Nothing Phone 2 Review: Something special

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Nothing. It’s too early to award this model “legendary” standing – which the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Google have gotten over time – but it surely positively seems to be prefer it’s on the best way. The genius of Carl Pei’s advertising mixed with the idiosyncratic design traits of Nothing merchandise result in these devices being a number of the most hyped to ever exist. And “nothing” (heh) modified with the brand new Nothing Phone (2). Whether or not it’s appreciation for the newer options of the Phone (2) or disapproval as a result of related design cues, the Nothing Phone (2) is making headlines. The similarity within the design in comparison with the Nothing Phone (1) (assessment) could disappoint some, however one can’t deny the Phone (2) has improved specs nearly all the best way throughout the board. Nevertheless, this comes at fairly a steep worth hike. So, is the Nothing Phone (2) value it or is it “nothing” special? The headline could have given the plot away, however let’s delve deeper.

Nothing Phone (2) Assessment: Construct and Design

The Nothing Phone (2) might simply be confused for the Phone (1) at first look. The Nothing Phone (2) is obtainable in two colors – White and Darkish Gray. I acquired the latter for assessment and that is simply barely darker in color when in comparison with the black-coloured Phone (1). Something I’d wish to level out is that the Phone (2)’s retail field makes use of no plastic in any respect, which is commendable. Nevertheless, to be opened, the field must be torn, which is a bit jarring for me, since I often protect my smartphone packing containers.

The Phone (2) has a skinny aluminium body with clear glass on the again. It’s 8.6 mm thick and weighs 201.2 g – not too unhealthy. The largest change in design when in comparison with the Phone (1) is the curved rear glass. It’s protected by Gorilla Glass (however Nothing hasn’t disclosed the model). I’m glad Nothing went for the curved glass strategy over the entire flat look, since it’s not solely nicer to take a look at, but in addition extra comfy to carry.


Behind the clear rear panel, you’ll be able to see your entire Glyph system with the identical design as earlier than, however now, damaged up into smaller segments. The parts inside are neat and look pretty, you will notice a number of uncovered Torx screws and a bunch of panels hiding the innards. No inconsistent glue work and no ugly wires – simply pure artwork. In my view, at the very least. 

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Build and design

The Nothing Phone (2) stands out in a sea of similar-looking smartphones. And whereas it has garnered some criticism for enjoying it too protected with the design (owing to how related it seems to be in comparison with the Phone (1)), it’s intentional. Nothing needs to ascertain this look in customers’ minds to make sure that when anybody sees a Phone (1) or (2), there’s no mistaking that it comes from the home of Nothing. 

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Build and design

There’s character, for certain. Whether or not you name the glyphs a gimmick or not, it’s eye-catching, little question. It has that industrial aptitude that I’m an enormous fan of. And the remainder of the construct, together with the mild curve of the rear glass panel, the brushed aluminium body, and the stunning symmetrical bezels, all look top-notch and premium. The Phone (2), nonetheless, is simply IP54 rated which is barely disappointing because it nonetheless can’t survive a submersion. 

Nothing Phone (2) Assessment: Show

Tucked in between these attractive symmetrical bezels is a 6.7-inch LTPO OLED FHD+ show with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. It could actually attain as much as 1,600 nits in HDR video playback. It helps 10-bit color and HDR10+ as properly. The display screen is, as soon as once more, protected by an unknown model of Gorilla Glass. The LTPO show, in principle, can differ the refresh price all the best way from 1 Hz as much as 120 Hz to preserve battery life, nonetheless, I’ve by no means seen it drop under 10 Hz in about 5 days’ value of utilization. 

What’s much more appalling is that the show bumps up the refresh price to 120 Hz on the All the time-On Show, which is simply ridiculous. I used Android’s native refresh price indicator to test this. I even tried leaving it on for a number of minutes to see if it lowers the refresh price after some time, but it surely simply doesn’t. Bewildering and clearly, unhealthy in your battery life, which is why I turned it off completely. I hope Nothing can repair this difficulty with a software program replace sooner or later.

