The tech industry witnessed the birth of the first Nothing Phone only a year ago. The company has since demonstrated an impressive capacity for growth and innovation, marking its footprint in the mid-range market with the stunning Nothing Phone 2.
The device takes design cues from the iPhone but dares to go further, showcasing a unique aesthetic that reinterprets the retro tech vibe with an ultra-modern twist.
The Nothing Phone (2) is a head-turner that doesn’t compromise performance. Its improved specs and software make it a solid contender in the mid-range market.
Nothing Phone 2: Design
The Nothing Phone (2) stands out as a device with a uniquely distinct personality. It manages to uphold Apple’s “think different” ethos while simultaneously carving out a niche of its own. The design language is a refined version of the Nothing Phone (1), showcasing a sleeker look and enhanced glyph lighting.
The device’s distinctive look stems from its exposed internals and LED lighting, which adds a techno-futuristic touch that will appeal to tech enthusiasts. The design isn’t merely about looks; it’s also about feel.
It’s a delight to hold with its subtly curved back and is lightweight to boot. It’s 20% lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max while being virtually the same size. It’s a seamless blend of form and function, with a sturdy aluminum frame and a gorilla glass front and back.
The phone face is perfectly flat and features a centered hole-punch camera. Nothing (2) is IP54 water and dust resistant. This rating means it’s sealed and safe from dust, but you won’t want to get it too wet or submerge it in water, even quickly.
Nothing Phone 2: Glyph lights
The Nothing Phone 2’s unique glyph lighting system is an eye-catching feature. The glyphs are bright enough to double as a flashlight or a ring light. While the glyph shape is similar to Phone 1’s, it’s split into more discreet sections with added functionality.
The glyphs are well integrated with various everyday use cases and customization, but we still want more — we’d love a constant soft glow when the phone is in use.
Currently, you can use glyphs for notifications, with the camera, with a timer, as a charging meter, as a volume meter, as a flashlight, or even with a couple of third-party apps like Uber. It’s gimmicky but can still play a useful role in everyday life.
Nothing Phone 2: Software and OS
The Nothing Phone’s software is a reflection of its hardware, flaunting a theme that pays homage to retro-tech. The device runs on Nothing OS 2.0, built on Android 13. The monotone Nothing theme adds a unique flavor while also respecting the vanilla Android experience.
There’s virtually no bloatware, and the few additional features we’ve noticed are much appreciated. The lock screen and home screen widget toggles are nice complementary additions, as is the whole glyph integration.
We credit Nothing for creating a clean and native user experience while staying beautifully on-brand. We appreciate the absence of too many unnecessary “extras” typically found in Android skins, making it easy to maximize the potential of this phone.
Nothing has announced that they will provide three years of support for Android updates and four years of security updates.
Nothing Phone 2: Screen
The 6.7-inch OLED screen on Nothing (2) is as beautiful as you may expect with its 2412×1080 resolution. Higher phone resolutions exist, but with a 394 ppi, you’re not missing much.
The screen comes with a factory-applied screen protector that’s barely noticeable and fairly durable. After a week, there are some almost invisible micro-scratches from placing the smartphone facedown.
The LTPO technology allows a dynamic refresh rate ranging from 1hz to 120hz. The power-friendly “dynamic” mode doesn’t compromise the smoothness. The phone has a 10-bit display and HDR10+ support for richer, more accurate video colors.
Out of the box, there’s a colors option set to “Alive.” We normally don’t turn this on, but we are used to the eye-popping colors and don’t want to downgrade to “Standard.” The screen brightness has been amped up from the predecessor to 1000 nits with a peak HDR brightness of 1600 nit, and it looks good in direct sunlight.
Nothing Phone 2: Specs, performance, and usability
Equipped with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the Nothing Phone (2) offers excellent performance even with intensive tasks like gaming and multitasking. This tried-and-tested processor was the flagship of 2022. The UI and animations are buttery smooth, and we haven’t experienced any lag or glitchiness. We also weren’t able to slow this phone down.
While we have seen more personalization options on other Android phones, there are still enough choices to make your phone uniquely yours, whether that’s the distinct Nothing style or the native Android look. The only mild gripe we have with usability is the haptics — they are too intense, and there’s no way to make them more subtle; this is especially noticeable while typing.
Both the facial recognition and the in-display fingerprint sensor work flawlessly and quickly. We are pleased with how effortless it is to unlock this phone.
Nothing Phone 2: Capacity and connectivity
The Nothing Phone (2) comes in three different capacities: 8GB RAM with 128 GB storage, 12GB RAM with 256 GB storage, and 12GB RAM with 512 GB storage. We’re testing the 12GB variant.
