After generating significant anticipation, Nothing has finally released its second-generation phone into the market. The Phone 2 aims to surpass the initial success of its predecessor and establish itself as a premium device. Renowned for its transparent design, Nothing has further refined this distinctive feature in the Phone 2, elevating it to a more polished level.
But the questions are ringing louder this year, now that the Phone 2 starts at Rs 44,999, rising to Rs 54,999 for the top 512GB variant. Can the Nothing Phone 2 be the first choice for buyers in a market with plenty of options? Here, our review gives you the details after using the phone for a few weeks.
Nothing Phone 2 Review: What’s Cool?
Absolutely nothing has matched the design, fit and finish of the Phone 2. If you felt like Phone 1 had a premium approach, Phone 2 goes one step further. The curved layout at the back gives it a firm grip. The recycled aluminum frame increases its durability.
But talking about the Nothing phone is incomplete without looking at the back panel. Yes, it’s still transparent, but the Glyph LEDs have been tweaked to make it rich and will probably get more additions in the near future. The front and back glass panels get Corning Gorilla Glass protection, which should give you peace of mind while keeping the phone on its back.
Nothing has upgraded the OLED display, which now gets an LTPO panel that offers an adaptive refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz depending on what you’re doing with the phone. The screen is sharp and the colors are striking, which is useful when you consume a lot of text content on the phone. And even though it supports Full HD+ resolution, you won’t find it lacking in any way. The bezels of the screen are symmetrical, which this time adds to the appeal of the front of the phone and the perforation on its top edge.
The company has raised the performance levels of its second phone by moving from mid-range hardware to flagship hardware. The use of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip with up to 12 GB of RAM improves its overall usability excellently.
Adding richness to the user experience is Nothing OS 2.0, which has to be one of the best UIs we’ve come across outside of Google’s Pixel UI. In fact, the Nothing software features elements that were the hallmark of OnePlus’ OxygenOS during Carl’s time at the company.
The user interface is smooth thanks to the high refresh rate screen and powerful hardware. But there’s a lot more that works seamlessly in the interface, for example apps open without any lag, we didn’t notice any major issues while multitasking and watching videos for hours without hiccups.
The main camera on the Phone 2 is a 50-megapixel Sony IMX890 sensor, which is the same as the OnePlus 11 5G and a few phones in this range. This camera delivers sharp, detailed and colorful images in bright conditions. We barely noticed any lag in shutter speed, and the processing part of Nothing OS 2.0 still polishes the image, which people might like.
And finally, it’s time to talk about one of the most important features of a smartphone, its battery life. The Phone 2 has a 4700mAh battery, which is 200mAh more than the Phone 1, and that might not sound like a big upgrade. But once you get down to the day-to-day work of the Phone 2, you’ll notice the optimizations that have been made under the hood, and using this chip has paid off handsomely.
The Phone 2 easily lasted us over a day and a half of moderate use, which means for most people it would last a day and more. In terms of metrics, the Phone 2 gave us 8 hours+ of screen-on time over a 10-day average, which is pretty reasonable for the size of the battery the phone offers. You also have wireless charging like the Phone 1 and reverse wireless charging in case you’re running low on wireless headphones.
Nothing Phone 2 Review: What’s Not So Cool?
While the Glyph interface has its appeal, we still feel it’s a work in progress. There is nothing dependent on people holding the phone on the back to make the LEDs work effectively or provide any added value. You have the Uber trip progress graph through the timer which is a new addition, you have the jazzy ringtones, but the novelty value of this feature tends to wear off after a few days.
The design is definitely grippy, but the glass panel, especially the gray variant, tends to be a fingerprint magnet and definitely slippery when you look at it towards the screen.
The phone’s main camera feels a little underpowered when shooting in low light. However, nothing has shown us that a few updates can fix these flaws, and we expect the same in the coming months. The ultra-wide shooter snaps photos, but detail can be inconsistent, defeating its purpose for most users.
The phone’s battery life is a big plus, but you only get 45W wired charging speed out of the box. On top of that, Nothing gives you a charger in the box, which means you’ll have to add 2k to your overall budget when you buy the Phone 2. We expected the brand to increase the speed, now that competitors in this range offer up to 100W charging speed.
Nothing Phone 2 review: Should you buy?
The Phone 2 is an upgrade, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s not for all Phone 1 users. If you have a phone that is already 2-3 years old, Phone 2 makes sense. But here’s the catch: for Rs 44,999, you only get the 8GB RAM version of the Phone 2. So, the best value Phone 2 is priced at Rs 49,999, which makes it expensive in many ways.
Make no mistake, the design is first-rate, the hardware boost is undeniable, and the software is one of the best on the market. But Nothing is trying to dine at the premium table, and for that it needs more than just a premium design, especially when the competition offers something better.
So if you’re happy with a phone with LED lights, a sharp screen, reliable performance and a long-lasting battery, the Phone 2 is a solid choice, but you also have the iQOO Neo 7 Pro, which has the same chip but faster charging in one go. cheaper or OnePlus 11R with similar features and also cheaper than the Phone 2 in the market.