I bought this wonderful phone in mid-October and so far it hasn’t ceased to amaze me. So today I want to share with you my impressions and personal experience of using this device and, above all, the great effort I had to make to adapt to Android… Because yes, my previous device was an iPhone, and believe me, it wasn’t easy to get back to pure Android. I’m not going to do a typical review, but will take a more hands-on approach and focus on social media, photos, and whether the Nothing Phone 2 is really a competitor worth considering before buying an iPhone.
|Operating system||Nothing OS 2.0, Android 13.0|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|Resistance to water splashes||IP54|
|Unlocking methods||Fingerprints and face recognition|
|Connection technologies||Bluetooth, USB, NFC, Wi-Fi|
|Update frequency||120 Hz|
|Input interface||Touch screen|
|Battery capacity||4700 mAh|
|Reverse charging||5 W|
When users open the box of the new Nothing Phone 2, they encounter a different level of experience. This is a unique smartphone that reflects the attention to detail and originality that the creators have put into creating this device. Don’t believe me?
Just look at its ultra-thin square box, which looks like a vinyl record from years gone by, but no, here’s your new Nothing Phone 2. Also inside the box, you’ll find a manual for the device, a Type-C cable, a screen protector already installed to ensure a certain level of security from the very beginning of using the smartphone, and finally, a SIM card tray ejector.
With this kit, the company demonstrates its commitment not only to technological excellence, but also to fully satisfying the primary needs of users.
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Design and price
The Nothing Phone 2 design redefines smartphone aesthetics with a unique blend of innovation, elegance and originality. Let’s be honest, there are only two camps when it comes to smartphone design today. We can easily divide them into 2 groups: Android users and iOS users.
From my point of view, all Android phones, such as Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, etc., have a basic and repetitive back panel that differs only in the number of cameras or brand name.
On the other hand, we have the iOS device, the famous iPhone, which in the old days gave status and distinction to the person who had this device, as not everyone could afford it because of its price. The famous little apple drove a lot of people crazy at the time, but today everything has changed, as everyone can have an iPhone.
Skeptics will say: “Hey, what about folding phones like Flip or Razr?” In my humble opinion, these devices are not ready to compete sustainably in the market. Maybe in the future they will be, but for now they need to keep improving.
The phone stands out and stands out from the crowd. Believe me, you won’t go unnoticed, absolutely everyone will ask you what kind of phone it is or compliment you on how cool it is. That’s because its most distinctive feature is its LED indicators, which are harmoniously integrated with apps and notifications to create an immersive and functional visual experience.
This innovative LED backlighting system offers unprecedented customization, turning the back of your device into a palette of pure expression. You can set up a specific number of LEDs to activate when you receive a WhatsApp message that is different from Instagram, or when you receive a call from a partner, friend or close family member, or when your alarm goes off, or… It would take me forever to explain to you the endless ways you can personalize this device. Just trust me, this device is unique and original and no one can deny it.
The resemblance to the iconic iPhone design is undeniable, but the Nothing Phone 2 has its own identity with rounded edges for a comfortable grip and ergonomic look. And the transparency of the device’s back panel reveals the complex inner workings, offering a fascinating insight into the engineering that drives this cutting-edge device. This model not only embodies modernity, but also sets the standard for sleek minimalism. The design of the Nothing Phone 2 is definitely a testament to the creativity and attention to detail that makes it stand out as a unique device in the smartphone market. That’s why I think the Nothing Phone 2’s $740 price is well justified, as it is the best of the best in this price category.
The Nothing Phone 2 display offers an exceptional visual experience with its 6.7-inch LPTO AMOLED matrix. Thanks to its image quality and rich colors, this screen ensures complete immersion in any interaction, as you can enjoy any content on this device – from movies to everyday online communication. It’s worth noting that the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5, which ensures durability and scratch resistance.
When it comes to brightness, Nothing Phone 2 adapts to different lighting conditions with the ability to change the brightness depending on where you are. From 500 nits for normal situations to 1000 nits in HBM mode and an impressive maximum of 1600 nits for moments of extreme light intensity, this display provides optimal visibility in any environment. In addition, the screen refresh rate is 120 Hz, automatically adjusting from 1 to 120 Hz, which ensures a smooth experience and also allows the battery to last longer. In short, the Nothing Phone 2’s display not only meets the highest standards in terms of technical specifications, but also offers a visual experience that will mesmerize and delight the most demanding users.
