The Nothing Phone (1) is a phone launched in July 2022 by one of the ex-founders of OnePlus, Carl Pei. The specifications for the price are above average. It has a 120Hz OLED screen with a stable, reliable, consistent Snapdragon 778G+.
It had a dual camera setup, 50MP (IMX766) primary camera and the 50MP JN1 as the ultra-wide camera. The standout of this phone was its unique design with LED lights at the back. It also ran near-stock Android that was polished, refined and had no bloatware or adverts.
The software was mainly praised due to its minimalism and simplicity. The phone also has an optical under-display fingerprint scanner and stereo speakers.
The LED lights on the back could be used as a camera fill light; the lights flashed when you got notifications, indicated your charging levels, and a blinking red light indicated video recording. You could also set it to flashlights in a particular way for specific contacts.
These features were mainly gimmicky, and while the lights were a unique take on smartphone design, they were nothing more than a fancy party trick.
33 Watts (Wired) and 15W (Wireless) with 5W reverse wireless charging are uncommon at the price it launched, which was 399$.
In India, the phone launched at 32,999 for the base model, which got a price bump a few months later, but recently the price was cut down to 27,499. It’s arguably one of the best phones that can be found at that price.
The phone was criticised for its low brightness levels, poor quality control (many units had display tint and flickering), and inconsistent updates. The third update reportedly made the software experience very buggy and adversely affected battery life.
The software was also criticised for having a limited feature set and scanty customisation with insufficient features, and their decision to launch Android 13 in 2023 became a point of criticism too.
While the camera hardware was good, the software tuning needed more work, especially the ultra-wide camera. The fact that the price was hiked in India was met with disapproval too. Despite these flaws, the phone still left a remarkable impression in the tech community for being a neat and clean package with a unique design, minimal software and a reasonable price tag.
The future of Nothing
They want to build an ecosystem. They started with wireless earbuds and have a phone too. We should see a smartwatch, tablet or laptop next to complement the existing ecosystem.
Seeing if Nothing continues catering to enthusiasts and mainstream buyers is interesting. OnePlus decided to leave enthusiasts behind in favour of a larger mainstream market. The Nothing Phone is aimed at enthusiasts looking for a fresh design and Stock Android.
The next iteration will be more appealing to the mainstream and a slightly better phone that sells more. This cycle will continue until they’ve made a desirable phone that sells well but one that feels like it abandoned its original fanbase. We hope this does not happen with Nothing, and they will find a way to satisfy both camps and strike a good balance.
They will probably choose to continue making a phone targeted at the premium midrange audience.
Nothing Phone 2: Five things we want to see
1: A better display and improved Quality Control
Better quality control and a higher quality panel with lower issues will be a welcome change for the Nothing Phone 2. While the 120Hz refresh rate is excellent, the panel could use higher peak brightness and better manual brightness too. People reported issues with dead pixels near the camera, green tint, flickering issues, etc., that hopefully shouldn’t be present in their next phone.
Since we’re currently on LTPO 3.0 and LTPO 4 is in the works, it wouldn’t be too much of an ask to use LTPO 1.0 on the Nothing Phone 1 to improve its battery life. This is just a suggestion; it’s implausible that we’ll see LTPO in the midrange segment soon.
2: Better image processing
While the mediocre camera performance was forgiven on their first phone, the company has nearly a year to develop the image processing algorithms for their next iteration. They can drastically improve the ultra-wide camera’s corner and centre sharpness and HDR processing.
Noise reduction algorithms also need work, and video quality needs to be considered. The primary camera could also do with an upgrade, moving from the IMX766 to the new IMX890 sensor. While Phone (1) had no telephoto camera, a simple 2X zoom lens for portrait shots on the Phone 2 will be welcome.
3: Better and more consistent software updates
Several reviewers say the third OTA update completely messed up the phone’s user experience. App crashes, random freezes and jitters bugged the users. The phone also had a worse standby drain and worse battery life since then. While the issues were patched, later on, the update should have never been this bad in the first place.
Also, the Android 13 update is coming much later than other brands, sometime in 2023. So it’d be nice if the Nothing Phone 2 got Android updates a little faster.
4: Faster charging speeds
15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging are decent enough. But 33W wired charging is relatively slow in 2022, where 65W+ charging has become the industry standard. You don’t even get a charger in the box. Improving the charging speed to at least 65W wired charging will be a tremendous quality-of-life upgrade.
5: Better software and more features
While the Nothing Phone (1) had great minimal and clean software that reminded us of the old OnePlus days, it could seriously do with many more features and customisation. A theme store to change the icons would be a great addition, and more home screen customisation.
Missing features like floating windows, dual/parallel apps, native app lock, etc., are features that many people use daily. These have been omitted to keep the software light. Adding more customisation to the Nothing OS software skin would make it a compelling buy for many people.
It’d also be great if we could do more with those LED lights on the back. Customising them to do more than Nothing lets us do by default would be great.
Nothing Phone 2 Specifications
We can expect a 120Hz OLED screen, hopefully, faster charging, IMX890 primary sensor with the same JN1 ultrawide, a 4500 mAh battery, and hopefully an upgrade to a newer chip like the 782G. Even the 7 Gen 1 would be an upgrade.
We’ll mostly see the same 15W wireless charging, 5W reverse charging, LED lights on the back and dual stereo speakers. A glass back and aluminium frame are expected too. IP53 splash resistance rating, UFS 3.1 Storage and Bluetooth 5.2 will probably be used.
While the Phone 1 had a USB Type C 2.0 port with prolonged transfer speeds, we hope Phone 2 fixes that with faster transfer speeds, like USB C 3.1. Front camera video recording at 4K resolution and 60 FPS should also be supported.
In anticipation, there’ll be a triple camera setup and a third camera that might have 2X or 3X optical zoom. These are all expected specifications and aren’t leaks or anything official.
Nothing Phone 2 Release Date
- Nothing Phone 2 will likely be released in August 2023.
Carl Pei said Nothing Phone 2 would not be introduced anytime. Your wait for next generation Nothing handset might be longer than you think. The company is currently focusing on Phone 1 to improve the software experience.
Nothing began teasing the phone in May 2022, and some creators got early access to it in June. By July, the phone was out to be purchased by the public. Since Phone 2 isn’t launching anytime soon, we assume it won’t launch in the first half of 2023.
By logical estimation, teasing for the Nothing Phone 2 should begin by July 2023, and we should see the phone come out sometime in August. This is pure speculation, though, since no one has any information on the release date.
Nothing Phone 2 Price in India
- Nothing Phone 2 could be priced at INR 32,999 in India.
While people have said Nothing might jump ship to a higher price segment and make a phone with a flagship SOC like the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 or 8 Gen 2 and price it at 55000 or higher, we think that is unlikely at the moment since the company is not that big or established yet. This is not to dismiss the idea, but it does not appear plausible.
We can estimate the price, so this must be taken with a pinch of salt. No official information on the price is out, and there are no valid leaks. We can expect the Phone 2 to stay at the same launch price, i.e. INR 32,999 if it’s a midrange phone, but if they have several meaningful upgrades, the price might be bumped up to INR 39,999.