CMF Phone 1 First Impressions: Customize your Life

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CMF Phone 1 is finally here

The smartphone market is no stranger to innovation – especially in terms of customization, but every once in a while, a device comes along that truly pushes the boundaries of what we expect from midrange phones.

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CMF Phone 1 + Accessories

What we have here is the CMF Phone 1, the latest offering from Nothing’s sub-brand CMF, which aims to redefine smartphone customization and user experience. I recently had the opportunity to spend some quality time with this intriguing device, even taking it along on a trip to the beautiful coastal town of San Juan, La Union.

Design: A Modular Marvel

The CMF Phone 1’s design immediately tells one thing: it’s clear that this is no ordinary smartphone. The device boasts a modular design that takes customization to a whole new level. Unlike its Nothing Phone counterpart, which focuses on a transparent back with LED notifications, the CMF Phone 1 opts for a more involved and evocative approach to personalization.

The standout feature is undoubtedly the interchangeable back panel. With a simple twist of the included screwdriver tool, users can swap out the back cover for different colors and textures. During my previous trip, I found myself switching between the textured Black finish for a more professional look during work calls and the vibrant Orange option for casual beach outings. This level of customization not only allows for personal expression but also extends the life of the device by making repairs and battery replacements potentially more accessible.

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Display and Performance: Punching Above Its Weight

Sporting a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, the CMF Phone 1 offers a visual experience that belies its mid-range price point. Colors are vibrant, and the 2000 nits peak brightness ensured I could easily read messages and frame photos even under the bright sun.

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Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 7300 chipset, the phone handled my daily tasks with ease. From editing photos of the stunning San Juan sunset to multitasking between navigation and music streaming apps during beach hopping, the CMF Phone 1 remained responsive and smooth throughout my trip.

If you’re after synthetic benchmark results, you may refer to the images below. I am pretty sure that CMF will push more updates in the coming weeks so expect us to do another run of benchmarks and show it on our full review.

Camera: Capturing Memories with Clarity

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The 50MP main camera, paired with a dedicated depth sensor, proved to be a capable shooter during my recent trip to La Union. Here are a few sample shots I captured:

The camera’s performance in various lighting conditions was impressive, capturing the vibrant colors of the beach at sunset and the intricate details of local cuisine with equal aplomb. The 16MP front-facing camera also delivered crisp selfies, perfect for commemorating those picturesque moments.

Software and User Experience: Clean and Intuitive

Running on Nothing OS 2.6 based on Android 14, the CMF Phone 1 offers a refreshingly clean and bloatware-free experience. The interface is intuitive, with thoughtful customization options that allow users to tailor the look and feel of their device without overwhelming them with unnecessary features.

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One particularly useful feature I discovered during my trip was the ability to create custom widgets for quick access to travel information and local weather updates. This level of personalization extends beyond mere aesthetics, enhancing the overall functionality of the device.

Battery Life and Charging: Endurance for Adventures

The 5000mAh battery easily lasted through full days of heavy usage, including GPS navigation, photo-taking, and social media sharing. Even on days packed with activities, I never found myself reaching for a charger before bedtime. The 33W fast charging capability meant that when I did need to top up, I could do so quickly, getting back to exploring the countryside.

Initial Verdict: A Fresh Take on Smartphone Customization

After spending several days with the CMF Phone 1, it’s clear that this device is more than just a budget-friendly option – it’s a statement. By taking customization to a new level, CMF has created a phone that’s not only functional but also deeply personal. The modular design sets it apart from its Nothing Phone counterpart and indeed from most smartphones on the market today.

While some may lament the absence of features like a headphone jack or NFC, the CMF Phone 1 compensates with its unique approach to user-centric design. It’s a device that invites interaction and personalization, encouraging users to make it truly their own.

I’m impressed by how seamlessly it integrated into my travel experience. From capturing memories to staying connected, it proved to be a reliable and enjoyable companion. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast looking for something different or simply someone who values the ability to express yourself through your devices, the CMF Phone 1 offers an intriguing proposition in the mid-range smartphone market.

Specifications

FeatureSpecification
Display6.67″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 7300
RAM8GB + 8GB Virtual RAM
Storage128GB/256GB, expandable up to 2TB
Main Camera50MP Sony sensor, f/1.8
Front Camera16MP
Battery5000mAh
Charging33W Fast Charging
OSNothing OS 2.6 (based on Android 14)
ColorsBlack, Orange, Light Green, Blue
Special FeaturesInterchangeable back panel, Accessory Point

The CMF Phone 1 is a bold step into the future of smartphone design, offering a level of customization and user involvement that’s rare in today’s market. It will be exciting to see how this device evolves and influences the broader smartphone landscape in the coming years.

The CMF PHONE 1 is now officially available in the Philippines thru Digital Walker for PhP17,490. CMF Watch Pro 2 and CMF Buds Pro 2 are now also available for PhP4,390 and PhP3,790, accordingly. Check out our article here.

Gian
 | Website

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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