Saturday, July 13, 2024

Nothing Phone 2 First Impressions: Sticking to the Formula

The Nothing Phone 2 is officially here, and after weeks of teasers we finally get to see if all the hype was worth it or not. The Nothing Phone 1 was (and still is) a solid first attempt from a new company and it got many things right, including the price, which means that the Phone 2 has some big shoes to fill. While our review is in progress, here are our initial impressions of the phone.

The Nothing Phone 2 ships in a slim package much like the Phone 1, but you now get a proper box which slides out from inside the outer printed jacket. Here, you’ll find some documentation, the transparent SIM eject tool, and a flashy new USB Type-C cable with a transparent section near the connector. The Phone 2 comes in a new Dark Grey colour instead of black, but there’s still a white variant.

Nothing has launched the Phone 2 in three configurations. The base variant is priced at Rs. 44,999 in India and has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. For Rs. 49,999, you get 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There’s a new third variant this time with 512GB of storage (and 12GB of RAM) which is priced at Rs. 54,999 in India. Prices are of course higher compared to the Phone 1’s launch pricing, but the Phone 2 does have notable upgrades to try and justify that.

nothing phone 2 first look bundle gadgets360 qq

The bundled cable is fancier but you still don’t get a power adapter in the box


It’s clear that design plays a pretty big role for Nothing; moreso than specs. The Phone 2 evolves that original semi-transparent design in subtle ways. From afar, it’s tough to tell the two models apart but you’ll notice the changes once you hold them both. The Nothing Phone 2 is a larger smartphone than Phone 1 – noticeably taller and a bit wider, heavier, and thicker. It still feels excellent in the hand, and Nothing says the mid-frame is made of 100 percent recycled aluminium.

The antenna bands and one of the microphones are positioned a bit differently on the new Phone 2, but the buttons and ports are in the same places as on the Phone1. The glass back panel of Phone 2 has curved edges making it nicer to hold, and the Glyph lights now have more segments, thereby allowing for more varied lighting patterns and displays of information.

nothing phone 2 first look display gadgets360 ww

The new taller display on the Nothing Phone 2 is an LTPO OLED panel


The display on the Nothing Phone 2 is still flat but now has a centred hole-punch camera. It measures 6.7 inches and the company has used an updated LTPO OLED panel so the refresh rate can vary from 1Hz from 120Hz, if needed. Peak brightness gets a boost to up to 1,600 nits, while the Phone 2’s water resistance rating has been improved slightly to IP54, versus IP53.

The Nothing Phone 2’s hardware has received some upgrades too. As opposed to the mid-range chip in the Phone 1, Nothing has gone with the more premium Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC from Qualcomm. It’s not the latest or greatest, but it’s tried and tested, and I think it should do just fine for its segment. The battery has gotten a slight bump in capacity to 4,700mAh, and the Phone 2 now supports 45W PD fast charging. There’s also still 15W wireless charging along with 5W reverse wireless charging.

The Nothing Phone 2 still has two rear cameras, but the main one has been upgraded to a 50-megapixel Sony IMX890 sensor; the same one we’ve seen in many recent phones such as the OnePlus 11R, OnePlus Nord 3, and more. The ultra-wide camera uses the same 50-megapixel Samsung JN1 sensor as the Phone 1, but it does have autofocus for macro photos. The selfie camera on the Phone 2 has been upgraded to a 32-megapixel Sony IMX615 sensor. We are in the process of testing the cameras so do check the full review for our final thoughts, when it’s out.

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The Nothing Phone 2 has a larger battery and can be charged quicker


Finally, we come to software. The Nothing Phone 2 runs Nothing OS 2.0, which is based on Android 13. The Phone 2 should receive three years of Android upgrades and four years of security patches, as per the company. Nothing OS 2 introduces some new widgets, a monochrome icon pack, and many subtle tweaks to the interface.

The Glyph lighting system has gotten new customisation options. It now supports auto-brightness and you can tag certain apps or types of notifications from a particular app as ‘essential’, which means one light strip on the back will stay lit till you dismiss or view that notification. There are new ringtones and notification sound packs, and you can even now use the Glyph lights to keep track of a timer or check the progress of an activity in some third-party apps such as Uber. Finally, the new Glyph composer allows you to create your own ringtones and alert sounds.

The Nothing Phone 2 has some tough contenders to deal with in India. There are the OnePlus 11 5G, Oppo Reno 10 Pro+ 5G, and iQoo 11 5G to name a few. We’ll be exploring the Phone 2’s software and performance in much greater detail in the full review, so make sure you don’t miss it. In the meantime, do drop us a comment and let us know if there’s anything specific you’d like to know about this phone.

From the Nothing Phone 2 to the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, several new smartphones are expected to make their debut in July. We discuss all of the most exciting smartphones coming this month and more on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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