The goal of the budget smartphone is to exist as its “fast fashion” equivalent flagship counterparts. For example, the best Android phone vendor Samsung, its Series A offers some of the brand’s premium experiences at a fraction of the cost. Mid-range Samsung devices, like them, are known for their brightest, most vibrant displays Great Phone colleagues. Or in Google’s case Pixel A seriesit’s a cheaper way to access Google’s camera algorithms and other artificial intelligence without buying unnecessary features. temperature sensor.

nothingthe brain Carl Peiwho previously helped lead OnePlus into its open arms Oppo Grandpa, presents a budget proposal to bring into the mix. According to the technical table, the Nothing Phone (2a) repeats the first generation Nothing phone. Phone (1). Indeed, when you hold it, it feels like a homage to the previous phone, until you turn the device around, check out the illuminated Glyphs – the main “Nothing” feature – and notice that the camera array is horizontal rather than vertical. At $350, the Nothing Phone (2a) might be one of the nicest phones you can get for this price, as long as you don’t mind the Android version in progress.

Nothing Phone (2a) Features

Picture Of A Phone With Nothing On It (2A)

The back of the Nothing Phone (2a) has been compared to a pig’s nose.
Image: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

If the Nothing Phone (2a) were a piece of clothing, it would be an athleisure set that doesn’t sell as well with a regular brick, now it’s at Nordstrom Rack. It’s not Nothing’s best leg, but it tries something new here. As a result, the Nothing Phone (2a) has the essence of a fashion statement that doesn’t quite come off when it’s meant to be trendy.

Like its siblings, the back is open, so you can see the coils and screws that make up the device’s rear aesthetic. But the relative lightness of the Nothing Phone (2a) reminds you that it’s different than what you’re getting at a higher price.

The Glyphs are here—they’re a key part of the Nothing experience, and the Phone (2a) has three Glyph light bars arranged around the circular rear-facing camera module. The camera lenses – a 50 MP primary sensor with OIS and a secondary 50 MP ultra-wide – are stacked on the back of the device. This is an interesting design decision by Nothing, as the last two smartphones featured a spotlight motif with each lens stacked on top of the other. Some people have referred to the (2a) rear camera array as a “pig nose”, which I think is rude considering that pigs are beautiful creatures. At the very least, this distinctive back will make the Nothing Phone (2a) stand out as a mid-range offering. This is a stark contrast to Google’s playbook, with the Pixel A series closely resembling the model it succeeded.

The Nothing Phone (2a) is a mid-range device. It is powered by a Mediatek Dimensity 7200 Pro processor and is available with 8 or 12 GB of RAM. However, the developer software sells it to US users, which will default to 12GB at the same price point. The phone (2a) has up to 256 GB of memory. For those with access to 8GB models, the phone starts at around $320.

The Phone (2a)’s 6.7-inch flexible AMOLED display is brighter and larger than the phone it’s based on, the first-generation Phone (1), which had a 6.5-inch screen. The phone’s (2a) screen brightness reaches 1,300 nits in extreme sunlight, although nothing says its typical brightness is around 700 nits. It’s still very bright. I’m glad the flexible AMOLED also supports Android’s built-in “Extra Dim” mode, so it’s dark enough at night.

The battery is another selling point of the Nothing Phone (2a). The 5,000 mAh pack promises up to two days of battery life on a single charge. I plan to speed it up with a review section. Overall, Android devices have improved with their battery offerings in this latest batch of releases. Among mid-range sets, nothing can compete with Samsung and Motorola for battery life.

Nothing Phone (2a) OS

Picture Of A Phone With Nothing On It (2A)

Nothing widgets are the reason you use nothing phone in the first place.
Image: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Another reason why you should choose the mid-range model from Nothing against the various brands in the market is the company’s version of Android. It’s packed with well-designed widgets, plus a launcher that lets you change icons. There are also themed Lock Screen widgets from Nothing that are brilliant with their always-on screen.

Nothing Phone (2a) runs Android 14 out of the box with Nothing OS 2.5. If you want the “Nothing” experience, you’ll have to adjust how things are set up. I tried increasing the number of icons on the home screen from four rows to five, and this minimized the Nothing widgets, which they thought were too small to touch. Your mileage may vary, but there’s clearly a path you need to take to get the mark.

Nothing Phone Screenshots (2A)

Check out Nothing OS 2.5.
Screenshot: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

I also found some inconsistencies in Android’s version of Nothing. For example, some setting options require me to click “apply” before the change takes place, while other options allow me to tap to adjust the setting and then I can exit the screen and move on to the next thing. It’s subtle, but it’s the kind of interface that comes out when a manufacturer heavily customizes Android.

On the flip side, there are positives as well. The phone’s (2a) camera system features Nothing’s “TrueLens Engine”. Featuring plenty of algorithmic woo-woo, the engine also includes support for Ultra XDR, which it says was co-developed with Google to “provide more accurate rendering of highlights and shadows in every shot.” Mid-range smartphones come with better cameras, but I have concerns considering that nothing phone (1) is an endless shooter.

Where to buy nothing phone (2a)

There’s more to Nothing Phone (2a). While a phone of this caliber isn’t likely to be a significant seller like phones from the likes of Samsung or Google – Google has had the most success with the A series – I’ll be interested to see how this release stacks up. between the competition. I like the glyphs and the whimsy they offer when they flash. But without a camera that can compete with Samsung and Google’s respective releases, the Glyphs are a gimmick.

Nothing will be Phone (2a). is available starting today in select markets. If you’re in London, you can even head to the Nothing Store in Soho and be one of the first to shop for the Phone (2a) in person. You can pre-order today for everyone, with the phone going public in “most global markets” from March 12.