Unfortunately, the phone lacks support for eSIM, which is surprising and a letdown. On the brighter side, it has a dual-SIM card slot that supports the common 5G bands and should support most US networks. There may not be Verizon support, though. The phone also has Bluetooth 5.3, WiFi 6, and NFC.
Nothing Phone 2: Charging and battery life
The Nothing Phone (2) houses a large 4700 mAh battery that comfortably lasts more than a day with typical usage. The battery is pretty impressive — we almost always get at least a day and a half out of it. The device supports 45W fast charging and can charge the phone fully in just under 1 hour. In our tests, we could charge 35% in 15 minutes and 70% in 30 minutes.
There’s also 15W wireless charging and reverse charging up to 5W. By plugging in the Nothing Phone and reverse charging our iPhone, we can wake up to two fully charged devices using just a single cable. How nice! The only minor gripe is that Nothing doesn’t include a power brick, just a USB-C to USB-C cable.
Nothing Phone 2: Camera
Nothing has successfully invested in both the hardware and software to upgrade Phone (2)’s camera system. While there’s still just a dual-camera system on the back, it’s well-balanced for most photography needs.
There’s a 50-megapixel sensor on the main camera and 50 MP on the ultrawide. The front camera comes with a 32 MP sensor. The back is missing a zoom lens but offers 2X optical zoom. We are impressed with Nothing (2)’s camera, especially with all the criticism of Nothing (1). The camera is respectable and competitive for a mid-range phone. Nice shots are both fast and easy.
The camera app is intuitive and simple but still powerful. Most of the quick snaps we’ve taken alongside the iPhone 14 Pro come down to personal preference of which is better. Nothing mostly falls short in the lower lighting conditions — photos on the Phone 2 are still generally good but grainier than iPhones.
Nothing did well with motion — We can capture photos of a moving subway car from the platform with minimal blur, while the iPhone has a lot of motion blur. The front camera isn’t as impressive, though.
Selfies are on the softer side with the selfie camera, but they are still okay. The Nothing camera supports live photos (or “motion photos”), which we love on iPhone, but we can’t figure out how to keep it on after closing the camera. So, sadly none of our photos are live photos.
For videos, Nothing can shoot 4K videos at 60fps on the main rear camera. It can also record slow motion up to 480fps, which is always fun. Video quality also holds up and is mostly good.
Nothing Phone 2 review final thoughts: A good phone in the mid-range market
The Nothing Phone (2) is a testament to Nothing’s quick learning and iterative capabilities. We applaud them for thinking differently. Nothing (2) manages to stand out in the crowded mid-range market, not only through its unique aesthetics but also its robust capability.
We wouldn’t go as far as to call this a flagship killer, but we think many will give up edgier specs for the edgier design. We like it better than the similarly priced OnePlus 11, even if OnePlus offers more performance and better specs.
Of course, there’s a lot of personal preference at play, but we value the unique look and feel. Besides a few minor drawbacks, the Nothing Phone (2) is a highly compelling choice for anyone seeking a device that blends personality, performance, and value.
Nothing Phone 2 Review – FAQ
How does the Nothing Phone 2 compare to the previous Nothing Phone?
The Nothing Phone 2 is the second phone to be released by the Nothing brand, offering several improvements and upgrades. It features the Nothing OS 2.0, upgraded hardware like the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, and improved battery life.
What are the key features of the Nothing Phone 2?
The Nothing Phone 2 comes with a flagship-level Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, Nothing’s own operating system – Nothing OS 2.0, impressive battery life, wireless charging capabilities, and a high refresh rate OLED display. The phone is IP54 rated for water and dust resistance and boasts a 50-megapixel camera with support for 45W fast charging.
What is the display size of the Nothing Phone 2?
The Nothing Phone 2 features a 6.7-inch display with a high refresh rate, providing a smooth and immersive viewing experience.
Does the Nothing Phone 2 have a good camera?
Yes, the Nothing Phone 2 is equipped with a 50-megapixel camera (50 MP sensor on the main camera and 50 MP on the ultra-wide), allowing you to capture high-quality photos and videos. It also has a selfie camera for capturing self-portraits.
How fast does Nothing Phone 2 charge?
The Nothing Phone 2 offers impressive battery life (in our tests, we were able to charge 35% in 15 minutes and 70% in 30 minutes), allowing you to use the phone for an extended period on a full charge.
What is the price of the Nothing Phone 2?
The Nothing Phone 2 is priced at $599 dollars for the 8GB+128GB model, making it a competitive option compared to other flagship Android phones such as OnePlus 11 and Pixel 7.