The Nothing Phone (2) is a smartphone that stands out in a world of identical devices, embracing simplicity as an art form. With its sleek design, upgraded features, and unique Glyph LEDs, it aims to impress. In this review, we’ll delve into its performance, camera capabilities, and overall user experience to determine if it truly lives up to its promise of being more than just another phone in the market. Let’s explore if the Nothing Phone (2) is the standout device it claims to be.
Table of Contents
The Phone (2) maintains a familiar design but brings significant improvements across the board, including better performance, display, battery, charging speeds, and software. The upgraded Glyph LEDs now offer enhanced customization and functionality, working with popular apps like Uber and Zomato. Its eye-catching design stands out in the market. While it may appear a bit pricey for its specifications and the camera could be improved, but if you are looking for a powerful and distinctive smartphone, it could be a worthwhile purchase.
Design and display
The Phone (2) retains a design similar to the Phone (1), with subtle improvements. The back panel features gentle curves and 3D design modifications. Despite a slightly larger size due to the bigger display, the Phone (2) feels more premium and comfortable to hold, thanks to the slimmer aluminium frame. However, it can be slippery, so using a phone cover is advisable for a secure grip. The camera rings on the back are now black, and the port layout remains consistent.
At the front, the Phone (2) boasts a 6.7-inch 10-bit AMOLED display, surpassing the previous model’s 6.55-inch size. With a resolution of 2,412 x 1,080 pixels and LTPO technology, it offers a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz and supports HDR10+ and Widevine L1. The display impresses with vibrant colours and punchy visuals, protected by Gorilla glass. The integrated fingerprint scanner adds convenience. Overall, the display performance ensures a top-notch viewing experience.
The Phone (2) has an IP54 rating, which means it offers better protection against dust and splashes compared to the Phone (1) with its IP53 rating. While it can handle splashes, it’s not fully waterproof, so avoid submerging it to keep it safe.
The Phone (2) features Nothing’s signature LED lighting system known as Glyph interface, with upgrades and new features. It retains popular functions like custom light and ringtone combinations, ‘Flip to Glyph’ mode and the Glyph torch. While an auto-brightness sensor which automatically dims the Glyph brightness in dark environments is a good addition. Glyph Progress is an indicator used in apps like Uber and Zomato to display the remaining time for booked rides and food orders. The Glyph LEDs now have 33 individually addressable zones, increasing flexibility.
Moreover, the Phone (2) introduces the Glyph Composer to create personalized sound-light combinations. It also includes ten new ringtone options. Glyphs function as volume indicators as well and can be scheduled to turn off at bedtime. While not revolutionary, the Glyph interface improvements offer more customization. Third-party app integration enhances usability. The Glyphs add flair and can act as a fancy torch or portable ring light with the camera app’s flash option.
Nothing OS 2.0 introduces the Nothing icon pack, changing all app icons to a monochrome style. While we loved this pack, some may find it dull and navigating through apps can take a bit more time at least in the beginning. Thankfully, you can switch back to the standard Android theme if desired. Despite the design debate, Nothing OS 2.0 is fast, reliable, and pleasant to use, offering connectivity with rock-solid performance.
Nothing promises three major Android updates and four years of security updates, delivered every two months. While other manufacturers may offer longer software update commitments, Nothing’s promise aligns with Google’s, ensuring a reasonable duration of support.
Performance and battery life
The Phone 2 features a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 CPU, which may be a generation old but still performs exceptionally well. Even though the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 showed better gaming performance, the Phone 2 still handles demanding titles smoothly.
In practical usage, the Phone 2 impresses with its snappy performance. Apps open swiftly, and multitasking with several apps running simultaneously doesn’t bog down the phone. Throughout our testing, the device never felt sluggish. It comes with up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, which is an excellent configuration.
In terms of gaming, the Phone 2 can comfortably handle demanding titles like BGMI and Asphalt 9: Legends. While some detail settings may need to be dialled back for consistently smooth performance, the device can run games like Genshin Impact at 60fps.
With a 4700mAh battery, a modest improvement over its predecessor, the Phone 2 easily lasts all day, even with heavy usage. Standby battery drain is excellent, ensuring prolonged usage. Charging speeds are decent, with a maximum of 45W over USB-C and 15W Qi wireless charging capability. However, it’s worth noting that a power brick isn’t included in the box, so you’ll need to provide your own. Additionally, the Phone 2 can reverse wireless charge to other devices, making it a handy feature for wireless earphones like Nothing’s Ear 2.
The Phone (2) comes with upgraded cameras, featuring a 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor as the main snapper with f/1.88 aperture, OIS, and EIS. Additionally, there’s a 50MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture, and a 32MP front camera (previously 16MP). Video recording goes up to 4K at 60fps, and an Action mode is available too. Overall, the camera quality is impressive, producing pleasing results in various scenarios with vibrant colours, especially in daylight. Night shots are also good with the night mode, though scenes with mixed light levels can appear a bit flat, and the dynamic range could be improved. Portrait shots and selfies look great, especially in well-lit conditions. While the camera system is capable, some adjustments could elevate it to match the device’s overall premium feel.
In conclusion, the Nothing Phone 2 is a complete package that goes beyond just aesthetics. Its standout design, top-notch performance, stunning camera, and captivating Glyph lights, all complemented by the customizable operating system, make it a truly worthy investment for anyone looking for a distinctive and high-performing smartphone.
Pricebaba’s rating: 8.5/10
Reasons to buy:
- The Phone (2) boasts a modern design that catches the eye
- The Glyph lights add a cool and useful touch to the device
- Its software is clean, while still providing ample customization options
- The daytime camera performs well, capturing impressive shots
- The screen is vibrant and colourful, enhancing the overall visual experience
Reasons not to buy:
- The Phone (2) comes with an IP54 water resistance, offering moderate protection against dust and splashes
- The low light camera performance could be improved, as it may not deliver the best results in dim lighting conditions