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CMF Phone 1 First Impressions

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CMF by Nothing has finally introduced its maiden smartphone in India with the launch of CMF Phone 1. The newest smartphone from CMF comes with a price tag of Rs 15,999 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage option, while the 8GB RAM + 128GB model is priced at Rs 17,999. We already know Nothing is all about offering a unique perspective to the smartphone design, and the CMF Phone 1 takes this legacy a step ahead with a replaceable rear panel.

The phone also packs interesting features and specifications, including MediaTek Dimensity 7300 SoC, up to 8GB RAM, 50MP rear camera, 5,000mAh battery, and more. The phone is a new contender in the hottest-selling segment in India. Check out the first impressions to know more about what makes it unique.

The CMF Phone 1 is available in Black, Light Green, Blue, and Orange colour options.

Design-wise, the CMF Phone 1 might look like an ordinary smartphone in the sub-Rs 18,000 price segment with a polycarbonate rear panel and matte finish. The front panel comes with slim bezels and a punch-hole cutout at the top for the selfie camera.

However, the moment you flip it, you will notice four screws at each corner and a dial at the base. You might be wondering if the screws are part of the design aesthetics. However, it does serve a purpose! You unscrew them to replace the whole rear panel. Yes, the CMF Phone 1 comes with a modular design for replacing the whole rear panel, which was quite prominent during the early smartphone days with removable batteries and cases.

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CMF Phone 1 rear panel can be removed and replaced with new ones.

The whole process is relatively easy. All you need to do is remove the screws using the tool provided with the case, remove it, add a new one, and screw them back together. However, taking out the SIM tray before taking out the case is advisable.

The smartphone has four colour options: Black, Light Green, Orange, and an India-exclusive Blue. The Black and Light Green offer a subtle texture, while the Blue and Orange bring a vegan leather layer for a premium finish. The cases are priced at Rs 1,499. The whole experience of changing the panel sure takes you back to the memory lane, but it also means that you need to take care of the little screws as it tends to go just poof (if you know, you know).

The smartphone is loaded with a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display

The CMF Phone 1 also features a good display in this price segment. The phone is loaded with a 6.67-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display that offers 2000nits of peak brightness, which makes it appear bright in outdoor conditions. The handset also packs 120Hz of adaptive screen refresh rate and 240Hz of touch sampling rate. The display offers good viewing angles and contrast for an enjoyable viewing experience.

The first smartphone from CMF Phone 1 also packs interesting hardware. You get an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 7300 SoC, which is known for good performance. Moreover, the phone is loaded with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which can be expanded up to 2TB using a hybrid microSD card slot, meaning that you can either have two SIMs at the same time or one SIM and microSD card. We are yet to test the full capabilities of the CMF Phone 1, so stay tuned for a detailed review.

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CMF Phone 1 is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 7300 SoC

The user interface is something that Nothing in particular feels proud of. The Nothing OS brings a good level of customisation, like the monochromatic theme that mutes colours for a minimal experience. I liked the AI Wallpaper Generator tool that helps you craft a personalised background experience, a feature I would love to see in all smartphones.

On the camera front, the CMF Phone 1 also seems capable. The company has added a dual-camera setup on the rear panel. The device features a 50-megapixel primary Sony sensor and a portrait lens with f/1.8 aperture. The phone also features a 16-megapixel shooter. Both the cameras come with TrueLens Engine with Ultra XDR and AI Vivid Mode. I will be talking about the cameras in the upcoming review, so stay tuned.

The CMF Phone 1 supports 33W fast charging.

The battery also seems to be decent. The handset comes loaded with a 5,000mAh battery and 33W fast charging support, which is standard in this price segment.

With a starting price of Rs 15,999, the CMF Phone 1 is an interesting package with the right balance of features. However, I have yet to test it out to see whether it can stand against the competition. Currently, if you see the market dynamics, this segment offers stiff competition with products like Infinix Note 40 (Review), Realme P1 5G (Review),  OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite (Review), and more. So stay tuned for an in-depth review of the CMF Phone 1!


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