Hands-On, Smartphone

Nothing Phone 2 Hands-on: Same Same, But Different (In a Good Way)

At a glance, it’s easy to mistake the new Nothing Phone 2 for last year’s Phone 1. After all, both devices share very similar aesthetics, including the transparent back panel with the unique Glyph Interface lighting. But while both devices look similar, there are some notable changes, especially under the hood.

Powered by a much faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset along with a reworked, more functional Glyph Interface, the Phone 2 is every bit better than its predecessor. While it may not be a major departure from the Phone 1, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you like the design language.

Let’s talk about the Phone 2’s new Glyph Interface first. The lighting in the main glyph area is now broken up to several parts, with some of them, such as the top right corner, doubling as a progress tracker for delivery services or even a countdown timer. While this is ultimately a novel feature, it’s still quite neat.

Also changed is the glass back of the Phone 2, which is now curved on all sides. This makes the phone more ergonomically-friendly than the flat back of the Phone 1, making it more comfortable to hold in the hands. This gives the phone a premium touch too, in my opinion.

I also appreciate the fact that Nothing is retaining the flat sides of the Phone 2. It’s an ergonomically-sound design choice as it offers more surface area to get a good grip on the phone, which is something that’s often overlooked by other brands.

Another area where the Phone 2 sees a major improvement is performance. Thanks to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset under the hood, it is quite a bit more powerful than the Phone 1’s Snapdragon 778G+, a decidedly mid-range SoC. While the Phone 2 doesn’t feature the latest Qualcomm chip, the 8+ Gen 1 is still plenty capable. It’s a flagship-tier processor that was only released last year, after all.

In my brief time with the Phone 2, it does feel fast and zippy, just as you’d expect from an upper mid-range phone in today’s market. While I wasn’t able to put the phone through its paces in more demanding tasks (such as gaming), I’m sure the phone can keep up with my demands. I’ll be sure to do a ton of gaming in the full review.

In the display department, the Phone 2 comes with a 6.7-inch 1080p LTPO OLED display with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate that can go as low as 1Hz to conserve power. This being an OLED panel, it’s a pleasant screen to look at with bright colours and deep blacks as well. It complements the monochrome icons of Nothing OS 2.0 – which also feels lightweight and polished – quite well too.

Packed with a 4,700mAh battery, the Phone 2 should be able to deliver all-day battery life. While its 45W charging rate isn’t the fastest in the market, it can still fully charge the phone in 55 minutes, as Nothing puts it. In my opinion, this is still reasonably fast charging time for most users, including myself.

And then we have the camera performance of the Phone 2. On the surface, it’s nothing fancy: it only has a dual camera that is made up of a 50MP f/1.88 primary shooter paired to a 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle lens. But what’s particularly interesting is the 50MP main camera, which actually uses a Sony IMX890 sensor. This is the same sensor found in the OnePlus 11, a flagship smartphone.

The results? Well, take a look with the sample shots below.

There’s no denying that the Phone 2 can take some great-looking shots, and the camera interface also feels relatively responsive with fast, accurate autofocus. While the true test of a smartphone’s camera lies in low light photography – something that I haven’t had the chance to try out yet – it’s certainly a promising camera system that I’m excited to test out more extensively.

All in all, the Nothing Phone 2 is most certainly an improvement over last year’s model while still retaining its winning qualities. It still has a similar transparent design, an improved Glyph Interface lighting system, even faster performance, and a superior camera system – what’s not to like?

All that’s left is for Nothing to reveal the Malaysian pricing and availability of the Phone 2, which will be announced come 14 July this Friday at its local launch here. Hopefully, the phone will be priced competitively for our market.

For the sake of comparison, the Phone 1 retailed from RM2,399 at launch for the 8GB + 256GB model, going up to RM2,699 for the 12GB + 256GB configuration. As for the Phone 2, it is available in three variants: 8GB + 128GB, 12GB + 256GB, and 12GB + 512GB. For now, it remains to be seen which configurations will be offered for the Malaysian market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *