7 ways Nothing Phone 2a beats Pixel 7a

Nothing Phone 2a vs Pixel 7a.
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, the Pixel 7a has proven countless times its incredible worth. That’s why it’s our runner up pick in our best cheap phones guide. With the introduction of the Nothing Phone 2a, though, there’s certainly interest in how Nothing’s new Android-powered smartphone holds up in the category.

In our Nothing Phone 2a review, we detailed how its cameras hold up against the superior spec’d Nothing Phone 2 — while also sharing a few snapshots against the Pixel 7a. We’ve been spending a great deal with the budget phone, so much so that we have a newfound appreciation for phone designs.

While its availability in the U.S. is limited, those abroad that will have more access to buying the Nothing Phone 2a may be wondering how it holds up against Google’s lowest priced smartphone. Here are all the ways the Nothing Phone 2a beats the Pixel 7a.

It’s way cheaper

Nothing Phone 2a vs Pixel 7a.

(Image credit: Future)

This one’s an easy one because the Pixel 7a has a starting price of $449, while the Nothing Phone 2a fetches for $349 through Nothing’s Developer Program. We really hope that its price will remain the same if and when there’s expanded availability for the U.S.

Nonetheless, this is a disparity in price that undoubtedly benefits the Nothing Phone 2a. With the savings, you’d be able to pick up one of the best wireless earbuds around and still have extra change for combo meal at McDonalds.

Cooler looking design

Nothing Phone 2a vs Pixel 7a.

(Image credit: Future)

It’s almost unfathomable that the Nothing Phone 2a sells for as low as it does, but it’s impressive because the design doesn’t reflect its budget cost. The Pixel 7a simply can’t compare because the Nothing Phone 2a’s design is amplified by its translucent casing.

Really, it’s almost hard to not notice the Nothing Phone 2a’s peculiar design, which is made better by the Glyph Interface on the back of the phone. If those weren’t enough to convince you that it has a more premium design, the Nothing Phone 2 is also sleeker and lighter in construction.

Substantially longer battery life

Nothing Phone 2a vs Pixel 7a.

(Image credit: Future)

Oddly enough, the Pixel 7a has the larger 5,500 mAh battery, but it fails to come close to matching the endurance of the Nothing Phone 2a’s smaller 5,000 mAh battery. In our benchmark testing, the Nothing Phone 2a achieves a remarkable time of 15 hours — whereas the Pixel 7a taps out much earlier running the same test at 10 hours and 5 minutes.

This is a substantial difference in battery life between these budget phones, so it’s almost unbelievable how the Nothing Phone 2a is able to outlast its rival by a wide margin.

Faster 45W wired charging

Nothing Phone 2a review.

(Image credit: Future)

Budget phones aren’t known for their battery endurance, nor their recharging speeds. Yet, the Nothing Phone 2a proves that they can still partake in these premium offerings because it charges much faster than the Pixel 7a. It benefits from a faster 45W wired charging, in comparison to the Pixel 7a’s sluggish 18W charging.

That translates to the Nothing Phone reaching 61% capacity with 30 minutes of charging, while the Pixel 7a gets to 43% in the same amount of time. When you’re in a time crunch, it’s swell knowing you’ll get more of a charge with the Nothing Phone 2a.

Full manual controls with the camera

Nothing Phone 2a vs Pixel 7a.

(Image credit: Future)

Superficially, these two phones offer the same set of camera features. We’re talking about panoramic photos, portrait mode, time-lapse, and much more. But the one big camera feature that the Pixel 7a lacks is a true manual mode.

You get that with the Nothing Phone 2a, which gives camera enthusiasts controls to key parameters such as the shutter speed, focus and ISO level. These are fundamental to getting exactly the right look for photos, rather than relying on  the automatic mode of the phone.

Better looking interface

Nothing Phone 2a review.

(Image credit: Future)

For the last few years, many Android makers have taken to copying the stock look and feel of vanilla Android, which is exactly what you get with the Pixel 7a. Don’t get us wrong, it’s simple and straightforward enough, but there’s just something satisfying about how Nothing OS 2.5 looks running on the Nothing Phone 2a.

Its minimalist styling deserves recognition because it’s a stark contrast to what we’re familiar with other Android phones. Small details, like the dot matrix layout of the font it uses, makes for a visually appealing style that’s unlike anything else out there. And similar to the stock Android look of the Pixel 7a, there’s no extra fluff tacked onto the Nothing Phone 2a’s software experience.

Enhanced notifications with Glyph Interface

Nothing Phone 2a vs Pixel 7a.

(Image credit: Future)

All Android phones implement the same notifications system that’s accessible by swiping down at any time on the screen. But the Nothing Phone 2a adds to this standard way with the enhanced system of its Glyph Interface.

The LED strips flanking the rear cameras aren’t simply there to enhance the phone’s style, they also serve another purpose in notifying you about your notifications. In fact, you can customize the light patterns of the Glyph Interface — along with the tones that would accompany them. That way, you can know exactly what they are.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.

  • CommonSenseNow
    What you of course conveniently forget to mention is how both of the high price phone 1 & 2 are both made of cheap garbage and are a nightmare to use long term. Every one of the 10 people I know that owned one said that they were completely worthless after a few months. They would not hold a charge, would randomly stop working and the only remedy was to waste hours of your time factory resetting them. If their "premium" (Hah!) phones are that bad, how do you think the budget model made out of even crappier chinkinese garbage will work?

    At least if you buy a pixel, it won't be worthless in 4-6 months....but these hack bloggers can't tell you that as they never use a phone for more than a couple months before vomiting out some misguided twallop and moving on to the next victim.
    Reply
  • Shaftedforlife
    The pixel 7a actually has a 4385 mah battery. :)
    Reply
  • pitmanster
    I was surprised to see that the Nothing 2a is almost double the price of a Pixel 7a here in Australia.

    It would need to be very good indeed to justify the price.
    Reply