Nothing Phone 2 Review
The Nothing Phone 2 is making headlines like it did the Phone 1 last year. Although the company is a way before it can achieve the size of its competitors, there’s no doubt that its products are challenging to overlook. The name Phone 2 Phone 2 makes it seem like it’s meant to succeed its predecessor, the Phone 1, but it’s intended to broaden the number of phones available from Nothing, as you’ll discover after reading this article. We’ve discussed certain aspects that make up Phone 2 in our first impressions piece, and now, following more than one week of experiencing it and receiving the upgrade to the software, is the time to test if it’s something we’re looking for.
Nothing Phone 2 Review: The price of the Nothing Phone 2 is in India
The Nothing Phone 1 was a mid-range smartphone launched at a fair price. Its successor, the Nothing Phone 2, is positioned as a “value flagship’ and priced higher. It begins at Rs. 44,999 in India to get 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, then a Rs. 49,999 model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage. A third version also comes featuring 512GB and 12GB of RAM, costing Rs. 54,999. You rarely see this much storage in high-end flagships that usually exceed a thousand rupees. The other alternative is the Realme Narzo 60 Pro 5G, which comes with 1TB of storage and is priced at just Rs. 30,000.
The Nothing Phone 2 comes in only two colours: light grey and white (instead of black).
Nothing Phone 2 Review: Nothing Telephone 2 Design
I’ve used the 512GB version of the Nothing Phone 2 in dark grey, and I think it is as gorgeous as the black version from Phone 1. It’s bigger and heavier than the Phone 1. Phone 2 is a bit larger (8.6mm) in weight and a bit larger (201.2g) than Phone 1, but it feels every little bit as luxurious. It’s similar to the iPhone 13 Pro Max ( Review) ‘s dimensions but smaller. Operating with just one hand is somewhat difficult, particularly compared to Phone 1, but it’s easier. Phone 1, but you will become comfortable with it.
The back glass of the Nothing Phone 2 features rounded edges, which makes it feel more comfortable to hold. The components and wires underneath the clear back are protected by panels, with just a couple of Torx screws showing. Removing a transparent body is challenging, and time again, Nothing has done it better than its capabilities.
It’s a gimmick, necessity, or whatever, but the Glyph notification system remains an important selling point for the Nothing Phone 2. This time, a few more extensive strips (around the cameras and the wireless charging coil) have been broken into smaller pieces. They’re crisper white, as opposed to the somewhat off-white LEDs that are on Phone 1. Phone 1. The red LED is for recording light but is a horizontal bar, not an actual dot.
Its display on the Nothing Phone 2 has similar specs to its predecessor, the Phone 1, apart from a few significant improvements. It’s bigger now at 6.7 inches and has an LTPO AMOLED panel that allows you to alter the refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz, which, in theory, will allow for better battery performance. The brightness for outdoor screens is now 1000 nits; in HDR videos, it’s as high as 1,600 nits (1,200 nits on Phone 1). The display also features an angled cutout perfect for selfie cameras, and the bezels surrounding the screen are narrower than Phone 1.
Many models in this category look and feel luxurious, but the Nothing Phone 2 stands out because it feels and looks like an iPhone. It’s the same for it as well. Phone 1, as well, and this is a deliberate design decision. There’s Nothing that has changed the look of this phone. Phone 2 is a lot, and this is logical. It’s possible to distinguish it from a smartphone. This Phone 2 also does not include a charger in the box. However, you will get a slick USB cable with transparent mouldings near the Type-C connectors.
Nothing Phone 2 Review: Specifications for Nothing Phone 2 and software
The most significant change in the Nothing Phone 2 is the SoC. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Generation 1 is a major upgrade over an entry-level Snapdragon 778G+ found in the original phone. It’s a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a flagship SoC launched as a mid-cycle update in 2022 and will have increased performance and power efficiency. We’ve seen a variety of new phones found this year using this SoC, with the cheapest currently being the iQoo Neo 7 Pro 5G.
