Update: See our full Nothing Phone (2) hands-on for our initial impressions.
The Nothing Phone (2) is now official, building on the groundwork laid by 2022's Nothing Phone (1). Details of the new phone paint a picture of a bolder successor that aims to address the shortcomings of the original, while throwing in some significant improvements.
Most notable is the fact that it's going to be sold in the U.S., which should help broaden the company's brand recognition outside of the fanbase community Nothing CEO Carl Pei helped to foster over the last year. It's an important step in the right direction to gain even more support from consumers as the company dives into the U.S. phone market.
So here’s everything you should know about the Nothing Phone (2).
Nothing Phone (2) release date, pre-orders and price
Pre-orders for the Nothing Phone (2) are available right now directly through Nothing's website for customers in the U.S., U.K, and other markets in Europe. It starts at $599 for the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with white and dark grey as the only color options that are available.
Interestingly enough, the Nothing Phone (2) received a much higher than its predecessor. In the U.K., the original sold for £399 when it launched last year, but you'll now have to fork over £579 for the Nothing Phone (2). Knowing that, it's made out to be more of a premium mid-ranger this time around. Despite the price hike, we're at least pleased to know that it's nowhere close to the expensive $900 cost it was rumored to be.
The Nothing Phone (2) will be available publicly through Nothing's site on Friday, July 17 at 4:00 AM ET.
Nothing Phone (2) specs
|$599 USD, $929 CAD
|White, Dark Grey
|6.7-inch OLED (2412 x 1080, 394ppi)
|50MP (f/1.88) main; 50MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
|Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
|128GB, 256GB, 512GB
|6.38 x 3 x 0.33 inches / 162.1 x 76.4 x 8.6 mm
|7.09 ounces / 201.2 grams
Some of the leaks according to a report from MySmartPrice turned out true, like how the Nothing Phone (2) would come with a 120Hz adaptive display, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a Snapdragon 8 series SoC from Qualcomm.
That chipset turned out to be the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the same thing that powers flagship phones like the Motorola Razr+ and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. This upgraded piece of silicone should give it the necessary boost to handle even more tasks — like the camera's 18-bit Image Signal Process (ISP) to achieve higher dynamic range with photos. The switch from Snapdragon 778G+ to a Snapdragon 8 series chipset (confirmed by Nothing) should prove to be a major boon.
Beyond that, the specs aren’t hugely different from the Nothing Phone (1), which offered a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB/512GB storage options, a slightly larger 4,700 mAh battery, and a 120Hz display refresh rate.
Nothing Phone (2) design
One of the biggest rumors about the Nothing Phone (2)'s design was how it would be swapping the original's flat sides for curved ones. That didn't turn out true because it's still rocking flat edges that allow it to stand upright on a flat surface. However, the glass on the back of the phone is ever so curved slightly around the edges. Otherwise, the transparent design from the Phone (1), Nothing Ear (1) and Nothing Ear (Stick) is carried over.
Carl Pei told inverse that he believes “[U.S.] consumers as a whole are quite bored and indifferent [with existing phones]” and “foot traffic into the stores for people checking out new phones hasn't increased.” Pei does have a point. Foldable phones are still new and rare enough to be a novelty, but otherwise the majority of phones are still just glass-enclosed rectangles. The last time we saw any significant design change was the launch of the dual-curved Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge in 2015.
A transparent phone isn’t what we’d call a disruptive design, but it was interesting enough to make the Nothing Phone (1) stand out — so it's wonderful that the Nothing Phone (2) continues that trend.
The biggest change to the design revolves around the Glyph Interface on the back of the phone. While the overall design of the notification lighting system remains unchanged from a cursory look, Nothing actually separated more of the strips. With more individual LED light strips, it's able to provide even more personalization.
Additionally, the punch hole cut out with the front-facing camera has shifted and is centered along the top of the display, as opposed to it being perched in the upper left corner like before.
Nothing Phone (2) cameras
There's not a whole lot change on paper if you're to quickly graze over the specs sheet for its cameras. The dual-camera setup of the Nothing Phone (2) consists of a 50-megapixel f/1.88 main camera accompanied by a 50-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide lens.
Even though the cameras may appear no different from what the original was rocking, the Nothing Phone (2) is leverage a different sensor — the Sony IMX890 to be exact.
Paired with the extra processing power of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, it should address some of the shortcomings we experienced using the cameras of the Nothing Phone (1). Nothing is also lending a boost to the camera by with the help of an 18-bit 8-bit Image Signal Process (ISP) that should deliver wider dynamic range with its capture.
Considering the underwhelming camera performance of the original, like how images looked washed out compared to the Google Pixel 5a, this new camera sensor is a welcome change that should deliver sharper results and a tremendous boost to its low light performance.
Video recording on the Nothing Phone (2) is now 4K at 60fps, which pulls it up to the standards of some of the best camera phones out there — while the pairing of EIS and OIS will help steady the footage.
Nothing Phone (2) software
Much like OnePlus’s OxygenOS, Nothing OS is designed to be a more minimalist take on the Android operating system. Despite the name, though, Nothing OS is a custom Android user interface rather than a standalone operating system. But the good news is that, unlike some phone makers, Nothing hasn’t overloaded its take on Android with bloat and frivolous extras.
While Nothing OS 1 was originally based on Android 12, it has since been updated to Nothing OS 1.5, which is based on Android 13. The Nothing Phone (2) is running Nothing OS 2.0, changes things up by introducing these clean looking widgets that mimic the minimalistic approach of the experience. Other small touches include monochrome icons and a grid design that makes Nothing OS 2.0 distinctive.
Nothing has confirmed that we can expect three years of software updates for the Nothing Phone (2), along with four years of security updates. Google offers similar software support for its Pixel phones, though it includes an extra year of security support.
Nothing Phone (2) outlook
By improving on the Phone (1)’s faults, and a presence in the U.S., Nothing has everything to gain with the Nothing Phone (2). And that's despite the phone's increase in price to make it more of a premium mid-range smartphone.
It's hard to say at this moment whether or not the upgrades will justify the value of the Nothing Phone (2), but it's sure to continue turning heads whenever it's spotted in the wild.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.
Most phones in the market nail the phone part. Besides that, the camera is what people care about next, then the price. So buyers want the most camera for their budget. Having a transparent phone is such a design distraction and a waste of their limited resources. They should have attacked niche market: sports people (gopro features, ant+), tough outdoorsmen (rugged, long battery), pilots (gps), fishermen and divers (waterproof), teens (gaming), older people (emergencies, health), etc. The top phones are having great cameras, uwb, satellite, folding screens, pens, and this CEO says they are boring. They also need to switch their brand, "Nothing", to something else.Reply