In a timely follow-up to its debut handset, the Nothing Phone (1), innovative tech company Nothing has unveiled the highly anticipated Nothing Phone (2) almost a year later. We had the opportunity to thoroughly explore this evolution of the company’s enigmatic device, delving into its standout features and how it deviates from the standard smartphone experience.
One of the key differentiators of the original Nothing Phone (1) was its rejection of flashy solid materials in favor of a transparent aesthetic that showcased the artful arrangement of the device’s internal components. With the Nothing Phone (2), we see a continuation of this unique approach. As you unpack the device from its plastic-free packaging, which proudly informs us that 53 of the phone’s parts are crafted from sustainable materials, you are greeted with a strikingly minimalist design. The “naked” device features layered elements, clearly defined by Nothing’s distinct ‘Glyph’ interface.
At the heart of the Nothing Phone (2) lies the Glyph interface, an array of hieroglyphic-style lights that serve multiple functions within the Nothing OS 2.0. These include serving as caller ID, delivering notifications, and intriguingly, a Glyph Timer function that transforms the phone into a high-tech egg timer. Another experimental feature harnesses the case lighting to count down the arrival of an Uber or food delivery. Additionally, there is the Glyph Composer app, allowing users to create personalized ringtones and notifications—a stripped-down beat sequencer that highlights the creative collaboration between Nothing and pioneering glitch-tech company Teenage Engineering.
The Nothing OS 2.0, an enhanced and reimagined version of Android, offers several advantages and features that align with Nothing’s ethos and aesthetic. The main screen now adopts a monochrome and subdued color palette, deliberately removing the “crutch of color cues,” as Nothing puts it, to help users stay focused and avoid the temptation of time-consuming app icons.
To further support minimalism and efficient access to frequently used apps, the new OS introduces custom widgets that effectively compartmentalize these apps into easily accessible tiles. These widgets can be viewed at a glance, without the need to open individual applications. The lock screen can also feature these widgets, minimizing the necessity to fully engage with the phone for quick updates.
Impressively, the Nothing Phone (2) boasts an upgraded camera system. Alongside new filters, a document mode, and the ability to record 4K video at 60fps, the Advanced HDR function truly shines. This feature digitally blends eight different exposures, surpassing the three levels found in the Phone (1), resulting in vivid and sharp photographs. However, it’s worth noting that the images may exhibit the processed perfection often associated with smart devices. The front camera sensor has also been doubled in capacity, enhancing the overall photography experience. Notably, the screen size has grown to 6.7 inches, making it a substantial device that captures attention.
For current Nothing Phone (1) owners, the decision to upgrade may be influenced by sustainability and transparency, which lie at the core of Nothing’s philosophy. The company is committed to publishing the carbon footprint of its devices, with the Phone (1) boasting a figure of 53.45kg, representing an 8.6 percent reduction from its predecessor and approximately 10kg lower than the reported figure for Apple’s iPhone 13 in September 2021.
While the decision to upgrade ultimately rests with individuals, factors such as the use of recycled materials in the device itself, with the frame being 100 percent recycled aluminum, and the overall lifecycle management should be considered. If you find yourself captivated by Nothing’s ongoing pursuit of minimalist technology, the Nothing Phone (2) provides an ideal entry point. However, loyal enthusiasts may opt to hold onto their original devices, especially since the Nothing OS 2.0 update will be available for all of the company’s phones.