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Display

The show homes a small centred cutout for the selfie digicam and there’s additionally the earpiece grille above the display screen that doubles because the second speaker. There’s an optical fingerprint sensor beneath the display screen and it was decently quick throughout my testing interval. 

The show is kind of brilliant for the value. I recorded 988 nits of peak brightness on Auto Brightness mode and 506 nits after I cranked up the brightness to max manually. Display legibility is superb in daylight and the viewing angles are spectacular too. The show helps DCI-P3 and sRGB color areas and it seems to be very vibrant when watching HDR content material on YouTube. Netflix didn’t detect it as HDR-capable, sadly. All-in-all, a vivid and brilliant show however the adaptive refresh price difficulty is barely regarding.

Nothing Phone (2) Assessment: Glyph Interface

Probably the largest driver for gross sales of the Nothing Phone (2), the glyph interface is now much more beefed up than the unique model on the Phone (1). Firstly, the variety of LEDs have gone up and the brand new Glyph Interface now comes with 33 addressable LED zones in comparison with 12 on the Phone (1). There’s additionally an Auto-Brightness characteristic for the LED lights now, which was a lot wanted on the Phone (1) and I’m glad Nothing has introduced it to this subsequent iteration.

Now, in our assessment of the Phone (1), the reviewer stated, “The Glyph interface is fairly naked bones and doesn’t have a lot room for personalisation but however I’m very inquisitive about seeing how Nothing develops it additional, perhaps even opening it up for third-party builders.”

Nothing Phone (2) Glyph Interface

Fortunately, that’s precisely what’s occurred with the Phone (2). There’s extra customisation than ever earlier than with new options and third-party app integrations that make it extra of a utility than a gimmick. There’s additionally numerous enjoyable available with a number of the new options. 

Let’s handle all of the capabilities. There’s 10 new ringtones and notification sounds, but when that doesn’t fulfill you, Nothing has added a Glyph composer this time round. You may create a completely customized ringtone on this app by tapping totally different pads that set off totally different LED zones and sounds. When you’re proud of the rhythm, you’ll be able to merely report the sequence and use this Glyph tone composed by you for any of your contacts! We performed with this for hours, composing our personal masterpieces, making an attempt to at least one up one another on the Digit check centre!

Nothing has additionally added Important Glyph Notifications. So, if you wish to keep away from distractions however nonetheless be notified by what’s actually essential to you, you’ll be able to choose specific apps or contacts that can be capable to get via to you when others received’t disturb you. So, in case your cellphone is on silent, every little thing else is not going to gentle up the LED lights on the again, however messages/notifications out of your chosen apps and contacts will gentle up one of many LED areas persistently, so that you don’t miss the updates deemed most essential by you. There’s additionally a Flip to Glyph characteristic that auto-silences the cellphone instantly whenever you place it display screen down.

Nothing Phone (2) Review Glyph Interface

The glyphs additionally point out your quantity ranges, charging ranges, and timer progress. In fact, you need to use them as a conveyable ring gentle via your digicam app as properly. What’s most fun is the third-party app integrations we’ve acquired this time round. For now, two apps have been added – Uber and Zomato. An LED section acts as a progress bar in your Uber and meals deliveries, so you’ll be able to see precisely how far your experience or your meals is from you. All with out turning on the show.

With the Phone (1), the glyphs have been very superficial – solely current for the wow issue, with out actual utility. The Phone (2) has flipped the narrative. The glyphs have a function – and that’s to disconnect and disengage from the fixed act of checking your cellphone. It’s making an attempt to offer a technique to be extra current within the second whereas nonetheless preserving tabs on essential info that we’ve come to anticipate our telephones to offer us. Sure, I really like the enhancements to the Glyph Interface. However is it full? No, not even shut. There may very well be a LOT extra performance added, but it surely looks like Nothing has taken a number of steps in the suitable path with the Nothing Phone (2).

