Nothing Phone (2): A Closer Look at the Design, Features, and Performance and Many More..

Nothing Phone (2)


The Nothing Phone 2 is a solid all-around phone with a unique design and a powerful processor.

First, they picked the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, essentially a last-generation flagship chip. This means it’s much better than the previous phone but not entirely up to date with some of the highest-end phones today, rocking the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. And then the base version has eight gigs of RAM, but this version I’ve been testing has 12, and it’s been excellent, very smooth all the way around. I’ve been leaving on the dynamic refresh rate setting, and it feels like 120 hertz most of the time. It’s very responsive; it’s great. It did occasionally hang, and I’ve had some weird one-off bugs that are hard to replicate, including more thermal warnings than I’m used to seeing in a phone, especially while wireless charging. But overall, it’s been pretty solid. And that brings me right to the software experience with this phone. This phone has a lot of character, like, there are a lot of little, like, tweaks and UI things and features, stuff that they’ve added, that made me go, oh, like, that’s nice. I like that you can choose how large an icon is on your home screen.

So if you want to have a, you got an excellent little grid array going on, and you have an app you open a lot, you can make it double sized and just kind of tucks into your grid like it’s the size of, I guess, four icons. They redesigned how folders look on the home screen. I think it also looks perfect. You can add quick settings as a widget on your home screen, which is dope. I don’t know why I never thought of that. And then even better is lock screen widgets. So for this, it’s only, Nothing’s devices, but they have a pretty good variety of them, a lot of weather widgets, clocks and things like that. And they always stay visible with this lovely little dot matrix version on the always-on display.

So I love having the weather up here. And then the quick shortcut to the flashlight, it would be cool if third-party apps could plug into this too, but it’s already neat. There are still the Nothing Dot fonts everywhere, the dot motif with the brightness and volume slider, and things like that. And then, of course, on top of all of that, you’ve got all the glyph stuff. Some people are like; this is a total gimmick; others are like, this is the greatest thing ever. I love it. I feel like I’m somewhere in between. So these LEDs are slightly brighter and whiter compared to the Nothing Phone. There’s a somewhat different design too. So with the pair of LEDs around the cameras instead of one solid arc, the large C in the middle gets split into six different sections. But then, as I mentioned in that Dope Tech unveiling video, there are more addressable zones for the LEDs on the back.

So, instead of just lighting everything up at once, there are quite a few more software features now to take advantage of the more precise control. Stuff like the countdown timer and the progress indicator for third-party apps, starting with Uber and Zomato, I got it right then. In addition to the charging progress indicator light at the bottom, there’s also a long pressing torch for the glyph flashlight, which is sweet. It’s, it’s not as bright, but it’s much softer. And there’s also the essential notification light, so you can assign that top right stripe to light up and stay lit up anytime you get a notification from one specific app choice until you address that notification. And the glyph composer, of course, to build your notification sound. Do I think it’s a little bit gimmicky? Yeah, for sure.

There’s some weird novelty that you’ll probably not use. But I think among all of that stuff, and there are at least some pieces of it somewhere that some people will find helpful. I don’t understand how hard it could be to give people complete customisation control of the lights. Like, you can, okay, if I have one app that I know I want to pay attention to, that’s the one stripe up here. But what if I have three or four apps and just want to assign them to three or four lights on the back? Is that an impossible engineering challenge, or do they just not want us to be able to do that for some reason? I don’t know, but you can’t. Either way, I want to return to what I said: this phone has real character. So this is all part of Nothing’s self-titled Nothing OS 2, but to be more specific, it’s Nothing’s skin on top of Android 13 right now. And I feel the same about it as I do about Google Pixel. Like, the Pixel has its character version of Android, and this phone has its character version throughout the experience.

