Review: Nothing Phone (2a)

Review: Nothing Phone (2a)

The Best Smart Home Devices for 2024 Reading Review: Nothing Phone (2a) 6 minutes

Meet the Nothing Phone (2A): Affordable, Dependable, and Stylish. With its captivating design and seamless operating system, this handset delivers exceptional value in the mid-range market. It has a sharp display, decent performance, and an excellent battery life, demonstrating that it is more than just an upgrade to the original Nothing Phone 1.

Pros Cons
Affordable Pricing Mid-Range Specifications
Sleek Design Limited Accessory Support
Crisp Display
Great Battery Life

Design

The Nothing Phone (2A) follows the brand's transparent design ethos, featuring a glossy finish on the back cover. The rear camera setup, now horizontally aligned, resembles WALL-E's face, with a ring-shaped design encircling it, housing a flashlight and microphone. Unique Glyph lights adorn the circular design, providing a distinctive aesthetic.

Materials & Construction

The smartphone boasts a transparent back panel bordered by blackened edges, with bezels framing the flat front display. The glass front melds seamlessly into the plastic frame, sporting a matte finish for a unique touch. The power and volume buttons, along with the SIM tray and ports, are strategically placed for easy access. Despite its plastic frame, the device feels durable and lightweight at just 190g.

Ergonomics

With its flat display and ergonomic design, the Nothing Phone (2A) offers a comfortable grip. The centrally positioned camera module prevents wobbling when placed on a flat surface, enhancing usability. However, the design's slight gap between the back panel and frame may accumulate dust and showcase minor scratches, while the glossy finish is prone to fingerprints.

Display & Audio

The Nothing Phone (2A) boasts a vibrant display that strikes a balance, avoiding excessive contrast for a natural visual experience. With sharp visuals and accurate colors, it offers an immersive viewing experience from every angle. The 120Hz refresh rate enhances scrolling responsiveness, although the auto brightness adjustment may feel sluggish. Nothing refrains from overwhelming users with display enhancements but supports HDR and HDR10 for enhanced content consumption.

Regarding audio, the Nothing Phone (2A) stands out with its stereo speaker setup, providing sufficient volume levels suitable even for outdoor environments. While the speakers deliver clear vocals and a punchy output, they may not excel in reproducing deep bass. Nevertheless, they serve as an excellent choice for enjoying various multimedia content.

Camera

The Nothing Phone (2A) features a dual 50MP rear camera setup, excelling in capturing vibrant outdoor scenes with sharp images, well-balanced colors, and fine contrast. However, challenges arise in indoor lighting, where images may appear brighter than reality, occasionally leading to distortion. Portrait mode performs well under natural lighting, maintaining crisp subject definition, though artificial lighting may introduce focusing delays and soft edges.

The ultra-wide-angle camera impresses with natural-looking images, accurately rendering colors and vibrancy, despite exhibiting slightly less detail and a mild fish-eye effect near the edges. The 32MP front camera captures decent outdoor shots while indoors, images may appear softer with less detail.

The Nothing Phone (2A) offers 1080p video recording at 30 and 60 fps, but 4K recording is limited to 30 fps. Videos shot at 1080p/60fps display sharpness and accuracy, even in low-light conditions, with optimal stability for dynamic scenarios. While 4K/30fps videos maintain good quality, they may appear slightly jittery. The phone offers a dedicated stability enhancement mode for 1080p/30fps recording and the flexibility to switch between H.264 and H.265 video encoding for storage optimization.

Performance & Battery

Fueling the Nothing Phone (2A) is a custom-designed MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset, accompanied by up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. This dynamic blend ensures a seamless performance for everyday tasks, enabling lightning-fast app launches and silky-smooth social media scrolling. Even with multiple tasks on the go, like video calls and app usage simultaneously, the phone maintains its agility and responsiveness without breaking a sweat.

When it comes to casual gaming and high-definition video recording, the Nothing Phone (2A) excels effortlessly. Yet, when faced with graphically intensive games like Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail, you might experience sporadic stuttering. But fear not, the addition of an 8GB RAM Booster provides a game-changing solution, allowing for additional virtual RAM allocation. Enabling the RAM boost unleashes a noticeable surge in performance, especially during marathon gaming sessions. With boosted RAM, the phone delivers a consistent frame rate of 35 to 40 fps on the highest graphic settings, with fewer frame drops. Opting for a 30 fps limit on the highest settings ensures a buttery-smooth gaming experience with minimal frame rate fluctuations. Notably, during testing, setting medium or high graphic settings with a 45 fps limit provided the most immersive gaming experience overall.

Remarkably, the Nothing Phone (2A) packs a robust 5,000mAh battery that effortlessly powers through an entire day of mixed usage, with plenty of juice to spare. For example, starting the day with a charge up to 95% left a respectable 23% battery by midnight, even with tasks like gaming, social media browsing, web surfing, video calls, and occasional camera usage. It's worth mentioning that while the box doesn't include a charging adapter, a standard 25W third-party adapter can fully charge the phone in just about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Software & User Experience

The Nothing Phone (2a) shines bright in the software arena, boasting a dynamic duo of options: Android 14 or Nothing's own custom UI, NothingOS 2.5. Both are expertly curated to cut the clutter and keep distractions at bay.

One standout aspect of the custom UI? Home screen enchantment. Get ready to greet quick setting widgets right at your fingertips and a clever ChatGPT widget for effortless AI-chatbot Voice chat—simply tap and converse, hassle-free!

But wait, there's more! Customizable app drawers make organizing a breeze, while the gaming dashboard elevates your gaming experience with smooth streaming and on-screen frame rate displays. And let's not forget the Glyph interface on the back—a visual treat that doubles as a notification ninja and a workout buddy with its handy timer feature.

Final Verdict

The Nothing Phone (2a) truly impresses with its bang-for-buck proposition, providing a harmonious mix of performance and features without unnecessary bells and whistles. From everyday tasks to occasional gaming and photography pursuits, it effortlessly delivers on all fronts.