nothing phone 2

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The Nothing Phone 2 follows in the footsteps of last year’s Phone 1 from UK-based manufacturer Nothing Technology. It maintains its futuristic design theme. The standard model is equipped with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but there are also options with 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage, available in white or dark grey.

nothing phone 2
nothing phone 2
Specifications Details
Processor 8-core (3GHz/2.5GHz/1.8GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC
Graphics Adreno 730
Screen 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen, 1,080×2,412 resolution
Network 5G
Storage 128GB/256GB/512GB
IP Rating IP54
Rear Cameras Dual 50MP/50MP
Front Camera 32MP
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC
Battery 4,700mAh
Connector USB-C2
Operating System Android 13 with NothingOS 2
Dimensions 76 x 8.6 x 162mm (WDH)
Weight 202g
Warranty 2-year warranty

In terms of size, it’s more substantial than the original, comparable in size to an iPhone 14 Pro Max, but it doesn’t feel oversized. The phone surprisingly offers a comfortable one-handed experience, thanks to small details like the curved edges of the glass on the back.

One of the standout features of the first Nothing Phone was its light-up “Glyph interface” on the back. The Phone 2 keeps this feature but divides the LED strips into smaller sections, providing more options for phone calls, notifications, and other functions. It’s still a fun and attention-grabbing feature, although adding some color to distinguish between different notifications could be more helpful. There are only so many light patterns one can remember.

A more practical addition is support for third-party integrations, as demonstrated by the Uber app, which uses the rear LEDs to display a countdown until your ride arrives. These notifications are unobtrusive yet easy to glance at, and it would be great to see more developers following Uber’s example.

The 6.7-inch OLED display on the front is notably larger than the original Nothing Phone’s 6.55-inch screen, boasting a native resolution of 1,080 x 2,412, which translates to a remarkably sharp 394 pixels per inch (PPI). Colors are vibrant but not excessively saturated like some OLED screens. Watching videos is a pleasure, especially with the wide viewing angles and slim bezels. The tiny punch hole for the front-facing camera and the smooth 120Hz refresh rate also contribute to a pleasing display experience. However, it’s worth noting that it may not be the brightest screen outdoors despite Nothing’s claim of a peak brightness of 1,000cd/m2.

nothing phone 2
nothing phone 2

While the large screen and flashy LED lights are eye-catching, the software is equally noteworthy. Nothing OS 2 maintains the minimalist aesthetic of its predecessor and introduces themed widgets with dot matrix-like designs that enhance the overall look and feel. Widgets like the clock and weather provide clean fonts and monochrome icons. The software is based on Android 13, and Nothing promises three years of software updates along with four years of security updates. While this falls slightly short of what Samsung offers for its mid-range devices, it should suffice for the lifespan of this phone.

One aspect where the original Nothing Phone fell short was its camera. The new model takes a step forward, featuring a 50MP f/1.88 primary camera with a Sony IMX890 sensor, complemented by a 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens. Under favorable shooting conditions, these lenses capture an impressive level of detail and vibrant colors, rivalling Google’s exceptional Pixel 7a (as discussed in issue 346, page 68). The ultrawide camera’s 114° field of view works wonders for capturing expansive scenes and group shots.

However, when compared to the Pixel, the Nothing Phone 2 does struggle with shadowy areas, which tend to appear murkier. Despite boasting an 18-bit image signal processing (ISP) system for a wider dynamic range, it still faces limitations, particularly in low-light settings, resulting in somewhat smeared photos.

In the realm of video, the Nothing Phone 2 is capable of shooting at up to 60fps in 4K, aided by a combination of optical and electronic stabilization. While I did notice some minor micro-jitters, it’s sufficiently smooth for everyday, non-professional use.

What truly sets the Nothing Phone 2 apart is its remarkable speed. Credit goes to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, which outperforms Google’s Tensor G2 processor in every benchmark. Daily tasks like launching apps, web browsing, and navigating the interface are exceptionally fluid and responsive. I was particularly impressed with its performance in handling the vast maps of Age of Origins, experiencing minimal lag even during intense battles.

The phone’s increased size accommodates a larger 4,700mAh battery, easily lasting through a day of usage, with the battery indicator rarely dropping below 25% before bedtime. Furthermore, charging speed has seen an improvement, with the Phone 2 supporting both 45W wired and 15W wireless charging.

Regrettably, the one aspect that has seen a significant boost is the price. The original Nothing Phone was priced at £399 including VAT, matching the cost of Google’s Pixel 7a. However, the Nothing Phone 2 comes in at an additional £180. Given its camera’s performance and shorter software support compared to the Pixel, this pricing may present a challenging proposition. Nevertheless, for fashion-conscious shoppers seeking a unique phone with a spacious screen, a speedy processor, and a distinctive character, it could be considered a worthwhile premium investment.

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