After building up the anticipation and dropping many teasers of what’s to come, the Nothing Phone (2a) reviews are finally out, lighting the way forward with redesigned glyph lights. Earlier last month, the company confirmed a Nothing Phone (2a) release date of March 5, 2024. Amidst a lot of rumors and speculation, the company arrived at the Mobile World Congress 2024 event in Barcelona to add some flavor to the conversation, giving users a first glimpse at the new design of the device. The Nothing Phone (2a) specs are simplistic and do leave something to be desired, but if you’re looking for a short and sweet review, then all you need to know is that it’s cheap, it’s unique, and it has a camera that can sufficiently cater to your needs. 

If you’re not going to be attending concerts where you need 10x zoom to record your favorite celebrity performing from a mile away, then you’ll likely do fine with the Nothing Phone (2a) camera on this phone. It’s a device that, while a little gimmicky, does everything you need your smartphone to do.

A Nothing Phone (2a) Review

The Nothing Phone (2a) in White and Black

Nothing Phone (2a) Review: Answering All Your Questions About the Latest Release

Minimalism is the name of the game and the Nothing Phone 1 made an admirable impact when it first dropped, keeping things clean and simple while also embracing flashy. There were a considerable number of complaints about the device’s capabilities, but the device garnered quite the fan following immediately on release. Nothing Phone 2 was significantly improved but despite the attractive design features, for those familiar with the pleasure of using a Samsung or Google phone, the actual experience of the device was somewhat lacking. It seems the Nothing Phone (2a) reviews feel similarly about the latest release as well. 

The problem with reviewing Nothing Phones is that despite the company clearly making minimalism and simplicity the whole point of the device, we inevitably compare it to what’s out on the market and how it performs in comparison. Many shortcomings come up then, but the phone isn’t necessarily designed to address those conditions—it’s here to be your basic best friend. A review is unavoidable so review we shall, so if you have any pressing questions to ask about the new release, here are some answers that may help.

What is the Nothing Phone (2a) Release Date?

During a community update last month, Nothing co-founder Akis Evangelidis announced the Nothing Phone (2a)—codenamed Aerodactyl—and confirmed that we would see an upgraded smartphone release soon. Later, Nothing CEO Carl Pei also sat down to discuss the inspiration behind the redesigned phone, and in the process, confirmed a global Nothing Phone (2a) release date for March 5, 2024. Pre-orders have now begun and the phone should go into distribution on March 12, 2024. 

Unfortunately for the U.S., the Nothing Phone (2a) release date doesn’t mean as much to the region as the device will only be available through a developer program for a limited number of customers. The highly affordable smartphone will be available in Asian and European markets, but U.S. customers will not be able to participate in this launch as easily.

What Are the Best Features of Nothing Phone (2a)?

The Nothing Phone (2a) specs really shine when it comes to two aspects: the Nothing OS 2.5 and the rear glyph lights. The OS interface is one of the most well-designed ones we’ve seen, and it is powered by Android 14 so it does retain some of the more traditional design elements. It is familiar but distinctive. Even with limited choices in terms of the layout and setup compared to other smartphones that allow you to customize the UI any way you’d like, it still provides enough range within the monochrome UI for customers to customize what they see on their screens. The freedom from bloatware is one of the main reasons to invest in the Nothing Phones, but style comes a close second. 

One of the downsides is that the Nothing OS does not guarantee long-term upgrades, with three years of software updates and four years of security updates. That covers the purchase cycle of a smartphone for many users but it can be a disappointment if you hope to use it long-term.

Does the New Nothing Phone Have Lights?

If there is one thing you can be certain of with our Nothing Phone (2a) review, it is our love for the glyph lights. The back panel still features the glyph lights that are a core part of the smartphone’s identity and the design with the exposed insides of the phone is quite welcome as well. The number and size of the lightstrips have been drastically reduced so while we’re a little disappointed, those who found the extensive light circuit on the Nothing Phone 2 to be too intrusive might have a better time with the redesign. 

