To begin with, it is intended for users who wish to be less distracted and more mindful about how they use their smartphones. It’s for those who want technology to be enjoyable again. It allows you to concentrate on what is important.
Honestly, after using the Phone 2, we feel this was exactly what we wanted in the Phone 1. Of course, the design was flatter on the front and back with the Phone 1. The Phone 2 also boasts of an improved battery life which now lasts a full day easy peasy. There is a new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip too. The battery has been upgraded too – from 4,500mAh to now 4,700mAh.
There’s 12GB of RAM as well which made our usage silky smooth at all times. The Phone 2 also comes with 8GB of RAM as well, although we feel there will not be a lot of difference in daily performance.
All-in-all, looks like Nothing may have finally found its vibe.
Design and display
The Nothing Phone 2’s glass back has rounded edges, making it more comfortable to grip. All of the components and cables are nicely hidden away beneath the glass back by panels, with only a few Torx screws exposed.
The display of the Nothing Phone 2 is better this time too. It’s now 6.7 inches in size and has an LTPO AMOLED panel with variable refresh rates ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz, which should aid improve battery life.
The outside screen brightness has increased to 1,000 nits, with HDR video playing reaching up to 1,600 nits (1,200 nits on Phone 1). In addition, the display features a cutout in the centre for the selfie camera, and the bezels around it are slightly thinner than on the Phone 1.
It’s larger than the Phone 1’s 6.55-inch display, and the bezels are much smaller this year. In direct sunshine, it grows brighter — apparently up to 1,600 nits. Well, it initially said the Phone 1 could hit 1,200 nits before it dropped it to 700. In any case, we felt the screen was bright enough in the daytime standing outside in the sun, or sitting inside.
The Nothing Phone 2’s Glyph light notification system remains a major selling point. Some of the lengthier strips (around the camera and wireless charging coil) have been divided into smaller portions this time.
In comparison to the somewhat off-white LEDs on the Phone 1, the LED lights themselves are a brighter white. Nothing has changed the red recording LED light, except that it is now a horizontal bar rather than a dot.
Despite its strong construction, the Phone 2 is not as water- or dust-resistant as other phones in this price range. It’s IP54 rated, up from IP53 on the Phone 1, which means it’s dust and splash resistant but not waterproof. Both the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G and the Google Pixel 7A, which cost less than the Phone 2, have stronger IP67 ratings.
The SoC is the most significant change in the Nothing Phone 2. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which is a significant boost over the Phone 1’s mid-range Snapdragon 778G+ processor. The 8+ Gen 1 is a flagship SoC that was released in 2022 as a mid-cycle refresh with enhanced power efficiency and performance.
Nothing OS 2.0 comes standard with the Nothing Phone 2. It’s basically stock Android 13, but Nothing’s dot matrix style has been applied to everything from the system menus and boot animation to widgets.
The widgets may now be enabled for the always-on display as well, allowing you to monitor the weather, set a timer, and activate the torch without having to unlock the phone. You may even force all app icons to be monochrome and remove app labels to make the system UI look ultra-minimalistic. App icons on the homescreen can be enlarged to make it simpler to find the ones you use regularly.
The Glyph lights on the Nothing Phone 2 have greater capability and now have 33 controllable zones. You can now check the phone’s volume and follow the status of tasks in some apps, like Uber, in addition to utilising them to check the charging status and Google Assistant activity.
A new sound pack for ringtones and alert tones, a new Glyph composer for making your own sounds, and a new “essential” notification tagging system are now included. This system keeps one of the Glyph lights on until you have read or ignored all of the alerts from your chosen app.
The Nothing Phone 2 released in India is only compatible with Indian SIM cards. In fact, it won’t let you finish the setup procedure until you enter a SIM card, which most other phones offered here don’t do.
Once everything is up and running, the user experience is excellent. On Phone 2, there are no spam notifications because there are no third-party apps; only Nothing X for the company’s headphones and Google’s apps.
The display is suitably bright, the colours are vibrant, and the viewing angles are good. The refresh rate is continually changing depending on the activity being performed, although it normally settles at 10Hz when no touch input is present.
The multimedia performance of the Nothing Phone 2 is also excellent. At full volume, the stereo speakers can get very loud and sound rich with great bass. Officially, the display supports HDR10+ video playback but not Dolby Vision.
We experienced no slowdowns or slowness with daily tasks when using the Nothing Phone 2 as my primary device. It was simple to switch between Slack, Chrome, and social apps. The phone always appeared to have ample spare power and RAM (12GB variant). BGMI was able to run at a steady 60fps without any frame drops at its highest graphics setting (Ultra/Extreme).
Nothing has done the smart thing. It gave two cameras. That is it.
The Phone 2’s rear camera hardware is similar to that of the Phone 1: a 50-megapixel f/1.9 main camera with optical image stabilisation and a 50-megapixel ultrawide. On the front, there’s a new 32-megapixel selfie camera.
According to Nothing, its HDR processing has been improved since it now employs more individual frames for each shot. In broad midday sunlight, I can confirm that the Phone 2 avoids HDR crimes, while it loses more highlights than I’d prefer. Overall, the photographs are pleasing to the eye.
Nothing states that better identification of moving subjects is part of its camera software upgrades, which boosts shutter speed so you’re more likely to capture a sharp photo. This is especially important when photographing a moving child or pet, especially in low light, where cameras like to utilise longer exposures to let in more light. In those scenarios, smartphone cameras produce a lot of blurry images.
The ultra-wide camera takes decent daylight photos, but the quality is noticeably worse than that of the main camera. Images shot with the Phone 1 look slightly better due to a better image signal processor in the updated SoC. Low-light images have good details and colours, but the quality isn’t as fantastic as what the OnePlus 11 5G can create.
The battery life of the Nothing Phone 2 is excellent, with a full charge lasting around a day and a half in my experience. Nothing states that the Phone 2 can be charged completely in 55 minutes, which is not the fastest in its class. Nothing comes with its own 45W PD power adaptor, which is an extra cost to consider since the retail box only comes with the cable.
Pricing and final verdict
The Nothing Phone 2 starts at Rs. 44,999 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and goes up to Rs. 49,999 for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This time, a third option with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage is available for Rs. 54,999.
The Nothing Phone 1 offered a comprehensive package for its price, and while it didn’t necessarily excel at everything, it didn’t miss out on any important features either. The Nothing Phone 2 feels exactly like that, just in a different price segment.
Still, the Nothing Phone 2 is still the coolest phone in the market right now.