Nothing Phone 1's long-awaited upgrade to Android 13 halves app load times

Poster for Nothing OS 1.5
(Image credit: Nothing )

Nothing has been beta testing an updated version of its proprietary OS since December last year, and the vastly improved interface is now finally rolling out to Nothing Phone 1 users across the globe. 

Nothing OS 1.5 – which is powered by Android 13 – adds significant upgrades to the phone’s security, app library, visual appearance and, crucially, its overall performance, to bring the Nothing Phone 1 one step closer to the best phones around. To get it, head to Settings on your device, then click System Update. 

From a speed point of view, Nothing says its new OS will reduce app load times by up to 50%, and grant the Nothing Phone 1 the ability to “self-repair” by automatically clearing unused cache memory and expired system dumps. 

The camera app interface has been refined, too, and Nothing has added a new QR code scanner, a Personal Safety app and more Glyph ringtones and notification sounds. You can now create lock screen shortcuts for camera, torch, device controls and wallet, and you’ll also be able to close active background apps directly from the notification center to save battery.

Check out Nothing OS 1.5 in action via the company’s announcement tweet: 

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Visually, Nothing OS 1.5 brings a new look for Media Control (album artwork is displayed with a wider set of music controls), and you’ll be able to adjust volume sliders without unlocking the phone’s screen. A live caption feature has been added, too, and Nothing says you’ll experience smoother animations when transitioning the display between on and off.

You can check out the full list of updates on Nothing’s website, but in a nutshell, Nothing OS 1.5 is big news for new and prospective Nothing Phone 1 owners. In our Nothing Phone 1 review, we said there were “signs of work still needing to be done with regards to [the phone’s] stability,” but this OS update seems to address at least some of those concerns. 

Once we’ve spent more time playing around with Nothing OS 1.5 for ourselves, we’ll be able to give a proper verdict on its significance – but this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for a brand with an exciting future. 

If you don't own a Nothing Phone then you have a reason to be excited too as a new version of Android 13 is headed your way soon and Android’s answer to AirDrop is finally coming to your Windows PC.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.