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Finally, Carl Pei, the founder of Nothing and co-founder of One plus, heard our prayers and decided to improve the quality of the two rear cameras of the Nothing Phone 2 (compared to the predecessor Nothing Phone 1). These are a 50-megapixel main camera and a 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera on the back. The 50-megapixel main camera, equipped with the unsurpassed Sony IMX890 sensor, guarantees sharp details in every picture. The ƒ/1.88 aperture ensures optimal light capture, emphasizing the versatility of this camera in a variety of lighting conditions.
OIS and EIS image stabilization ensure that every shot, whether static or moving, is captured with impressive clarity. And the Advanced HDR function adds artistic expression to images by intelligently balancing light and shadow for stunning images.
The ultra-wide-angle camera is equipped with a 50-megapixel Samsung JN1 sensor that delivers excellent image quality in every shot. The ƒ/2.2 aperture and 1/2.76″ sensor size ensure efficient light capture, creating crisp and vibrant images even in difficult lighting conditions. You’ll also get an excellent 114° field of view, allowing you to capture sweeping landscapes and wide scenes with an immersive presence.
Finally, after looking at the best features of each of the main cameras, it’s time to look at the diverse set of modes and functions that this device has.
The Nothing Phone 2 selfie camera has a 32-megapixel Sony IMX615 sensor and a ƒ/2.45 aperture. The photos are quite bright for this camera, and it makes your skin’s natural colors look matte and uniform, as well as captures fine details well. But if you ask me about my personal impressions, I think the iPhone’s camera is head and shoulders better. That’s why the selfie camera is something the company should work on in its next versions, such as the Nothing Phone 3.
Slow motion 2.0
This is definitely one of the modes I liked the most on this device. Although I moved the phone quickly around the plate with my dish (which, by the way, had a lot of small ingredients that are usually lost on a regular phone) while shooting the video, the result was great. The resolution, the light, the natural tones, it could even seem like this video was shot by a professional, although, in fact, I am just an amateur photographer. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by this mode.
From my point of view, this is a very sophisticated and elegant mode. It distinguishes well between the person and the environment, thus achieving high quality photos that can satisfy the most demanding user.
I will be categorical and honest – I was impressed with the night mode. I can even say that the night mode of Nothing Phone 2 is on par with the iPhone or Samsung S23 Ultra. And how is this possible? It’s possible thanks to the excellent processor, as well as the backlight on the back that provides better illumination, making this mode one of the best on the market at the moment.
I won’t say much about the zoom mode – it’s a basic zoom mode, just like in other devices. It has focusing and provides a zoom without loss of quality up to 2x, then there is a digital zoom that can reach 10x, but obviously, the image quality is lost. I almost forgot, it also allows you to zoom out to 0.6x if you want to take a photo from a slightly greater distance.
The video recording capabilities of the Nothing Phone 2 are very good, it is capable of recording in 4K at 60 frames per second, which allows you to immortalize your important moments with stunning clarity and sharpness. On the other hand, we also have the option to record 1080p at 30 or 60 frames per second, which provides flexibility and allows you to adapt to different creative needs and recording conditions, which is good in my opinion.
Nothing Phone 2 has many other features that I think deserve to be mentioned in this review:
- Scene Recognition with AI: helps you improve your photos in different situations and focus on what you really want to capture in your photos, even after you’ve edited them.
- Expert mode: If you’re an enthusiastic photographer, you’ll definitely get the most out of this mode, as it allows you to change exposure, ISO, saturation, aperture, and shoot in black and white.
- Document mode: works like a scanner – when you take a photo of a document, the camera automatically focuses on the text part only, and you no longer have to crop photos like on other devices. Although this is not something new or innovative, it is very useful.
If you remember, at the beginning of this review, I said that my review would be different from others. And how is it different? The fact that I’m going to share my experience with this device from an entertainment perspective. Of course, it’s important for me to know the features of the device, but it’s also very important to know how the phone will work on social networks such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others..
- WhatsApp: I’ll be honest, I had one particular inconvenience when using this app. It’s because I used to be an iPhone user, so transferring my WhatsApp conversations from iOS to Android was a real epic. I tried all possible ways: downloading the iOS app to my computer, keeping a backup copy, but it didn’t work. I even thought about buying a C-type lightning cable for 50 euros, and frankly, it was the last straw that overflowed the cup of patience. I can’t believe that in 2023 there is no easy and simple way to transfer your data from a smartphone with one OS to a smartphone with another.
- Instagram: It has its pros and cons, because when it comes to shooting at night, the photo quality and video recording is really good. And I don’t want people to tell me that it’s all about the camera and its resolution, because it’s not. If you’re a frequent Instagram user, you might have noticed that the quality of photos and videos changes when you use Instagram shots. So, if you shoot with the rear camera for Instagram, its resolution is very good, but the front camera doesn’t convince me, even with filters. So I think this is something that Nothing still has to work on.
