Nothing Phone 2 Review: Your Offbeat Alternative to Boring Midrange Phones

Step into the Future with Nothing Phone 2: A Symphony of Design and Innovation.

Martin Guay
Martin Guay - Chief Editor
20 Min Read
4.3 Discover the Nothing Phone 2, a striking and budget-friendly alternative to midrange smartphones.
Review Overview

Introduction: The Rise of Nothing

Welcome to the future of smartphones, where innovation meets design, and tradition meets boldness. Nothing, a rising smartphone startup, has returned with its much-anticipated sequel – the Nothing Phone 2. After selling over 500,000 Phone 1s last year, Nothing aims to captivate hearts and minds with its unique features, improved specs, and thoughtful UI. Let's dive into the world of the Nothing Phone 2 and discover why it's worth considering as your next smartphone purchase.

Price and Availability: Embrace the Nothing Phone 2

It starts at just $599, and trust me, that's a steal for what you're getting. The base model comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage – plenty to handle all your tasks without breaking a sweat. But hey, if you want even more power and space, they've got you covered with the 12GB/256GB and 12GB/512GB options for $699 and $799, respectively. And let's not forget, you can pick this beauty in either sleek white or cool dark grey finishes.

It's a dream come true for budget-savvy users who still demand top-notch performance. The Nothing Phone 2 lets you have it all – style, speed, and storage space. Don't settle for less when you can have the best with the Phone 2!

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Nothing Phone 2 smartphone display 3 of 3




Network TechnologyGSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
2G bandsGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
3G bandsHSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
4G bands1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 48, 66, 71
5G bands1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 25, 28, 30, 38, 40, 41, 66, 71, 75, 77, 78 SA/NSA
SpeedHSPA, LTE-A, 5G
LaunchAnnounced: 2023, July 11
Status: Available. Released 2023, July 17
Body Dimensions162.1 x 76.4 x 8.6 mm (6.38 x 3.01 x 0.34 in)
Weight201.2 g (7.09 oz)
BuildGlass front (Gorilla Glass), glass back (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame
SIMDual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Display TypeLTPO OLED, 1B colours, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1600 nits (HBM), 1600 nits (peak)
Size6.7 inches, 108.0 cm2 (~87.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1080 x 2412 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~394 ppi density)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass
Platform OSAndroid 13, Nothing OS 2
ChipsetQualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm)
CPUOcta-core (1×3.0 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.5 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510)
GPUAdreno 730
Memory Card slotNo
Internal128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM
Main Camera Dual50 MP, f/1.9, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS
50 MP, f/2.2, 114˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, AF
FeaturesLED flash, panorama, HDR
Video4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS, live HDR, OIS
Selfie camera Single32 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/2.74″, 0.8µm
Sound LoudspeakerYes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jackNo
Comms WLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth5.3, A2DP, LE
PositioningGPS (L1+L5), GLONASS (L1), BDS (B1I+B1c), GALILEO (E1), QZSS (L1), NavIC
USBUSB Type-C 2.0, OTG
Features SensorsFingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, proximity, gyro, compass
Battery TypeLi-Ion 4700 mAh, non-removable
Charging45W wired, PD3.0, PPS, QC4, 100% in 55 min (advertised)
15W wireless, 100% in 130 min (advertised)
5W reverse wireless

Design: Enter the Cyberpunk Realm – A Pocket Art Installation

Unveiling a design that captivates the imagination, the Nothing Phone 2 is clad in transparent Gorilla Glass, offering a mesmerizing view of its internal components. The intricate arrangement of magnetic charging coils and power cables gives the impression of a cyberpunk art installation, a true stunner in the smartphone world. Moreover, the Glyph interface adds flair to the device with 11 LED strips pulsing and glowing. The Monochrome UI further complements the design, encouraging a more deliberate approach to smartphone usage. With the Nothing Phone 2, you're not just buying a phone; you're owning a piece of art.

Display: A Visual Treat with 120Hz Refresh Rate

Nothing Phone 2 Display: Vibrant and Crisp OLED Screen with 120Hz Refresh Rate

The Nothing Phone 2 boasts a captivating 6.7-inch LTPO OLED display, offering an immersive visual experience that draws you into the content you love. With a resolution of 1080 x 2412 pixels and a 20:9 aspect ratio, the screen delivers sharp images and vibrant colours, ensuring everything looks stunningly detailed.

One of the standout features of the Phone 2's display is its 120Hz refresh rate, which delivers smoother animations and scrolling, making interactions with the phone feel incredibly fluid. Whether you're browsing social media, playing games, or simply navigating through the UI, the higher refresh rate contributes to a more responsive and enjoyable user experience.

The Phone 2's display supports HDR10+, providing enhanced contrast and a broader range of colours, making compatible content truly come to life. With peak brightness reaching up to 1600 nits, you can enjoy clear visibility even under bright sunlight. Additionally, the display incorporates Corning Gorilla Glass protection, safeguarding it against scratches and minor impacts.

An added convenience is the Always On Display feature, allowing you to glance at essential information, such as time, date, and notifications, without waking the phone. This saves battery life and keeps you informed at a glance.

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Overall, the Nothing Phone 2's display is a standout feature, delivering a delightful visual experience with its high refresh rate, HDR support, and impressive brightness levels. Whether you're indulging in multimedia content, playing games, or simply navigating through your day-to-day tasks, the Phone 2's display ensures a pleasurable and engaging viewing experience.

A drawback of the display is its limited outdoor visibility under bright sunlight. While the display offers an impressive peak brightness of up to 1600 nits, making it suitable for most indoor environments, it may become challenging to read the screen content clearly when used outdoors on sunny days. The lack of sufficient brightness in direct sunlight can cause glare and reflections, hindering visibility and making it inconvenient for users who frequently use their phones outdoors.

Performance: Snappy and Responsive, Powered by Snapdragon 8+

The Phone 2 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, coupled with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. Despite its chip being a year old, it handles games and photo editing without a hint of lag. The Phone 2 feels incredibly responsive and snappier than some flagship phones that cost a lot more. Its speedy UI animations and lightweight Android skin contribute to a smooth user experience. Additionally, the phone is unlocked but certified to work on both T-Mobile and AT&T’s networks, making it flexible to use on different carriers.

The powerful chipset and ample RAM ensure that multitasking and app performance are top-notch. Whether you're gaming, streaming, or working on multiple applications, the Phone 2 keeps up with ease. Its storage options of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB offer plenty of space to store your files, photos, and videos.

Overall, the performance of the Phone 2 is impressive, making it a capable and reliable device for various tasks, even for power users who demand efficient performance from their smartphones.

Cameras: Capturing Moments with Style and Quality

Tuning a phone’s cameras and image processing can be extremely challenging, especially when you don’t have the same level of resources as trillion-dollar megacorps like Google or Samsung. However, the Phone 2's camera setup represents a significant improvement from its predecessor, the Phone 1.

The Nothing Phone 2's rear camera setup includes a powerful 50MP f/1.88 main camera and a 50MP f/2.2 ultrawide lens, both of which excel at capturing stunning shots. In daylight conditions, the Phone 2 impresses with its ability to produce images with vibrant colours and excellent sharpness. The level of detail in the photos remains striking even when zooming in for a closer look. Additionally, the Phone 2's 50MP ultrawide camera boasts a wide 114-degree field of view, making it the ideal choice for capturing breathtaking landscapes and group photos with ease.

However, it is essential to note that the Phone 2's camera, although a significant improvement from its predecessor, is not on par with flagship cameras such as the Pixel 7a. When zoomed in or captured images in low-light conditions, some issues like colour fringing and reduced dynamic range become noticeable. The Phone 2's camera struggles to match Google's Night Sight mode, especially when it comes to white balance and preserving detail in low light.

Nothing has made an effort to enhance the portrait mode performance on the Phone 2. While it initially faced challenges with identifying edges correctly, an update to Nothing OS 2.0.1 has improved the out-of-focus effect and background blur. While it may not be as sophisticated as some of its competitors, the portrait mode on the Phone 2 can still produce pleasing results with the right lighting conditions.

On the video side, the Phone 2 can record at up to 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, providing smooth and detailed videos. Its optical and electronic stabilization ensures that the footage remains steady, with minor jitters occasionally present when compared to the Pixel 7a's video stabilization. Overall, the Phone 2's video capabilities are competent and will cater to most users' needs.

The Nothing Phone 2's camera is a notable improvement over its predecessor, capturing excellent photos and videos in ideal conditions. While it may not match the capabilities of flagship camera phones, it still offers impressive results for everyday use and social sharing. If photography is your top priority, you may consider other flagship options, but for most users, the Phone 2's camera performance will be more than satisfactory.

Nothing Phone 2 - White

Software: Nothing OS 2.0, Where Thoughtful Design Meets Functionality

The software experience on the Nothing Phone 2 is a testament to the company's commitment to innovation and thoughtful design. With the introduction of Nothing OS 2.0, the Phone 2 takes a bold step forward, offering a refreshing departure from the standard Android interface.

Nothing OS 2.0 boasts a minimalist and elegant design that complements the phone's overall aesthetic. The Monochrome UI, a central feature of the software, adds a touch of sophistication to the user experience. Users can explore new widgets, wallpapers, and customizable icon packs, giving them the freedom to personalize their devices according to their preferences. But it's not just about aesthetics – the Monochrome UI encourages a deliberate approach to smartphone usage by allowing users to transform app icons into grayscale, helping reduce distractions and fostering a more mindful interaction with the device.

The standout feature of the Phone 2's software is undoubtedly the Glyph interface. This innovative element consists of a series of LED strips that pulsate, strobe, and glow, creating a mesmerizing cyberpunk art installation on the back of the phone. With the Phone 2, Nothing has not only increased the number of lights from five to eleven but also introduced support for addressable zones, enabling gradient effects that add to the phone's visual allure. While the Glyph interface currently offers a single colour option of white, its potential for future customizations and third-party integrations holds promise for a more interactive and immersive user experience.

