The Nothing Phone 1 was one of the most impressive phones to hit the market in 2022. Although the device did not find a place in our list of the best budget phones, it stood out for its unique and premium design. Since the Phone 1 was Nothing’s first smartphone, the company managed to master a lot of things, including the bloatware-free experience and performance. However, this doesn’t mean the phone is perfect: its subpar camera performance, limited availability, and other minor issues negatively impact the overall user experience.
For 2023, the company founded by Carl Pei is preparing to launch the Nothing Phone 2, its second smartphone. Learning from his mistakes, Nothing should do much more things right this time. This could make the Phone 2 one of this year’s most impressive phones. Here’s what we know so far about the Nothing Phone 2 and what you can expect from it.
Nothing Phone 2: design and specs
The unique design of the Nothing Phone 1 is its main selling point. Transparent back glass gives you a peek inside the phone, but unlike the Nothing Ear 1, the company covered all individual components with either white or black plating. This is a better approach than exposing all internal components as it gives the rear a cleaner look. And then there’s the LED strips that haven’t added anything to the back of the Phone 1 to make it stand out.
For the Phone 2, it’s unclear whether the company will continue with the same design language or make some significant changes. There are no rumors or leaks on this front so far. However, in a January 2023 interview, Carl Pei, CEO of Nothing, revealed that the Phone 2 will be more “premium”.
Thanks to its aluminum chassis, side rails and unique rear design, the Phone 1 already looks and feels premium. So it will be interesting to see how Nothing plans to increase the premiumness with its second smartphone. Pei could have meant that the Nothing Phone 2 was more premium from a spec standpoint.
The Phone 1 is a mid-range offering with a Snapdragon 778G+ SoC, 8GB of RAM and a 4500mAh battery. This year, Nothing has confirmed its plan to use a Snapdragon 8-series chipset on the Phone 2. While the company didn’t reveal the exact name of the chip in its announcement, a Qualcomm executive inadvertently confirmed that it will use the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 would be.
While it’s not Qualcomm’s latest and greatest SoC, the 8+ Gen 1 is the company’s 2022 flagship chip, and it’s still in some of the best Android phones. Plus, it significantly outperforms Nothing Phone 1’s Snapdragon 778G. This move also allows Nothing to price the Phone 2 much more competitively than if it had used Qualcomm’s latest flagship SoC.
A leak suggests that the Nothing Phone 2 could feature a larger 5,000mAh battery along with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. By comparison, the Nothing Phone 1 has a 4,500mAh battery, with only the top-end configuration coming with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
Nothing Phone 2: cameras
The Nothing Phone 1’s cameras were never its forte. While the fledgling company has rolled out multiple software updates to improve camera performance, it’s nowhere near as good as the Phone 1’s main competitors, the Google Pixel 6a and the Samsung Galaxy A53. The rear shooters fall apart while shooting in low light and challenging situations.
As Nothing plans to make the Phone 2 a more premium offering, the company needs to focus on the camera performance. There is no information about the camera settings of the phone yet. However, a more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen chipset, a faster ISP and optimized image processing should enable the Phone 2 to take significantly better photos than its predecessor.
Nothing Phone 2: Software
Beyond its unique design, Nothing’s Glyph interface remains one of the main selling points for the Phone 1. At launch, the Nothing OS experience was quite buggy, but the company has been working to resolve all reported software update issues.
The Phone 2 should continue to run on Nothing OS, but expect major improvements in tow. This is because an outsourced development team created the initial Nothing OS builds for the Phone 1, seemingly caring little about the company’s success or failure. Since then, however, Carl Pei has hired many of OnePlus’ OxygenOS team to work on Nothing OS.
The results of Nothing having a dedicated team working on Nothing OS are already showing. Despite coming nearly six months after the OS’s public release, the Phone 1’s Android 13-based Nothing OS 1.5 update delivers a more stable experience with improved battery life.
This also bodes well for the Nothing Phone 2 and its software experience. You can expect the phone to include several new software features, a more stable bug-free experience, and improved software support. A leak says the phone will have a virtual RAM-like feature where you can use part of the internal storage as swap memory.
Nothing Phone 2: price and release date
Nothing Phone 1 debuted in mid-July 2022. While there have been no leaks on the Phone 2 release date, it should launch around the same time frame as its predecessor. With Nothing taking a more premium approach with the Phone 2, expect the phone to cost a lot more than the mid-range Phone 1.
One of the problems with the Phone 1 was its limited availability. It has officially launched in UK, Europe, Japan and India. If you’re in the US, Nothing launched a beta membership in January 2023 that allowed you to get your hands on the Phone 1, but the device lacked the necessary 5G bands.
For the Phone 2, Nothing CEO Carl Pei has confirmed a US launch is on the horizon. An official US release also means you should be able to enjoy 5G connectivity on the phone, at least on certain networks. Moreover, now that the company has the necessary resources, the Phone 2 should be launched in more regions, including some carrier stores.
Nothing Phone 2 will face stiff competition from the Pixel 7a
If you think the Nothing Phone 2 won’t live up to its hype or could be too expensive in your country, consider checking out the Google Pixel 7a when it launches later this year. Google’s mid-range Pixel is expected to feature significant upgrades this year, including a new 50MP primary camera, a more efficient Tensor G2 chip, and a 90Hz OLED panel.