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  • Soon Kai Hong & Bryan Tan

This Phone (2) Is "Nothing" Short Of Cool!

Today, we're taking a look at the Nothing Phone (2), a smartphone that, like its predecessor, is continuing to shake up the rules of the smartphone market. In a world cluttered with our usual suspects like Apple, Google and Samsung, Nothing is turning heads and raising eyebrows with its latest smartphone refresh, the Nothing Phone (2).

So, let's cut to the chase and explore what makes this device tick under those sleek and transparent glasses.


If you're tired of the same old cookie-cutter designs, the Nothing Phone (2) saves the day. Sporting a similar design as its predecessor with a transparent Gorilla Glass back that showcases the device's inner workings, it's like carrying a piece of art in your pocket.

But the artistic flair continues beyond there; the Glyph interface, those LED strips that dance and pulse according to notifications and ringtones, are just as customisable as the Phone (1), allowing you to sync it to timers, volume indicators, Google Assistant and more!

Display, Audio & Nothing OS

Now, let's talk visuals. The 6.7-inch OLED display is a treat for your eyes, boasting vibrant colours and a super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate with an in-screen fingerprint reader. The colours are vibrant, as expected of an OLED display.

On the other hand, the speakers do fall slightly short of expectation, sounding a little hollow and lacking any form of bass whatsoever. The stereo imaging also seems to favour the right speaker slightly more; not sure if it's just our unit or if it affects other units as well, but do check out a demo unit at a physical store if it bothers you.

Nothing OS is the custom-skinned version of Android 13 that comes pre-installed on the Nothing Phone (2) and the Phone (1). One of the most notable things about Nothing OS is its design. The entire operating system is monochrome, with white text and icons on a black background, which gives the Phone an overall clean and minimalist look.

The icons are Nothing OS themed, but the Android UI still follows the colour scheme of Android 13, which mainly follows the colour palette from your current wallpaper. Therefore you might take up some time tinkering with the customisation settings and wallpapers to achieve a colour scheme that gels well with Nothing OS.

In terms of performance, Nothing OS is smooth and responsive. It doesn't have any bloatware, so it feels fast and clean. However, if you're looking for an Android skin with many features or customisation options, Nothing OS might feel bare or stock-like.

Performance & Gaming

The mobile gaming space is getting bigger and bigger and it's not going to stop anytime soon. As avid gamers ourselves, we had to put the Nothing Phone (2) through its paces and really bring out the full potential of that Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. Needless to say, we loaded up our favourite games from Hoyoverse.

Honkai: Star Rail is an amazingly beautiful game with a nice twist to the classic turn-based battle system. But don't be fooled by how seemingly simple the gameplay looks to be, some serious grunt is required to really enjoy the game in its full visual fidelity. We're glad to say that after much testing, the Nothing Phone (2) is able to run Honkai: Star rail smoothly with an average of 60 frames per second with the graphics quality set to High.

We did notice slight hiccups and drop in frames during world exploration but it would seem to largely coincide whenever there's some loading of assets in the background and more. In combat, frame rate is really stable and never drops below 54 frames per second. Though to be fair, we reckon it isn't that huge an issue considering that it is a turn-based combat game after all. And heck, we're pretty sure most of you will simply play the game with 2x Fast-Forward speed. AFK gaming for the win.

Genshin Impact is yet another beautiful game. Seriously Hoyoverse, we're getting poor. Compared to Honkai: Star Rail however, Genshin Impact certainly asks yet even more from the SoC, given how large in scale the map is and the fact that combat is active with multiple characters and enemies happening at the same time. Not to mention the glorious visual effects from skills and ultimates.

Frame rate can vary wildly in Genshin Impact and it all really depends on the location and what's happening on screen. In cities like Mondstadt or Liyue, frame rate is pretty consistent, averaging a solid 60 frames per second. However, once you go out into the wilderness and participate in combat, 45 to 50 frames per second on average seems to be much more common. All in all, we would say that the experience is still very playable and enjoyable but we certainly did expect just a tad bit more, especially considering we're just running on the High preset.

We do also want to bring up a particular point when playing such graphically demanding games. The Nothing Phone (2) can get quite warm to the touch, measuring around 36C on the metal frame where your fingers would naturally reside and about 40C on the centre of the display itself. We would certainly suggest slapping on a phone cover or pairing a gaming controller if you plan to play for long hours at a time.


This year, Nothing has also taken the liberty to improve the Phone (2) camera performance; the camera game is solid with a 50MP primary and ultra-wide camera combo.

Daylight shots are vibrant and sharp, capturing details in most scenarios, and like most mid-range options, low light suffers a little with processing.

Sure, it's not challenging the likes of Pixel or iPhone, but hey, it's like going from your beginner skateboard to a legit kickflip, not there yet, but it's definitely on its way.

Battery Life

With its 4,700mAh battery and smart Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, it definitely lasts longer than a Netflix binge. Charging is a breeze, too, with wireless, wired, and reverse wireless options.

In a world where we're constantly on the go, a battery that keeps up is essential.

Pricing & Availability

Starting at S$999 for the 12+256GB and S$1,099 for 12+512GB, the Phone (2) is truly a pocket-friendly option. You're not just getting a phone; you're getting a futuristic art piece that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

So, should you be clicking that "add to cart" button? If you want more than just a smartphone, if you're craving a futuristic design that matches your vibes, then the Nothing Phone (2) is speaking your language. Sure, it might not have the fanciest camera out there or be the fastest chip in town, but it's like that quirky indie film that makes you think differently.

For those who crave uniqueness and a departure from the norm, the Phone (2) is ready to be your partner in crime.

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