It's finally here: the phone we've all been waiting for, the Nothing Phone 2. And let me tell you, it lives up to the hype. As soon as I got my hands on it, I knew I was in for something special. From the elegant, transparent style and unique design to the intuitive user interface, this phone is a game-changer. But don't just take my word for it - let's dive in and take a closer look at what makes the Nothing Phone 2 so special and how it differs from the Nothing Phone (1).
Design & Build Quality
If you loved the design of Phone (1), you'll love the Nothing Phone 2 even more. The phone is made of a lightweight yet durable metal frame that is both scratch-resistant and water-resistant. It has rounded, smooth edges and an extra-slim profile, which makes it comfortable to hold in your hand for extended periods of time.
The design of the Nothing Phone 2 is nothing short of amazing. It has a sleek, minimalist look, with a transparent style back with glass and an edge-to-edge display. My favorite part of the design is the fact that it's bezel-less, which gives it an impressive look and makes it stand out from other mid-range phones.
The display of the Nothing Phone 2 is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, offering an unparalleled visual feast. A striking feature that sets it apart from the Nothing Phone (1) is its screen brightness. The enhancements are clear - the Phone (2) boasts an impressive 1,600 nits, a significant leap compared to the 500 nits in the Phone (1). This upgrade significantly enhances the viewing experience, allowing every visual, whether it be a photograph, a film, or a video, to pop with vivid clarity and sharpness.
The 120Hz OLED 1080 x 2412 pixel screen of the Phone (2) is silky smooth. It may have a slightly lower pixel density due to a larger screen - 394ppi as opposed to the Phone (1)'s 402ppi - yet you won't miss those extra pixels. The expanded brightness and the improved LTPO OLED screen ensure a fluid and immersive viewing experience that outstrips the predecessor's LTPS OLED display.
Notably, the new LTPO technology supports dynamic screen refresh rates, a feature absent in Phone (1)'s LTPS OLED. This not only contributes to a smoother visual experience but also improves battery performance, making the Nothing Phone 2 display not just more appealing but also more efficient.
The Nothing Phone (1) was praised for its 50MP wide/ultra-wide dual-camera configuration, a feature that the Nothing Phone 2 has decided to retain with some crucial enhancements. The first notable upgrade in the Phone (2) is the introduction of a significantly larger camera sensor. The new Sony IMX890 sensor is capable of capturing and processing up to 4,000 times more camera data compared to its predecessor.
This improvement permits the Phone (2) to utilize Advanced HDR, thereby maximizing image quality across a series of frames captured with varying exposures in quick succession. As clearly indicated by the images above, the Phone (2) images (on the left) outshine the Phone (1) images (on the right) in terms of color accuracy and sharpness.
The upgrades do not stop here. The Nothing Phone 2 has also improved its front-facing camera with a 32MP sensor. This theoretically enables superior depth of color and image quality.
The performance of the Nothing Phone 2 is remarkably improved from its predecessor due to hardware upgrades. Unlike the Phone (1), which had a Snapdragon 778G+ chipset that was middle-of-the-road even when it was released, the Phone (2) employs the outstanding Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. This update signifies a substantial enhancement in overall performance.
Moreover, Nothing has introduced three different versions of the Phone 2 to cater to diverse user needs. These are distinguished by their RAM and storage capacities. The base model offers 8GB of RAM along with 128GB storage, a comfortable choice for moderate users. For those requiring superior multitasking capabilities or more storage, two elevated models are available: one with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and the other is a top-tier model, featuring 12GB of RAM and a whopping 512GB of storage.
This tiered approach allows users to select a model that best suits their needs and budgets, providing flexibility not previously seen in the original Nothing Phone.
The Nothing Phone 2 comes with a slightly larger battery capacity of 4,700mAh, which is a minor upgrade from the Nothing Phone (1). The inclusion of a 45W charger ensures a full charge in approximately 55 minutes, which is an impressive feat. However, it's important to mention that the official Nothing 45W charger is not included in the box and would add an extra $40 to your total purchase cost.
Wireless charging enthusiasts also have a reason to rejoice as the Nothing Phone (2) supports Qi wireless charging. However, be prepared for a longer wait as it takes up to 130 minutes to reach full charge wirelessly.
A groundbreaking feature of the Nothing Phone 2 is its introduction of the Glyph Interface. This innovative tool shifts the way we interact with our devices, prioritizing ease of use and minimalism. The Glyph Interface is cleverly positioned on the back of the phone, providing a quick and easy way to access vital information without needing to constantly interact with the screen.
This ingenious design provides a visual and auditory notification system, with users being able to assign personalized light and sound sequences to specific contacts and apps. This allows for immediate recognition of incoming notifications, improving functionality and efficiency.
Nothing OS 2.0
Nothing Phone 2 comes preloaded with Nothing OS 2.0. This operating system diverges from the typical Android experience by offering a cleaner, less cluttered interface. Instead of overwhelming users with an avalanche of preloaded apps, Nothing OS 2.0 builds on the stock Android 13 experience with an array of optional widgets.
Customization is at the heart of Nothing OS 2.0. The focus is primarily on the home page and lock screens, allowing users to tailor their Phone (2) to their preferences. For instance, the Phone (2) comes default with a dark theme that sets a unique, edgy tone, complemented by Nothing's monochrome icons.
Despite this, Nothing OS 2.0 stands out among many other Android launchers. It inhibits users from immediately resorting to a custom option like Nova thanks to its swift transitions between apps, deep integration, and most importantly, stability. I encountered no glitches during my testing of Nothing OS 2.0, signaling that Nothing has learned from OS 1.0 and made significant improvements in the latest iteration.
Now let's talk about the most important aspect of the Nothing Phone series - the pricing. The Nothing Phone (1) was initially priced at £399 ($475-500 approximately), making it a strong contender in the mid-range phone market, despite the availability of cheaper options.
However, with the release of the Nothing Phone (2), we see a noticeable increase in pricing. The base model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage starts at $599, while the top-tier model with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage goes up to $799. This price increase is similar to OnePlus's initial entry into the smartphone market.
Despite these pricing changes, the Nothing Phone (2) still maintains a competitive position in the market.
Final Words: Should You Buy the Nothing Phone 2?
Overall, the Nothing Phone 2 offers a considerable leap in quality and performance from its predecessor. The phone is packed with features that make it an attractive candidate for users seeking a complete smartphone experience. Its expansive screen, thoughtful camera configuration, tiered RAM/storage options, and improved processor all these features make this phone difficult to ignore.
Furthermore, the simplified design of the Glyph Interface, alongside the enhanced OS 2.0, makes this device stand out from its competitors. If you are looking for a phone that offers quality and performance, without compromising on affordability, then the Nothing Phone 2 is a worthy investment.