Nothing Phone (2) Assessment: Efficiency

The Phone (2) has seen a substantial worth bump, however not with out some severe {hardware} upgrades. Considered one of these upgrades is the processor. The Phone (2) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, an plain enchancment over its predecessor’s mid-range Snapdragon 778G+ SoC. You rise up to 12 GB LPDDR5X RAM and as much as 512 GB UFS 3.1 storage. This ensures that the efficiency is extra akin to flagships. That’s corroborated by a lot of the artificial benchmarks I ran. 

In AnTuTu, the cellphone scored greater than 1.2 million, simply beating out telephones such because the Google Pixel 7a and OPPO Reno 10 Professional+. The truth is, its rating may be very near the flagship Galaxy S23 Extremely (assessment) as properly! In GeekBench, the cellphone flew previous the scores of the Pixel 7a (assessment) and OPPO Reno10 Professional+ (assessment) as soon as once more, however the iQOO Neo 7 Professional (assessment) – which is less expensive – managed to squeak out barely higher scores in some CPU exams. Not in PCMark Work although, the place the Nothing Phone (2) beat out all three telephones. 

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Performance

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Performance

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Performance

In GPU benchmarks, the cellphone scored 2,800 factors in 3D Mark Wild Life Excessive, which is superb. Nevertheless, it couldn’t squeeze out nice scores in GFXBench – significantly Manhattan 3.1 – the place it lagged behind the competitors. However, actual world gaming is easy and lag-free on Very Excessive graphics settings. The cellphone doesn’t assist Excessive Body Price gaming although (at launch), it’s capped to 60 fps. We additionally ran the CPU Throttling Check and the cellphone throttled to 69 per cent of its peak efficiency in quarter-hour, which is widespread for telephones with cooling programs. The cellphone acquired barely heat after I ran this check, but it surely by no means acquired uncomfortably scorching. So, the thermals and cooling is fairly spectacular on this cellphone.

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Performance

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Performance

In actual life utilization, there are barely any hitches. The truth is, there have been no situations of bugs or app shutdowns like we skilled on the Phone (1) throughout launch. It was easy crusing all the best way. Moreover, the clear Nothing OS 2.0 is extremely easy and fluid. It’s a barely modified model of inventory Android 13 and it seems to be and feels unbelievable. Nothing has additionally promised 3 years of OS updates and 4 years of safety updates, which isn’t the perfect (that honour is reserved for Samsung) however adequate.

Nothing OS 2.0 permits for tons of customisation by way of customized widgets, monochrome icons, Fast Settings widgets, and lock display screen widgets. The UI additionally has massive folders and bigger single app icons. You may merely enlarge an app if you happen to use it fairly often for straightforward entry. Customers can even select between Nothing’s Monochrome UI or Unique Google-like UI (with vibrant icons). The Monochrome UI seems to be improbable and Nothing has even launched an app that can drive all icons to undertake the monochrome look, which makes the cellphone look extremely clear and tastefully-designed.

Nothing Phone (2) Review: UI

There’s no bloatware – solely the obligatory Google apps, and a few customized apps such because the Digicam, Composer, Climate, Nothing X (for earphones) and Voice Recorder apps. I might additionally like to understand the haptics on the Nothing Phone (2). Probably probably the greatest I’ve skilled. The suggestions is nice and correct to the purpose you’ve touched the display screen. Implausible stuff.

Nothing Phone (2) Assessment: Digicam

Regardless of sporting improved cameras, this is without doubt one of the weakest hyperlinks of the Nothing Phone (2). The cellphone sports activities a 50 MP Sony IMX890 main digicam (with OIS and EIS) and a 50 MP Samsung JN1 ultrawide digicam on the again. The ultrawide digicam additionally doubles as a macro shooter. The selfie digicam is a 32 MP Sony IMX615 lens. 

