The Nothing Phone (2) will come with a Snapdragon 8 series processor. But here we look into other aspects of the device that we hope improve.
Carl Pei’s current tech venture, Nothing — a London-based company — has been making steady inroads into the smartphone market and the world of accessories that revolve around it. Its first smartphone, the Nothing Phone (1), poised itself as a device that ticked every box in our review, and a little over six months later, the device has aged exceptionally well.At MWC 2023, Pei unveiled that the sequel to its first smartphone will feature a Snapdragon 8 Series processor — this set the tone for its next device — indicating it will be more powerful and possibly more expensive and premium. And these recent announcements give us the perfect opportunity to discuss the features and improvements we’d like to see on this successor. So, let’s dive right in.
To start, let’s talk about design. Not only was this a marquee element of the Nothing Phone (1), and one of the most talked about points in every review. Most of this owed to the Glyph — the array of 900 LEDs that light up in various patterns — and the transparent glass back. Work into this a shape similar to the most popular smartphone on the planet — the iPhone — and we have a recipe for eye-catching or at least headline-generating hardware.
But like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and its past two predecessors, the Nothing Phone (1) felt a little unwieldy when I reviewed it. So, while it’s easier to handle than the large iPhone, a shorter chassis or reduced thickness can make the device feel even better.
While we’d suggest having smoother curves akin to the OnePlus 11, which we recently had a hands-on experience with, maintaining a brand identity is important. Hence, we’d like to see a slightly smaller Nothing Phone (2) whose design isn’t a far cry from the current model.
The Nothing Phone (1) has one of the best mid-range smartphone displays: period. Bringing together uniform bezels, Full HD resolution, punchy color calibration, and 120Hz refresh rate is a combination for success. But brightness is another aspect that, if enhanced, can considerably improve the user experience.
The Nothing Phone (1) has a rating of 500 nits (when set to manual brightness mode), with its automatic mode peaking at 700 nits — playing HDR content was said to push the panel to 1200 nits.
On Nothing Phone (2), we expect the OEM to feature a brightness of 800 nits. The improvement would align the phone with competitors like the iPhone 13/14, Pixel 7, and Galaxy S23. The change will nullify the only real weak point we observed while testing the Nothing Phone (1) display.
If Nothing chooses to upgrade its Gorilla Glass variant for the glass layer, it’s a plus, but we wouldn’t lobby for one.
Up next is the camera. The Nothing Phone (1) chose to ship only the essentials; this meant there were only two lenses on the smartphone and no 2-megapixel macro or color sensors. The performance of the dual-camera system — 50-megapixel Wide and 50-megapixel Ultrawide — was more than acceptable, and software updates further improved the results over time.
So, if including a Snapdragon 8 series processor takes the phone down a premium route — away from its mid-range status — we’d like to see a third telephoto lens that brings additional perspective and variety for the user. Plus, we hope Nothing’s access to an in-house software development team produces consistent colors on the images captured from all sensors.
The front camera on the Nothing Phone (1) wasn’t anything to write home about, but it did capture good photos. Suppose Nothing decides not to change the hardware; we hope that combining a new processor and software improves the image quality. Also, Nothing should enable the ability to record 4K footage, a feature many smartphone brands seem to ignore.
While there needs to be clarity on the launch window for Nothing Phone (2), we know that Qi2 wireless charging will make its way to smartphones near the end of 2023. So, if Nothing can align its launch with this release — or perhaps develop support for the standard — we think it will be a positive addition to the smartphone.
Its smartphone already supports Qi wireless charging, a feature that’s quite convenient to use; adding a Qi2 magnetic array will only improve the experience.
Lastly, we hope the launch of the Nothing Phone (2) comes in tow with an even better software experience. At launch, the Nothing Phone (1) was quite bare and, in some cases, poorly optimized. Carl Pei hinted that lacking an in-house development team led to such a software experience.
But with an in-house team now behind Nothing OS, the software experience is showing unique elements and robustness. We hope this team can translate the success it has seen with Nothing OS 1.5 into the software package that uses Android 14 offered on the Nothing Phone (2), with even more features.
While the new processor will surely excite users, we wonder what other changes the brand will implement to drive customers in its direction. The CEO, Carl Pei, has confirmed that the phone will come to the United States this time, without needing a beta program and hopefully without question marks around carrier support.
Following up on a device that did so many things right can be difficult in a cutthroat market. Due to its robust predecessor, the Nothing Phone (2) has a tough act to follow, and we can’t wait to see the device that makes its way to the market.
As an Editor at Pocketnow, Aryan covers all things mobile, be it the latest smartphones, wearables, gaming consoles, or accessories.
His experience using some of the newest hardware from Apple, Google, Samsung (and many others) on the market will come in handy if you’re trying to understand the devices you use better or need help making the right purchase decision.