Beyond its striking aesthetics, the Glyph interface proves to be more than just a design element. It offers practical functionality by using the rear lights to display battery status, volume levels, and essential notifications from specific apps. This creative implementation ensures that users can stay informed and connected without constantly checking the front display. Additionally, Nothing's collaboration with third-party apps, exemplified by the integration with Uber, opens up exciting possibilities for further enhancing the phone's functionality through the Glyph interface.

In terms of software support, Nothing goes the extra mile to offer its users a reliable and up-to-date experience. The Phone 2 receives three years of OS updates, ensuring access to the latest Android features and improvements. Alongside that, Nothing pledges four years of regular security patches, a crucial aspect for maintaining the device's security and overall performance.

Nothing OS 2.0 succeeds in creating a software experience that aligns with the Phone 2's futuristic and innovative vision. With its minimalist design, thoughtful features, and practical functionality, the software on the Phone 2 exemplifies the company's dedication to providing users with a distinctive and immersive smartphone experience. Whether it's the captivating Glyph interface or the promise of consistent software updates, the software on the Nothing Phone 2 sets it apart as an offbeat alternative in the ever-evolving world of midrange smartphones.

Battery Life: Endurance and Charging Options

The Nothing Phone 2 is equipped with a robust 4,700 mAh lithium-ion battery, ensuring you have the power to keep up with your busy lifestyle. With its ample battery capacity, the Phone 2 offers impressive endurance, allowing you to stay connected, entertained, and productive throughout the day without worrying about running out of juice. With its sizable 4,700 mAh battery, the Phone 2 managed to achieve an impressive runtime of 23 hours and 41 minutes.

One of the Phone 2's standout features is its fast charging capability. With 45W wired charging, you can quickly top up your battery and get back to using your device in no time. Nothing's PD3.0, PPS, and QC4 technologies ensure efficient charging, delivering 100% charge in just 55 minutes, as advertised. This fast-charging capability is particularly handy for users who are always on the go and need a quick power boost.

But that's not all – the Phone 2 also supports 15W wireless charging. With wireless charging becoming increasingly popular, this feature offers added convenience for users who prefer a cable-free charging experience. In just 130 minutes, the Phone 2's wireless charging delivers a full 100% charge, allowing you to charge your device without the hassle of plugging in a cable.

Moreover, the Phone 2 supports reverse wireless charging at 5W, making it a versatile power hub. You can use your Phone 2 to wirelessly charge compatible accessories or even other smartphones, sharing your battery power when someone else's device needs a boost.

Nothing Phone 2 - Grey

The combination of a sizable battery and fast-charging technologies ensures that the Phone 2 can keep up with your demands, no matter how intensive your usage may be. Whether you're binge-watching your favourite shows, gaming, or handling work-related tasks, the Phone 2's battery life provides the necessary stamina to support your activities throughout the day.

It's important to note that actual battery life may vary based on individual usage patterns and settings. However, with the Phone 2's impressive battery capacity and fast-charging capabilities, you can confidently rely on this device to stay powered up and ready for whatever the day brings.

In conclusion, the Nothing Phone 2 delivers exceptional battery performance, complemented by fast charging and wireless charging options. With its robust battery, you can enjoy extended usage without interruptions, and the convenience of fast charging ensures you're always ready to go. The Phone 2's battery life sets it apart as a reliable and versatile companion for your daily adventures.

Conclusion: Embrace the Unconventional

In a world of incremental smartphone improvements, the Nothing Phone 2 stands as a refreshing departure from the norm. Its innovative design, thoughtful software, and satisfactory performance make it an enticing option for those seeking a unique smartphone experience. While it may fall short in the camera department compared to some competitors, its $600 price tag and range of appealing features make it a compelling alternative. If you're ready to step into the future of smartphones, embrace the offbeat charm of the Nothing Phone 2 and unlock a world of innovation and possibilities.

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Review Overview
Discover the Nothing Phone 2, a striking and budget-friendly alternative to midrange smartphones. 4.3
Performance: Evaluate the Phone 2's overall speed, responsiveness, and multitasking capabilities. Check how it handles various tasks, from gaming and streaming to productivity apps. 4
Camera Quality: Assess the performance of the rear and front cameras in different lighting conditions. Look for image clarity, color accuracy, and the ability to capture detailed shots. 4
Display and Design: Examine the quality and visual appeal of the Phone 2's display. Consider factors like resolution, color reproduction, and viewing angles. Also, assess the design, build quality, and ergonomics of the phone. 4
Battery Life: Test the Phone 2's battery endurance under various usage scenarios, such as gaming, video playback, and web browsing. Consider its charging speed and the availability of wireless charging. 5
Software and Features: Explore the user interface and features of the Nothing OS 2.0. Check for user-friendliness, customization options, and any unique functionalities, like the Glyph interface. Also, look for software updates and long-term support. 4.5
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By Martin Guay Chief Editor
I write, talk about technology, gadgets, the latest Android news as much as any other fellow geek, nerd, or enthusiast does. I work in the IT field as a System Administrator, and I enjoy gaming when possible. I'm into plenty of things, and you can usually find me around Ottawa, Canada!For all business inquiry email business-inquiry [@] cryovex [dot] com.
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