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Camera

Now, I stated this was the weakest hyperlink of the Nothing Phone (2) and that’s evident after you spend time with the Phone (2)’s digicam after taking part in round with flagship choices. Certain, the cellphone can take some wonderful pictures in daylight with loads of element, low noise, and good ranges of sharpness. Nevertheless, I at all times discovered the dynamic vary to be barely missing, even in good lighting. I discovered that the main points in shadows can get crushed very often. Additionally, the colors are a contact too saturated and pores and skin tones aren’t correct to actual life as properly. Listed here are some digicam samples, do be aware that they’re compressed for the online:

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Camera samples

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Camera samples

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Camera samples

There’s a 2x Tremendous Excessive Res zoom characteristic as properly that takes some good pictures with good element and sharpness. There’s a little bit of oversharpening in some areas right here although. Portrait pictures from the primary lens are mediocre. The sting detection isn’t the perfect and the pores and skin tones aren’t correct – at the very least for Indians. The bokeh seems to be nice although. 

The ultrawide photographs look good. Noise is low and colors match the first digicam. Nevertheless, as soon as once more, the dynamic vary is missing. This digicam helps autofocus which lets you take some good macro pictures. The images have good element and sharpness. Colors additionally look pretty. The 32 MP selfie digicam’s outcomes are first rate with low noise and good distinction. The colors are first rate and the dynamic vary is kind of good. 

Transferring on to low gentle, this mode triggers robotically and there’s no technique to management it manually. A missed alternative, in my view, since some photographs find yourself wanting darkish even with Evening Mode energetic. The photographs are adequate generally, however we observed some outcomes wanting fairly gentle and noisy. Particular room for enchancment right here.

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Camera samples

As for movies, the cellphone captures as much as 4K at 60 fps whereas the selfie digicam is capped at 1080p at 30 fps. 4K movies look first rate – there’s good distinction and dynamic vary however colors may very well be higher. The element can also be missing. Footage additionally suffers from some unnatural shake motions when Motion Mode is energetic.

Nothing Phone (2) Assessment: Battery Life

The Nothing Phone (2) comes with an upgraded battery over the Phone (1) with increased capability – 4,700 mAh vs 4,500 mAh. The chipset can also be identified to be extraordinarily environment friendly and with AOD turned off, the Phone (2) delivered spectacular battery life outcomes. In our 4K video loop check, the cellphone lasted a whopping 18 hours and 2 minutes, which is without doubt one of the finest outcomes at this worth. The cellphone used up 4 per cent battery when taking part in Name of Obligation: Cell for quarter-hour and seven per cent battery when operating GPS for an hour.

Nothing Phone (2) Review: Battery Life

The Phone (2) additionally helps 45 W wired quick charging which powers the cellphone from zero to hundred in 57 minutes, in response to our exams. Not the quickest, however a good sufficient end result. There’s additionally assist for 15 W wi-fi charging and 5 W reverse wi-fi charging (which is nice for charging TWS earphones with Qi charging assist).

Nothing Phone (2) Assessment: Verdict

The Nothing Phone (2) is really one thing special. It has taken a cellphone that was primarily all-looks-no-substance and turned it right into a well-rounded gadget with seems to be and utility to match. Not simply that, Nothing OS 2.0 is probably certainly one of my absolute favorite cell phone working programs – it seems to be distinguished, elegant, and clear whereas being fluid during. The efficiency has improved vastly and battery life is excellent as properly. Now, for the value tag of ₹44,999 going all the best way as much as ₹54,999, the cellphone could seem overpriced to some. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is current on less expensive telephones such because the iQOO Neo 7 Professional and the digicam stack is nothing to jot down residence about. 

Nevertheless, Nothing has charged you a premium for the expertise, which, in my view, it delivers in spades. The expertise is fluid and refined with no bloatware, the once-gimmicky glyphs have some precise performance now, and there are different niceties just like the premium physique and design. In fact, there are different choices out there – the iQOO Neo 7 Professional 5G for pure, unadulterated efficiency at a lower cost and the OnePlus 11R (assessment) for its all-rounder skills. You may additionally get the OPPO Reno 10 Professional+ at ₹54,999 for higher digicam efficiency. However, we nonetheless keep that the Nothing Phone (2) is a strong choice – one which’s quirky, has instantaneous recognisability, and a very good software program expertise.

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