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Nothing Phone (2): 5 things to know about the stylish handset

Does Nothing compare to (2)?

Nothing Phone (2): 5 things to know about the stylish handset

Nothing has announced the arrival of its latest phone, the Nothing Phone (2).

It's been quite the ride for Nothing, the burgeoning tech start-up. After coming on to the scene in 2021 with a pair of noise-cancelling earphones, it's now released four products (three earphone variations and one phone).

The Nothing Phone (2), then, is only its fifth device proper (not counting colour changes) and it arrives with a huge amount of buzz, and off the back of a prestigious T3 award for brand of the year.

This is a company backed by cool people. The likes of YouTube sensation Casey Neistat and dance outfit Swedish House Mafia have stakes in the business and it shows in the Nothing's marketing, live events (see the video below) and, well, swagger.

ShortList has been using the Nothing Phone (2) for a little while now - here are five things to know...

1. The Nothing (2) design is distinctive

Nothing Phone (2.0): 5 things to know about the new handset
Image Credit: Nothing

Compared to the Phone (1), Nothing has certainly upped the form factor. The Phone (2) has a premium feel right from the off - a lot of this has to do with the curved glass back. The aluminium frame is thinner, too, and Nothing has worked hard to make sure that everything feels that little more refined.

It's still got the see-through looks of the Nothing (1) and there are a few changes in side, with the charging circle in the middle looking different, as well as a new camera component area and a new styling for the Glyph notification lights (more on this later).

Display wise, you get a 6.7” flexible OLED display with 100 nits of power. Battery is 4700 mAh, with 15W charging.

2. The Nothing (2) UI gets a fantastic monochrome makeover

Nothing Phone (2.0): 5 things to know about the new handset
Image Credit: Nothing

I am really impressed with how deep the personalisations goes with the Nothing OS 2.0 UI. For a start, it allows you to modify app labels, grid designs, widgets sizes and colour themes - this means that the monochrome theme works throughout the whole UI and not just a few apps. It looks like Nothing has worked hard to achieve this and it really shows.

Given the monochrome look is all about not distracting you, it does a really good job - it was a joy to mute the colours of my apps, even if it took a little while to getting used to navigating to them without these colour indicators.

Nothing has also optimized its software, so opening up app is around twice as fast as that of Phone (1), and it has also refined over 500 transitions and animations.

3. The Glyph notifications have been improved

Nothing Phone (2.0): 5 things to know about the new handset
Image Credit: Nothing

I am a big fan of the Glyph interface on the Nothing (1) and couldn't wait to see what Nothing has done with Glyphs for the Phone (2). I wasn't disappointed, with Nothing allowing a bit more personalisation, with the ability to assign different sequences for each contact and notification type.

Theoretically this means that you can have a unique notification for when your Uber is near by - and it also means that you know at a glance if the notification you have received is from a person of importance and not just another spam email. For these important people and apps, a light will shine persistently until you’ve opened it which is a nice touch.

There is also something on board called a Glyph Composer which allows you to create your own Glyph Ringtones by recording a music sequence. It's a lot of fun, even if you never use any of the ditties that you create.

This feature is only going to get more interesting as Nothing is promising specially curated sound packs by musicians from around the world will be uploaded to the Glyph Composer. Swedish House Mafia are already on there and there are more to come.

4. The camera gets a decent upgrade

Nothing Phone (2.0): 5 things to know about the new handset
Image Credit: Nothing

Both the front and rear cameras have been given an imaging boost. The front camera is now 32MP (double the sensor size of the Nothing (1) selfie camera) and the rear lenses are an upgraded 50 MP main + 50 MP ultra- wide camera.

Nothing is using AI to enhance motion capture, so you get less judder when shooting things in real-time, plus the zoom is now a 2X Super-Res Zoom.

Even the quickest of snaps I took looked decent on the Nothing (2) and I can't wait to try out the camera more for a full review.

Video can be shot on 4K, 60fps via the rear or 1080p if you are using the front-facing camera.

5. We are all about the widgets

Nothing Phone (2.0): 5 things to know about the new handset
Image Credit: Nothing

Widgets have been given a massive makeover with the Phone (2). The widget library has been expanded with Nothing-designed widgets that now pack in swipeable views and animations for more levels of information.

I really like that you can create widgets for all your Quick Settings functions, too. Given I am forever using a Hotspot for work, it's great to have that as a widget, meaning I don't need to unlock your phone entirely to use this feature.