- Facebook and Twitter: I have not had any problems with these two applications. Also, one thing I noticed is that the screen refresh rate is very smooth, 120 Hz makes me feel like I’m finally using a modern phone and I assure you that you won’t have any problems or delays when scrolling through your pages/posts. The iPhone with its 60 Hz really leaves something to be desired.
Performance and memory
Let’s start with the simple stuff: The Nothing Phone 2 I’m reviewing has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That is, it offers a good amount of storage and multitasking capabilities, ensuring that you can enjoy a smooth and uninterrupted experience in any of your daily activities. There are also 8/128GB or 12/512GB versions available.
In addition, Nothing Phone 2 is equipped with a powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, created on an advanced 4nm process. This chip architecture delivers a smart combination of power and efficiency with a configuration that includes a 3.0GHz X2 Prime core for intensive tasks, three 2.5GHz A710 cores for balanced performance, and four 1.8GHz A510 cores for energy efficiency in less demanding tasks.
It also has an Adreno 730 GPU that boosts graphics performance, offering exceptional visual quality in games. For example, I’m a Mario Kart fan and this game really runs without any issues and its graphics are some of the best I’ve come across so far. Of course, we can also see the performance of this chip in multimedia files and augmented reality programs. Complementing this graphical performance is the second-generation HTP V69 processor with 4xHVX, which enhances the image processing capabilities, improving the quality of photos and videos taken by the Nothing Phone 2.
The Nothing Phone 2 software certainly goes beyond the ordinary. If you are a regular Android or Apple user, you are used to the typical monotonous aesthetics of icons and widgets.
However, Nothing has thought through every detail inside and out. The Nothing OS 2.0 operating system redefines the user experience, focusing on the customization of various functions. This approach allows users to interact with their smartphone more consciously, creating a dynamic, entertaining and unique experience tailored to individual needs. After all, our phone reflects who each user is, and that’s why we pay so much attention to personalizing the device. Dynamic and entertaining widgets, unique and elegant icons, a black and white color palette – all this keeps the overall aesthetics of the phone minimalistic. I mean, they’ve thought of everything, I’m really impressed.
The Nothing Phone 2 LED indicators are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also highly functional, integrating features that enhance the user experience in innovative ways. For example, when the device is charging, the backlight activates and instantly shows the level of charge. Or when you’re riding with Uber, the light indicators activate and move along the ride, offering a new and engaging way to track your journey. Or when you’re shooting a video, you can activate the backlight to let you know what you’re shooting while providing light in the plane of focus. And many more examples.
To conclude this section, the versatility of these indicators is further demonstrated by the fact that they allow users to customize them to create new ringtones that synchronize with the backlight, providing a different level of audio and visual experience. Additionally, the ability to customize the backlight so that each notification is different and specific to each activity adds to the personalized nature of the phone experience.
The Nothing Phone 2 battery is very durable, and how could it not be, as it has a 4700 mAh capacity. It is able to withstand intensive use of the phone throughout the day. I would even say that for a user who only checks social media and a little Spotify a day, the battery can last up to two days, which is definitely a very long time. In addition, the Nothing Phone 2 has a 45W fast wired charger that allows the phone to reach a full charge in just 55 minutes.
The 15W Qi wireless charging is a convenient and efficient option for those who prefer the convenience of this charging method. In just 130 minutes, wireless charging ensures that your phone is fully ready for use. Finally, a 5W reverse charging function adds another layer of versatility, allowing Nothing Phone 2 to share its power with other compatible devices.
Nothing Phone 2 is not just another ordinary phone, but a combination of modernity and sophisticated minimalism in one device. From the aesthetically pleasing and new exterior design to the powerful interior with flexible and versatile software that is easily customizable and can meet the needs of any user. This device truly reflects meticulous attention to detail both inside and out. And its performance is one of the best in the upper mid-range, so I’m sure it will satisfy users’ needs in all their tasks, from the most intense to the least demanding.
Of course, not everything is so rosy, it also has some drawbacks that we cannot help but notice, such as the front camera and its adaptability to social networks. That’s why, given the price of almost $740, the smartphone gives us reason to think about this issue. However, its widgets, customization options, LED backlighting, and minimalist and elegant aesthetics more than compensate for these shortcomings. And if you love originality like I do and don’t want to be defined as just another one of the Team Android or Team iOS crowd, then this device is definitely for you. It is truly worth every penny you pay.
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