It’s a London-based company that says aeroplane mode and colour correction. And the trash in Google Photos is called The Bin. It has monotone desktop icons by default, which always start so promising. And every time someone tries to do it, I want it to work so badly, but then there are always just a few apps that are not supported and ruin the look; this is also true here. But I respect the clear-back thing. I’ve been pretty pumped about some other transparent gadgets lately. And somebody pointed out the uneven glue in the hinge of the Beats Studio Buds + case. And I haven’t been able to unsee it since, but that made me appreciate that Nothing is doing a ton of transparent-themed stuff and even added a transparent cable this year. The end of the line, not the actual thread, is still excellent. And you don’t see other companies doing the clean, neat, transparent stuff this well. So then, let’s just get to the meat of this. Two of the most important things with any new phone are battery life and cameras. The battery life on this new phone is much improved. The cameras, not so much. So the battery situation is fantastic. It went up from a 4,500 to 4,700 milliamp-hour battery. It also went to a more power-efficient newer chip and bumped up to 45W peak charging. So even with the higher refresh rate on, higher screen brightness and all sorts of new apps like Threads coming out, where I’m spending, like, hours of screen on time per day, follow me over there, I guess, turns out this thing can keep it going for 6, 7 hours of screen on time, no problem. And when you do plug into a fast charger, which is not included in the box, but when you do, it’s pretty quick. It can go from zero to complete in an hour. And there’s even 15-watt wireless charging, as I mentioned earlier. It’s a worry-free battery package, even if it overheats a few times on that wireless car charger. So then the cameras back here, on the other hand, were a little bit more of a bummer, a bit inconsistent for me. So dual cameras, still a primary camera and an ultra-wide, no telephoto, and they’ve upgraded sensors now, so 50 megapixels each, but it’s not the number of pixels that matters, it’s their quality. So I think it’s more helpful context to know this is the Sony IMX890 for the primary sensor, which is the same one that’s in the OnePlus 11 and the OnePlus Nord 3.

This is a very average camera system in perfect lighting, like the aperture’s comprehensive enough and the sensor’s big enough to get some good-looking photos with shallow depth of field. When the subject is up close, they look good. The colours are solid, and the processing isn’t too dramatic. So when you take landscape shots, things look sharp across the board. But two things I’ve noticed; one is in lower light, and it starts to fall apart more. You either get more noisy or soft photos pretty quickly. Not a shocker; we’ve seen this before. And in the premium mid-range space, that feels like, again, par for the course, right below the impressive Pixel 7s and the not-so-impressive OnePlus Nords of the world. But the other thing is it has this weird bug that I’ve seen just a few times, where a moving subject has this weird ghosting, which is not good. I’m guessing it’s an odd laggy HDR processing where it’s trying to combine frames and has some sort of bizarre lag while capturing those frames. I haven’t seen this bug in any other phone camera in years. Hopefully, it’s just a bug that they can fix. And along with those other quirks and weird things I’ve discussed, they can iron that stuff out before shipping this phone to the world. And also, one other quick random thing that didn’t quite fit in the rest of this review, the haptics for the keyboard are powerful, which is fine, but I can’t adjust them. And they’re so strong that you can hear them if you can. That’s not the sound of my hand hitting the phone. That’s the sound of the vibration motor being too strong. I just want to be able to adjust that. I can’t find it in the settings. Please, Nothing; let me change the haptic strength of the keyboard. But anyway, the last big pillar is the new price. So the previous Nothing phone started firmly in, I would say, mid-range territory. It was 399 Euro, and this phone starts at $599 U.S. So it’s bumped up, and that’s actually for the starting one, that’s eight gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of storage. Did I just turn the torch on? Of course, I did. But I think once you bump up to the 12 256, you quickly get into $700 phone territory. So is that worth it? It’s a much more expensive phone. And I think the answer is if you feel worth it is purely a specs question, then you probably won’t see this phone as worth it. It doesn’t have the most impressive specs in the world. I can already see the two sides of how people will embrace this phone. Like you, you’ll have the R-Android community on Reddit saying, okay, yeah, this is just an average mid-range phone, Nothing too special, quirky design, whatever. And then you’ll see, you’ll have the Nothing investor club being, like, this is the most outstanding design ever in a phone. It’s the coolest thing ever made. The truth, per usual, falls somewhere in between. I think the funny thing is that both groups probably have in common that they probably haven’t used the phone yet. And I think once you do and get used to it; you realise that the specs and the design are not the primary things about this phone. When you use it, it’s the software. This character-filled software defines it. And that part, even if it’s a bit buggy, is enjoyable. It’s excellent. So that’s what makes it the Nothing Phone (2). Thanks for reading this article.



