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Home / Hot Stuff / Nothing Phone 2 is a slicker, streamlined see-through smartphone

Nothing Phone 2 is a slicker, streamlined see-through smartphone

Overhauled software meets higher-end hardware for the Phone (1) follow-up

Nothing Phone 2 hot stuff

Nothing has global ambitions for its second-ever smartphone. Phone 1 was already one of the best mid-range phones on sale; the fledgling firm is bringing a mix of higher-end hardware and software smarts for its successor, yet still manages to undercut established rivals on price. It is officially heading to the USA for the first time, as well as the UK, Europe and other territories.

Phone 2 is an evolution of Nothing’s trademark transparent design, swapping flat glass for a subtle 2.5D rear which should be easier to grip, while still giving a peek inside at the wireless charging coil and distinctive Glyph lighting. The new Dark Grey colour option shows off the finer details better than Phone 1‘s Black, while White remains an option for those who want their tech to make more of a statement.

Extra LEDs make the Glyph lights more customisable this time around, and allow for neat new features like countdown timers and a volume indicator. It’ll even tick down to show how long until your Uber driver turns up. A Glyph composer app, designed with help from dance supremos Swedish House Mafia, let you create bespoke light and sound remixes to assign to specific contacts.

The flat aluminium frame and flat front glass return from Phone 1, only here they’re stretched to accommodate a new, larger 6.7in OLED display with skinnier bezels. There’s a better-than-1080p resolution, the 120Hz refresh rate should ensure smooth scrolling, and peak brightness has climbed to a flagship-baiting 1600 nits. The always-on display mode can now show widgets as well as the weather, without needing to unlock the phone first using the under display fingerprint sensor.

That’s just one of the new software additions debuting in NothingOS 2.0, which is almost as big a deal as the hardware that runs it. Nothing’s bespoke Android UI also gains custom icons and a new-look homescreen, which can now be filled with quick settings and oversized folders that compliment your colour scheme. It’ll roll out to Phone 1 customers in August.

Inside, Nothing has opted for a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 CPU, paired to 12GB and 256GB of storage. It’s a previous-gen chip, but a top-tier one, so should feel perfectly punchy in daily use, and cope well with demanding games too. A larger 4700mAh battery should be enough to keep it juiced up from morning to evening. Wired charging tops out at 45W; you’ll need to supply your own power brick, but Nothing does at least include a slick-looking semi-transparent USB-C cable in the box. There’s also wireless charging, and the option to reverse charge your other tech. Say, maybe some Ear 2 wireless earphones?

On paper Phone 2’s cameras haven’t changed all that much, with two 50MP rear snappers – but Nothing has upgraded the main sensor to a Sony IMX890 and improved HDR processing to take multiple extra frames per shot for more convincing pics. A macro mode uses the ultrawide’s autofocus abilties for close-up shots, and it’ll manage 4K HDR video recording at 30fps (or 60fps in SDR). There’s also a 32MP selfie cam up front, with the punch-hole shifted to the middle rather than the top left corner.

The Nothing Phone 2 is launching in three varieties: an 8GB RAM/128GB storage base model which will cost $599/£579, a middle-ground model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for $699/£629, and a top-tier 12GB/512GB version for $799/£699. It’ll be available from the 13th of July in-person from Nothing’s London store and a pop-up kiosk in New York, with global sales set to follow from the 17th of July.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming