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Style and Substance: Nothing Phone 2a Packs a Punch

Updated: Apr 12

Nothing continues its transparent design aesthetic with the new Nothing Phone (2a). Like its predecessors, the exposed internals give a peek into the phone's inner workings, which, combined with the Glyph interface's customisable LED lights, make for a truly distinctive look. This time, the phone is shaped like a cute robot face, with the camera forming the eyes. It's a unique touch that makes the Nothing Phone (2a) instantly recognisable.

Nothing Phone 2A

In terms of design, the Phone (2a) has a rectangular slab shape measuring 161.7 x 76.3 x 8.6mm. The rounded corners and edges make for a comfortable in-hand feel despite its large 6.7-inch display. The phone weighs 190g which is lightweight for its size. It comes in black and white color options, with the white variant better showing off the transparency of the back. The phone has an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance. While the back and sides are made of plastic that could scuff and scratch more easily than glass, this also makes the device shatterproof.

Nothing Phone 2A Screen

Under the hood, the Phone (2a) is powered by MediaTek's 4nm Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset, which provides decent performance for daily use. Despite it being a mid-range chipset, the Nothing Phone (2a) seemed very responsive. Animations and transitions were silky smooth, and applications launched in a flash. I played Asphalt 9 to see how well the game performs, and the cutscenes ran well, without stutter. In-game graphics looked decent too, though anti-aliasing could be improved for sharper edges.

It comes in three configurations - 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB, and 12GB/256GB but that varies in different countries. The display is a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. It gets bright enough at 1300 nits peak brightness, though it could have been brighter for outdoor use.

For photography, the Phone (2a) has a dual rear camera setup consisting of two 50MP sensors - a main wide camera and an ultra-wide. Both produce good image quality and detail, though colors can be inaccurate sometimes. The 32MP front camera is adequate for selfies and video calls. Video recording maxes out at 4K30fps on the rear and 1080p60fps on the front.

Nothing Phone 2A Fast Charging

Powering the whole package is a 5,000mAh battery.With moderate usage, the phone consistently lasted over a day and a half per charge. Even with more intensive use including navigation, streaming music/videos and graphics-heavy games, a full day of power was achievable. It supports 45W fast charging which is a standout feature at this price point. Most mid-range phones offer slower 18-33W charging speeds. Charging from 0-50% takes just 23 minutes as advertised which is impressive. However, no charger is included in the box. Other specs include 5G connectivity, NFC for payments, stereo speakers, and an in-display optical fingerprint sensor. The Nothing OS interface based on Android 14 provides a clean and customisable experience. Bloatware is minimal. Updates are promised for three years. Performance in general usage and gaming is smooth thanks to the 7200 Pro chip.

The Glyph interface on the back is the standout feature. Up to 900 nits of brightness and 16 lighting elements ensure the Glyph is clearly visible even under direct sunlight. Through the Glyph app, users can programme lighting for different ringtones, calls and apps. When a call comes in for example, the glyph will light up and pulse to match the ringtone. Notifications cause the glyph to flash briefly. This offers a fun, unique way to interact with the device beyond just the screen.


Nothing Phone (2A)


The Nothing Phone (2a) offers a unique design, good performance and battery life. The cameras could be better optimised and the display could be brighter. But overall, it provides a compelling package at this price point and is easy to recommend for those wanting something different from the usual smartphones.

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