Nothing’s Phone (2) has finally struggled out of the muck into the light of day. It’s got a beefier processor, a better camera, more of Nothing’s signature blinking lights, and it costs more than $100 more than its first iteration.
The Phone (2), victim of a protracted guerilla marketing campaign by CEO Carl Pei, will cost $599 to start, and should be available for locals at the company’s London shop and New York pop-up kiosk on July 13. The phone is going to be publicly available after that in the US, UK, and Europe on July 17.
Confirming earlier reports, the new Phone (2) finally has a processor and camera that can measure up to other phones in the same price point. It’s sporting the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, the same as last year’s OnePlus 10T. The OnePlus 10 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 used the less-beefy 8 Gen 1 before the S23 went over to the Gen 2. The Gen 1 chip is powerful, but the Phone (2) won’t be quite as beefy as other companies’ recent flagships as far as processing power goes. The new phone also has an extended 4700 mAh battery capable of wireless or fast charging. The company claims it can reach 0 to 50% in 20 minutes, though we’ll need full tests to see if it lasts longer than last year’s iteration.
The front camera has been upgraded to a 32 MP sensor from the Phone (1)’s 16 MP. The rear dual sensor array now includes the Sony IMX890 50 MP camera. According to Nothing, the Phone (2) can process camera data “up to 4,000 times more” than the Phone (1). The company also claimed the device has enhanced focus and 4K, 60fps video recording capability.
Though the latest Nothing flagship device retains the 6.7-inch dimensions with an OLED main screen, the famed backplate and its “glyph” lights have seen some changes. While the device is still clear plastic on its rear, the LED strips have been segmented into several lighting zones. Like the Phone (1), the lights can track how much charge you have left. In addition, though, the Phone (2)’s lights can act as a volume checker and timer. Users can also set up the phone to notify them about new messages from select contacts or apps.
Along with these notifications to the glyphs, users can also use a special Glyph Composer app to create their own Glyph ringtone with select beeps and boops that correspond to different lights. The feature sits alongside the so-called Nothing OS 2.0, an Android-based system featuring homemade home and lock screens, alongside custom widgets. Nothing promises its new operating system should be twice as fast than the Phone (1)
The Phone (1) started at about $475 in places like Europe and cost $300 when it finally saw a U.S. release. Gizmodo’s biggest complaints with the Phone (1) was that it was a rather middling, mid-market device that was full of unnecessary features while lacking slightly in power and sensors compared to mass market giants like Google or Samsung. Pei, who used to head OnePlus, has finally taken a note from his former company and has included some higher-grade parts while costing $599 for the 8GB/128GB version, $699 for the12GB/256GB, and $799 for the 12/512GB.
The Nothing Phone (1) was just a start. It was a slick-looking tadpole, though it was still just one among hundreds in a rather big pond. The Phone (2) seems to be much the same as the first iteration, though the little tadpole has grown its first legs that could make it a legitimate option for bored Android users in the upper-mid-range phone market. Time will tell whether the Phone (1) sequel makes more of a (transparent) case for itself.
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Update 07/12/23 at 8:21 a.m. ET: This post was updated to correct the phones using the 8+ Gen 1 processor.