The Nothing Phone 2 has slightly better protection against water ingress, so it’s been awarded an IP54 rating. However, it could be better than phones in lower-cost segments. Because of its bigger dimensions, it now has a battery that’s 4,700mAh and supports faster 45W fast charging. It’s still compatible with 15W Qi wireless charging and reverse wireless charging of 5W. It also helps reverse wireless charging. Phone 2 supports a tonne of 5G bands. It also comes with Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 Bluetooth 5.3 as well as NFC.
What makes the phones of Nothing different is their software. Specifically, the Nothing Phone 2 ships with Nothing OS 2.0 (2.0.1 following its latest upgrade). It’s essentially standard Android 13 but with Nothing’s dot matrix theme, which is incorporated into everything from the menus on the system to the boot animation to widgets. The latter is now activated for the display that is always on, which allows you to see the weather, as well as an alarm clock and lighting, in addition to other features without having to unlock the phone. It is also possible to change the UI to appear minimalist by converting all icons of apps to monochrome and also removing the app label. The size of the icons on the home screen can be increased to make it easier to locate the icons you frequent.
Its Glyph illuminates on Nothing Phone 2 now features 33 addressable zones and offers more features. In addition to using them to monitor the status of your battery and Google Assistant activity, you can now watch the phone’s volume level and keep track of the progress of tasks within specific apps like Uber. Additionally, there’s a new Glyph composer to create custom sounds, a brand-new sound pack that can be used for ringtones as well as alert tones, and an essential notification tagging system that will keep some of the Glyph light on until you’ve finished reading or deleting any notifications you receive from the selected application.
This feature is ideal to be included on the Phone 1 as well, and I want to see the original model get it once it gets the No OS 2.0 update. The Phone 2 is set to receive three years of Android updates and 4 years of security updates.
Nothing Phone 2 Review: The performance of the phone could be better than the battery life.
This Nothing Phone 2 sold in India only operates using the Indian SIM. It will only let you finish setting up once an active SIM is installed, which is different for other phones sold in India. Once the phone is up and operating, it’s extremely good. There’s no notification spam in Phone 2 simply because there aren’t any third-party apps. Only Nothing X is on the earphones made by Phone 2 and Google’s apps.
The display is sufficiently bright and vibrant colours, and the viewing angles are excellent. The refresh rate continuously alters based on the task being done and tends to be at 10 Hz when there’s no input. Like on Phone 1 and Phone 1, I only used the Glyph light in Phone 2 a few times as the display is always on and provides all the information you’ll require in an eye. It’s still a trick but a practical gimmick in the present.
Multimedia sound quality with the Nothing Phone 2 is equally great. Stereo speakers can be extremely loud and rich with decent bass even at maximum volume. The display is officially compatible with playing HDR10+ movies but does not support Dolby Vision. As of this review, Netflix could not detect the display’s HDR capabilities. However, Prime Video was able to play HDR10 plus shows. The experience of watching videos using Phone 2 was very enjoyable due to the huge display, the bright and vibrant colours, and the great audio.
The overall system performance and app experience were excellent. When using the Nothing Phone 2 as my primary phone, I never experienced any issues with lags or slowdowns in routine activities. Juggling Slack, Chrome, and social media apps was fine. The phone appeared to have enough power reserve in addition to the RAM (12GB variant) to run all the time. Games performed very well as well. Fortnite played at 60 frames per second, a constant rate when using the graphics preset ‘Epic’ and when HD textures are activated. Other titles like Asphalt 9: Legends and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City also ran well using the highest settings. Certain areas on both sides of Phone 2 did get warm; however, Nothing more than that.
The battery life of the Nothing Phone 2 is solid, and a full battery typically lasts for a day and a half, according to my test. Our battery test showed that this Phone 2 ran an amazing 26 hours and 44 minutes of an HD video loop. There is no guarantee that this Phone 2 can be fully charged in just 55 minutes, which isn’t the fastest in its category. The phone does not come with its own 45-watt PD power adapter, which is an additional expense to be considered.
