. As for the processor, the Nothing Phone (1) is equipped with a Snapdragon 778G+ processor and comes with 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of internal memory. In contrast, the Xiaomi 12 Lite uses a less powerful Snapdragon 778G in combination with 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of memory. Neither of the two phones has a microSD card slot.
As for the cameras, Xiaomi has equipped its phone with a 108-megapixel main camera with an aperture of f/1.8 in combination with an 8-megapixel camera with an ultra-wide-angle lens of 120 degrees and a 2-megapixel macro camera with an aperture of f/2.2. In addition to this, there is a 32-megapixel front camera with two soft LEDs for illumination. Nothing simplified the task by adopting just two rear cameras. There is a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, and, unlike the main Xiaomi 12 Lite camera, this one has optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization (EIS). The second camera is also a 50 MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.2 and a field of view of 114 degrees. The ultra-wide-angle camera has EIS, and is also capable of taking macro images of 4 cm in size, which, frankly, is a better implementation than a special 2-megapixel sensor. The front camera is a 16-megapixel module.
The Nothing Phone (1) has a 4500 mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging and 15W wireless charging. On the other hand, the Xiaomi 12 Lite has a smaller 4300 mAh battery, which charges much faster at 67 watts and, unlike Nothing, comes with a charger included. Both phones have a fingerprint scanner on the display, face unlock, NFC, dual SIM card support, stereo speakers and Bluetooth 5.2, but only the Nothing (1) phone has Wi-Fi 6. None of the phones have a headphone jack. Xiaomi 12 Lite comes with MIUI 13 based on Android 12, and although Xiaomi does not say how many updates it will receive, its predecessor Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE will receive two OS updates and three years of security updates. It is safe to assume that the same applies to Xiaomi 12 Lite. In contrast, Nothing Phone (1), which also runs Android 12 with a custom launcher on top, will receive Android updates for three years and security updates for four years.
Although the Nothing Phone (1) is generally the best device, more buyers may want to lean towards Xiaomi, as it is a recognized brand with many years of phone manufacturing experience. As for the price, Nothing Phone (1) starts at 469 euros ($472) for the 8 GB + 128 GB version, jumps to 499 euros ($503) for the 8 GB + 256 GB version and stops at 549 euros ($553) for the 12 GB version. Version +256 GB. Xiaomi 12 Lite costs $399 for the base model with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of memory, $449 for the 8 GB + 128 GB version and $499 for the 8 GB + 256 GB version.