The Nothing Phone (2) is coming sometime later this year, building on the groundwork laid by 2022's Nothing Phone (1). Details of the new phone are still pretty scarce, but everything we’ve heard so far suggests there are some significant improvements on the cards.
We may even see this model go on sale in the U.S., after the Nothing Phone (1) skipped that country — Nothing CEO Carl Pei has confirmed that this kind of expansion is very much a priority for his company. While few details have been officially confirmed beyond the phone’s existence, there are rumors and reports giving us an idea of what we should expect.
So here’s everything we know about the Nothing Phone (2) so far.
Nothing Phone (2): Price and availability
The Nothing Phone (2) is confirmed to be arriving at some point later this year, and sources speaking to MySmartPrice (opens in new tab) claim it will launch at some point during Q3 — otherwise known as July to September. That tracks with the launch of the Nothing Phone (1), which was released in mid-July 2022.
The phone has already shown up at the Indian Bureau of Standards which suggest the Nothing Phone (2) launch will be happening sooner rather than later. Or at least it will in India.
We’ve heard nothing on how much the phone is likely to cost, though Nothing CEO Carl Pei has said that the handset would launch as a “more premium” offering than the Phone (1). That phone started at £399 (roughly $490) in the U.K., and Pei’s comments suggest the Phone (2) will likely cost a fair bit more. Let’s just hope it’s closer to the $699 OnePlus 11 rather than the $999 iPhone 14 Pro.
The good news is that this device should be heading to the U.S. with Pei telling CNBC (opens in new tab) that the company was in “early conversations” with U.S. carriers about stocking Nothing devices. Pei later told Inverse (opens in new tab) that expanding to the U.S. with the Phone (2) is Nothing’s “top priority” for 2023.
Nothing Phone (2): Rumored specs
According to a report from MySmartPrice, we can expect the Nothing Phone (2) to come with a 120Hz adaptive AMOLED display, a 5,000 mAh battery, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and an “unannounced” Snapdragon 8 series SoC from Qualcomm.
Some of those specs aren’t hugely different from the Nothing Phone (1), which offered a choice of 8GB or 12GB of RAM, 128GB and 256GB storage options, a 4,500 mAh battery and a 120Hz OLED display. While the rumors haven’t divulged the Phone (2)’s display resolution, the switch from OLED to AMOLED should ensure much better image quality. Whether we’ll see a boost from FHD to QHD is another matter entirely.
The switch from Snapdragon 778G+ to a Snapdragon 8 series chipset could prove to be a major boon, given how impressive Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 benchmarks have been. It’s likely that the phone would have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Plus, assuming that rumors of an unannounced chipset are accurate. We'd expect the 8 Gen 2 Plus to be more powerful than the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
While technically possible, it seems unlikely that a start-up like Nothing would turn to a custom version of the chip — akin to the Samsung Galaxy S23’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy which powers the Galaxy S23 models.
Nothing Phone (2): Design
We haven’t heard any rumors about the Nothing Phone (2)’s alleged design either, though we expect the transparent design from the Phone (1), Nothing Ear (1) and Nothing Ear (Stick) will carry 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. It would make sense for the Nothing Phone (2) to continue that trend, though we’ll just have to wait and see how much the design actually changes.
Nothing Phone (2): Camera
There’s no word on what sort of camera specs we can expect from the Nothing Phone (2), but we hope the emphasis on a more premium device extends to improving its photo-shooting capabilities. The Nothing Phone (1)’s cameras were rather underwhelming, even for a mid-range phone, and we’d like to see a big improvement.
Some of the Phone (1)’s photography weaknesses included weak low-light performance, as well as pale, over-exposed images that end up looking washed out compared to the likes of the Google Pixel 5a. Selfies also ended up looking a little unnatural, thanks to an over-application of face-smoothing effects.
While there isn’t much wrong with the Phone (1)’s camera hardware, we’re hoping its successor can offer an overall improvement in image quality — with better color and more true-to-life images. The inclusion of a telephoto lens would also be nice, though hoping Nothing would include a periscope lens might be pushing it. As nice as it would be, we’d much rather resources be spent on improving on the captured photos.
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. We expect the Nothing Phone (2) will follow a similar pattern, since it’s rumored to arrive before the expected Android 14 launch later this year.
There’s no word on what changes might appear, but we’re hoping that Nothing OS maintains its minimalist, retro-inspired UI for some time to come.
Nothing Phone (2): Outlook
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Nothing Phone (2), but what little information we have heard paints a positive picture. Nothing has already made a name for itself with the Nothing Phone (1) which, while imperfect, was a solid first attempt at bringing a new smartphone brand to market.
By improving on the Phone (1)’s faults, and potentially raising the price tag to compensate, Nothing has everything to gain with the Nothing Phone (2). But the jury’s still out, and Nothing still has a long way to go before it can compete with the more-established brands — especially as it expands into the ever-competitive U.S. market.