Nothing Phone 2 Review: Nothing phone two cameras
Cameras on Nothing Phone 2 have gotten an upgrade compared to the previous model. There’s still a dual camera setup at the back, but the primary sensor is a 50 megapixel Sony IMX890. It’s optically stabilised and comes with a Super-res zoom feature, which is supposed to give higher zoom at 2X magnification. The ultra-wide camera is identical to the one in the Phone 1 and has 50 megapixels of Samsung JN1 sensor. I’m not too fond of this camera due to its smaller pixel size. However, it does feature autofocus, which can take high-resolution macro images. The camera on the front is upgraded to a 32-megapixel Sony IMX615 sensor, which is an advancement over Phone 1.
The camera on the main screen of the Nothing Phone 2 is an upgrade from that of the Phone 1, as textures on objects are more precise and clearer. If you’ve got ‘Scene detection’ on, colours on specific things like flowers or trees may appear exaggerated. Close-up photos look nice, with great details, sharpness, and appealing background depth. Macro photos also have excellent details and natural colours. In low lighting, the camera app will automatically switch to Night mode. In this case, the benefits of the new sensor are evident. Landscape images are more vibrant, with more details and a greater dynamic range. Close-ups are also stunning.
The ultra-wide camera can do well with photos taken in the daytime, but its quality is noticeably lower than those shot with that camera. But, thanks to an improved image signal processor inside the updated SoC, the images look better than those of phones 1 and 2. The low-light photos have good details and colours, but the quality could be better than what an equivalent device like an iPhone 11 could produce.
The camera for selfies is decent in daylight. When the retouching filters are disabled, they can provide fairly accurate skin tones and facial features. Portrait mode is also a great option and does a great job distinguishing you from the background. However, this camera will need help in low lighting since, even with Night mode, the images appear too dark and dull.
The Nothing Phone 2 can record up to 4K60fps video and allows LiveHDR recording at 30 frames per second in 4K. Also, there’s the option of an Action Mode and a Night Mode, and both are only available at 1080p 30 frames per second. However, the quality of videos recorded is merely average. Even in daylight, a tiny flicker is evident when you’re walking while recording, and the colour saturation appears slightly off. Videos with low light levels are quiet. However, this jitter becomes clear with each step. Night mode can make some difference in the amount of exposure when you’re in the dark. If you record at 4K 30fps, it is possible to switch between the two cameras at the rear; however, it is important to note that ultra-wide cameras record significantly lower-quality footage, particularly at night.
Nothing Phone 2 Review: Verdict
The Nothing Phone 1 offered a complete package for the price. While it only sometimes excelled at everything, it didn’t leave any essential features. The Nothing Phone 2 feels identical to the original but in a different cost segment. Unfortunately, our criticisms about Phone 1 also apply to the new model. The super-wide and selfie cameras are mediocre in low-light conditions, and video recording needs to be improved. Considering that most competitors use this, Nothing could have included a faster charger in the phone.
The No Phone 2’s most powerful feature is its software. Apart from a Google Pixel 7a, I need help imagining any other phone comparable to the same quality in this category. It’s sleek, elegant, and feature-packed but manageable. Anyone who plans to use its Glyph light will love the added function. Battery life is another major positive for Phone 2. Phone 2 and its top-quality in-hand feel are unbeatable.
However, if you’re searching for a specialist instead of an all-purpose phone, you might be interested in the other models. If gaming is your primary concern, finding a similar SoC in cheaper smartphones like those from the OnePlus 11R5G Review and iQoo’s Neo 7 Pro is possible. Both feature the fastest charging. If you’re looking for a phone that can last for you, then phones like those from Samsung Galaxy A34 ( Review) and Motorola Edge 40 ( Review) are equipped with an IP68 rating and have a lower price.
The 512GB version of the Nothing Phone 2 has little value at the moment in any case. At Rs. 54,999, you can get an Oppo Reno 10 Pro with 5G ( Review) or the OnePlus 11 5G ( Review). Both come with higher-resolution curved-edge displays as well as more efficient camera performance.
Overall, The Nothing Phone 2 is a decent choice that provides an impressive array of top features without lacking any features. The price at launch could deter some customers due to the intense competition, particularly for the most expensive version. But the unique interface and unique style are unparalleled.