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Nothing’s CMF Telephone 1 is proof that devices can nonetheless be enjoyable

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I’ve by no means had a lot enjoyable taking a telephone aside.

That’s a deceptive assertion; I haven’t actually taken any telephones aside recently, however when CMF’s Telephone 1 arrived, that’s the very first thing I did. As a result of this one, my mates, is constructed completely different. It received’t be broadly accessible within the US, however should you’re sport, you will get one by way of Nothing’s beta program — and for $199, that’s critically tempting.

CMF, Nothing’s budget-conscious but still extremely style-driven subbrand, is delivery its first telephone, the aptly named Telephone 1. Whereas it shares a reputation and an working system with Nothing’s first own-brand phone, it involves the desk with a brand new modular strategy to telephone customizations. Why put a unique case in your telephone when you may put a complete new telephone in your telephone?

The idea is straightforward: it’s a telephone, however the again panel comes off so you may swap it with a unique one. Every alternative comes with the whole lot you want for the job, together with its personal little screwdriver, screws, and a color-matched SIM tray.

There’s additionally a spherical accent port cowl within the backside nook of the telephone. Though it resembles the management dial on CMF’s neckband earbuds, it doesn’t supply any practical use apart from defending the accent port. At launch, CMF will supply three equipment: a lanyard, a pockets, and a kickstand, every $25 and an attention-grabbing orange shade.

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These are all offered individually, as are the colourful alternative again panels, that are $35 every. Within the field, you get a totally respectable finances Android telephone with a 6.7-inch OLED, 50-megapixel rear digital camera, a MediaTek Dimensity 7300 chipset, and a beneficiant 5,000mAh battery. It comes with a black panel put in; different choices embrace orange, mild inexperienced, and blue.

Taking the again panel off is simple, although it takes a little bit of pressure — sufficient to interrupt a fingernail that was too lengthy, as I discovered. Most likely for one of the best, although, since that panel is the factor standing between the heart of your telephone and the remainder of the world. Talking of guts, it’s so bizarre seeing a contemporary telephone all bare and uncovered like that.

Simply residing within the second, not a again panel in sight.

As soon as the telephone is safely encased once more, you may add equipment. The pockets is definitely two items — a plastic panel with a MagSafe-like magnet embedded and the precise pockets. I’m certain it’s no coincidence that I used to be in a position to connect the telephone with this magnetic mount to a MagSafe charging stand (although the Telephone 1 doesn’t supply wi-fi charging). It’s also possible to connect both the kickstand or the lanyard with the pockets in use.

The lanyard is fabricated from a thick, woven cloth. Somebody a lot cooler and youthful than me may in all probability pull off sporting their telephone with it. And the kickstand appears sturdy sufficient, although I want the arm sat flush in opposition to the telephone when not in use. They’re all a vibrant orange shade — the gadget color of the year, I assume.


Photograph: Allison Johnson / The Verge

Being a finances telephone and all, there are clearly some tradeoffs to think about. There’s no NFC, and the Telephone 1 is just splash-resistant. That’s comprehensible, contemplating the worth level, and , the best way the entire again of the telephone comes off. Provider help within the US can also be fairly restricted. Like the Phone 2A, it’s going to work on T-Cellular’s 4G and 5G networks, however solely helps Verizon and AT&T’s 4G bands. However for $199? It would simply be value it — if nothing else, it’s one heck of an adjunct.

Pictures by Allison Johnson / The Verge

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