Launch DateJuly 21, 2023 (Official)
Operating SystemAndroid v13
Custom UINothing OS

Key Specs:

ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Rear Camera50 MP + 50 MP
Front Camera32 MP
Battery4700 mAh
Display6.7 inches (17.02 cm)


ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
CPUOcta core (3 GHz, Single core, Cortex X2 + 2.5 GHz, Tri core, Cortex A710 + 1.8 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A510)
Architecture64 bit
Fabrication4 nm
GraphicsAdreno 730


Height162.1 mm
Width76.4 mm
Thickness8.6 mm
Weight201.2 grams
Build MaterialBack: Gorilla Glass
ColoursWhite, Dark Grey
WaterproofYes, Splash proof, IP54
RuggednessDust proof


Display TypeOLED
Screen Size6.7 inches (17.02 cm)
Resolution1080 x 2412 pixels
Aspect Ratio20:9
Pixel Density394 ppi
Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)87.51 %
Screen ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass v5
Bezel-less displayYes with punch-hole display
Touch ScreenYes, Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touch
Brightness1600 nits
HDR 10 / HDR+ supportYes, HDR 10+
Refresh Rate120 Hz


Main Camera SetupDual
Resolution50 MP f/1.88, Wide Angle, Primary Camera (24 mm focal length, 1.56″ sensor size, 1µm pixel size)50 MP f/2.2, Ultra-Wide Angle Camera (2.7″ sensor size)
SensorIMX890, Exmor-RS CMOS Sensor
FlashYes, LED Flash
Image Resolution8150 x 6150 Pixels
SettingsExposure compensation, ISO control
Shooting ModesContinuous Shooting
High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
Camera FeaturesDigital Zoom
Auto Flash
Face detection
Touch to focus
Video Recording3840×2160 @ 60 fps
1920×1080 @ 60 fps
Front Camera SetupSingle
Resolution32 MP f/2.45, Wide Angle, Primary Camera(2.74″ sensor size, 0.8µm pixel size)
SensorExmor RS
Video Recording1920×1080 @ 30 fps


Capacity4700 mAh
Wireless ChargingYes Charging Time: 130 minutes
Quick ChargingYes, Fast, 45W: 100 % in 55 minutes
USB Type-CYes


Internal Memory128 GB
Expandable MemoryNo
Storage TypeUFS 3.1

Network & Connectivity:

SIM Slot(s)Dual SIM, GSM+GSM, Dual VoLTE
SIM SizeSIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano
Network Support5G Supported in India, 4G Supported in India, 3G, 2G
SIM 15G Bands:FDD N1 / N2 / N3 / N5 / N7 / N8 / N12 / N20 / N25 / N28 / N30
TDD N38 / N40 / N41 / N66 / N71 / N75 / N77 / N78 4G Bands: TD-LTE 2600(band 38) / 2300(band 40) / 2500(band 41) / 2100(band 34) / 1900(band 39) / 3500(band 42)
FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 900(band 8) / 700(band 28) / 1900(band 2) / 1700(band 4) / 850(band 5) / 700(band 17) / 850(band 18) / 850(band 19) / 800(band 20) / 1900(band 25) / 850(band 26) 3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz 2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz
GPRS: Available EDGE: Available
SIM 25G Bands:FDD N1 / N2 / N3 / N5 / N7 / N8 / N12 / N20 / N25 / N28 / N30
TDD N38 / N40 / N41 / N66 / N71 / N75 / N77 / N78 4G Bands: TD-LTE 2600(band 38) / 2300(band 40) / 2500(band 41) / 2100(band 34) / 1900(band 39) / 3500(band 42)
FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 900(band 8) / 700(band 28) / 1900(band 2) / 1700(band 4) / 850(band 5) / 700(band 17) / 850(band 18) / 850(band 19) / 800(band 20) / 1900(band 25) / 850(band 26) 3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz 2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz
GPRS: Available EDGE: Available
SAR ValueHead: 1.20 W/kg, Body: 0.98 W/kg
Wi-FiYes, Wi-Fi 6E (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax) 5GHz 6GHz, MIMO
Wi-Fi FeaturesWi-Fi Direct, Mobile Hotspot
BluetoothYes, v5.3
GPSYes with A-GPS, Glonass
USB ConnectivityMass storage device, USB charging


Stereo SpeakersYes
Audio JackUSB Type-C


Fingerprint SensorYes
Fingerprint Sensor PositionOn-screen
Fingerprint Sensor TypeOptical
Other SensorsLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope

Nothing Phone 2 Images


The Nothing Phone (2) looks similar to its predecessor in design but has improvements in almost all aspects – performance, display, battery, charging speeds, software, etc. The much-hyped Glyph LEDs have been upgraded in terms of software and are now more customisable, functional and usable. The Glyph UI also features third-party app integration with services like Uber and Zomato, and hopefully, the brand will add more functionality in the future. The Phone (2) seems priced on the higher side if pure specs are taken into consideration, and the camera could do with a few improvements, but if the Glyph UI and the design appeal to you, it could prove to be a worthy buy.

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