London-based consumer tech maker Nothing has rolled out its new smartphone, phone (2) yesterday with enough hype over the past few weeks. This time, their mobile phone is also available in the United States for the first time.
Unlike other launch events, the keynote was presented in vlog style where the company’s CEO attempted to fight off his phobic attitude towards roller coasters (and failed pretty miserably) and introduced the new device with famous YouTuber and one of the leading investors in the company, Casey Neistat.
Nothing Phone (2): An Overview
Nothing steered the improvements of this iteration to refine the basics of the phone this time. Improvements start with the display growing from 6.5″ to more “phablet-y” 6.7″ with the same FHD+ resolution Flexible-OLED panel with 120 Hz refresh rate, 10-bit colour accuracy, HDR10+ certification with Coring Gorilla Glass 5 on top and an optical fingerprint sensor underneath.
Coming in hot is the use of LTPO to adapt the refresh rate randomly all the way down to 1 Hz to be easy on the battery. Not so easy on battery is the brightness raked up to 1600 nits from 700 nits.
Speaking of battery, Nothing has opted for a comparatively larger 4700 mAh cell (4500 mAh in phone (1)), thanks to usage of a larger display. The phone (2) can take 12 watts more power than phone (1) (33W wired) using any USB-PD charger, topping off 0-100% sprint in 55 mins.
The phone still supports 15W of Qi Wireless charging and capable of 5W of reverse wireless charging to top off other devices. But as last time, charger’s absent in box. The new “transparent” USB-C to USB-C cable is present, along with the capsule-like SIM tray ejector Ready to sell your home on your terms? Discover the options available at https://www.companiesthatbuyhouses.co/oklahoma/
Adding to the battery life is the use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the 4 nm SoC being a significant upgrade from the 778G SoC present in the phone (1). When questioned about this, Founder Carl Pei quipped that irrespective of being an older chip, the 8+ Gen 1 still holds good to be a flagship-grade SoC in terms of thermals and efficiency with the latest of chipsets.
Even though it comes with a year-old System-on-Chip, it’s all futureproof with necessary Sub-6 5G bands, dual 5G networks standby, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 with BLE, NFC, 6 GPS Systems and other necessary connectivity features. This processor gets combined with 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5x RAM and 128, 256 or an unexpected 512 GB of UFS 3.1 internal storage with no microSD card-based expansion.
The Nothing phone (2) now sports the same 50MP with OIS but now with the new Sony IMX 890 sensor. Thanks to the new SoC, this phone can now shoot videos upto 4K @ 60 FPS, in HDR upto 4K @ 30 FPS.
Ultrawide angle lens uses the same 50 MP JN1 sensor from Samsung with 114o field of view, which also does double duty as the macro lens upto 4 cm of closeup length and same video shooting abilities.
The 32 MP selfie shooter still continues shooting 1080p videos in 30 FPS. The cameras can now handle more complex photography and videography situations in any lighting conditions with new colour science and better computations, according to the brand. Otherwise, the cameras seem largely unchanged.
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Nothing, the start-up which brags a lot on its design hasn’t gone all frenzy again with the phone(2)’s design. When asked, “We want to make an icon. If the phone went another revamp in aesthetic, it would have been difficult for us to deploy this phone as a great competitor in the market”, say Carl to Arun Maini AKA MrWhoseTheBoss.
With its partner Teenage Engineering, Nothing continues the aesthetic of the phone by nuancing the pseudo-transparent design to have more character to it, utilizing the “Glyph Interface” by segmenting them further, changing the colours from the black to a slate grey to reduce fingerprint visibility.
The White variant with a mild variation is still present. The rear glass is more curved this time to avoid slab-like shape and achieve better hold, thereby avoids being an iPhone clone this time.
Talking about the Glyphs, apart from segmenting them further, Nothing has added more lighting zones to control the LEDs in a more granular level. The Glyphs can now show time left in timers, act as a progress indicator for your cab arrival and food delivery through third party support starting with Uber and Zomato respectively for now, lighting separate LEDs to indicate essential notifications, using the Glyph as a Torch along with the main LED flash, and to compose own ringtones using the new composer feature (OG Nokia vibes ;-) ).
Phone (2) has gained more weight to 211g but slimmed down by 1mm than its predecessor. The display bezels are symmetrical yet slimmer, thanks to flexible-OLED and the selfie camera punch-hole has been moved from left to the center for the same symmetry.
The biggest refinement done for this iteration is in the software. NothingOS 2.0, which runs on top of Android 13, gets all of the improvement users expected and unexpected. Starting with Android, phone (2) gets 3 major OS upgrades and 4 years of security update patches.
NothingOS takes the widget game to the next level by giving users the ability to keep any of the quick settings as a widget, in both homescreen and lockscreen. Applock and App cloning is present this time, as users requested. Nothing has gone for a nostalgic black & white colour scheme as its default theme which also aids in mobile usage reduction.
UI aesthetic has undergone minor tweaks and as Nothing said, apps will load faster and bugs are ironed out. All with no bloatware and any form of ads. If one prefers the aesthetic of stock Android AKA Material You, Nothing allows you to change that in both initial setup and later in the phone settings for customizability. This could be the USP for this handset apart from its unorthodox design language.
Nothing Phone (2): Price
The only thing that adds skepticism to the purchase decision is the price. Unlike the phone (1) being a mid-range priced smartphone, phone (2) gets a price hike of 37.5% (when phone (1) launched at ₹32,999) by starting at ₹44,999 in India and goes all the way up to ₹54,999. This could be the one-stop-all Android handset for most user demographic but now the phone (1) selling at around ₹27k, only time and discounts will tell the sale success of this one to be a win as almost 8,00,000+ phone (1)s are already sold, creating a pretty lofty goal to beat for a start-up which, “innovates”.
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