The LED glyph interface has 15 innovative functions, for example, it alerts you to preferred notifications without having to flip your phone to check the screen. The flashing glyph gives you a visual representation of your timer, even when using it for your camera, and it gives you a white-light representation of your volume levels as well. The glyphs also light up in response to your music so it’s a fun little detail to keep you entertained.

What Type of Screen Is Nothing (2a)?

The Nothing Phone (2a) specs are quite straightforward and don’t do anything over the top. Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro processor, the device has a 6.7-inch flexible AMOLED display that has 1084×2412 resolution, 30-120 Hz adaptive refresh rate, and promises peak brightness of 1300 nits. The Corning Gorilla Glass5 promises decent strength in front and instead of glass, titanium, steel, or all the other materials smartphones are flaunting, this one has a plastic backing for the transparent back of the device. It’s unusual, to say the least.

Is the Nothing Phone (2a) Camera Good?

The Nothing Phone (2a) camera is not bad at all, promising more true-to-life photos than vivid high-quality images. There are two rear cameras on the device, one 50MP lens with Optical and Electronic Image Stabilization support, as well as another 50MP with a 114° field of view. The front camera has a decent 32MP lens as well for all your selfie needs. 

The company also showcases its TrueLens Engine co-developed with Google, as well as its other camera features such as enhanced night mode, dynamic motion capture features, and its portrait optimizer for the finer details. The camera isn’t the best on the market by any means but they perform well for a budget phone for your everyday needs.

How Long Does It Take To Charge the Nothing Phone (2a)?

Another detail we appreciate in our Nothing Phone (2a) review is the battery specs. The smartphone has a 5,000 mAh battery which they claim is their most advanced. The 45W fast charge capability guarantees a day’s worth of power in 20 minutes. The promised battery life suggests you can go almost two days between charges but being realistic, its battery life is probably a little less efficient than that. The Guardian reported that it lasted 52 hours with general use so that’s quite reassuring to see but we’re still doubtful of its battery life over time.

Nothing Phone (2a) Release Date

Image: Nothing

Does Nothing (2a) Support Wireless Charging?

The Nothing Phone (2a) specs may boast an impressive battery but there is no support for wireless charging, which is quite unfortunate. Considering the Nothing Phone (2a) price, you might be able to see why wireless charging might have been skipped with this device but it is one feature that will be sorely missed by many.

Is the Nothing Phone (2a) Waterproof?

While we’re talking about what it doesn’t have, let’s also get the water resistance out of the way. The Nothing Phone (2a) has an IP54 rating which means that some amount of water spraying and splashing in its direction should be alright. However, you’re better off avoiding any water entirely as the Nothing Phone (2a) is not waterproof. The company claims it has been tested by being “submerged in 25cm of water for 20 minutes,” but the IP54 does make us worry about the validity of the claim. We do find this to be one of the bigger letdowns of our Nothing Phone (2a) review.

Does Nothing Phone (2a) Support 5G?

The Nothing Phone (2a) does have dual SIM and 5G connection support but reviewers in the US have found the connection to be quite patchy due to the varying band support. There is also Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6 support. The newly released Nothing phone also supports NFC payment for Google Pay.

The Nothing Phone (2a) price has been set at $349 USD for those who manage to gain access to it through the developer program in the U.S. This gets you a phone with 12 GB LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB UFS 2.2 storage. U.K. customers can buy the same model for £349 pounds. The Nothing Phone (2a) price for the cheaper alternative with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage is set at £319 pounds. The UFS 2.2 storage speed appears to have left many disappointed but it appears to be a compromise the company has consciously made to preserve their budget for other design elements.

To summarize our Nothing Phone (2a) review, the device is stylish, easy to use, and lasts for a long time thanks to its 5,000mAh battery. The glyphs serve as the main attraction but the minimalist monochromatic interface is quite appealing as well. The device does have some downsides like the lack of wireless charging or limited water resistance, but for $349 USD, it easily becomes worth the money.