Nothing Phone 2A Review – Pros and Cons, Verdict | 91mobiles

Nothing Phone (2A) This is a new attempt from the company to target buyers in the mainstream segment, and it does so with minimal compromises. The overall design looks like nothing phone 2 ,Review), and the new phone also comes with Nothing's signature glyph interface and black-and-white-themed UI. Additionally, the handset marks the beginning of MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro SoC, which is said to be more powerful than its Snapdragon counterparts. We try to find out this and more in this Nothing Phone (2A) review. keep reading.

Decision

Design and performance

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Nothing for the phone (2A) is following the same design language that it introduced with phone 1 A few years ago. The handset has a transparent back, which is your window to the LED module, marketed as a Glyph interface. However, unlike more expensive Nothing smartphones, the (2a) only has three LED modules surrounding the dual rear cameras. There's no LED at the bottom, which means there's also no visible charging indicator on the phone (2). Instead, there is a pattern that resembles a giant ribbon cable.

The company has also omitted wireless charging for this device, which makes sense given its relatively cheap price. The dual cameras are located horizontally in the center of the frame, reminiscent of a pair of eyes. There's a slight hump where the cameras are placed, and the company has done a good job of blending that hump seamlessly with the body so that your fingers don't rub awkwardly when holding the device.

While I appreciate the design choices, there are a few things that could have been done differently. For example, the transparent back, which is made of plastic, is a magnet for fingerprints and smudges. The device also suffered quite a few scratches during my short time with it. The camera can also easily get smudged, requiring you to clean the lens to get a clear shot.

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Still, the device is quite comfortable to hold for long periods of use. This can be attributed to the phone's (2a) lightweight design (190 grams to be exact) and flat edges, which have a textured finish and provide a solid grip. The volume and power buttons are located separately on both sides of the frame, and they are within reach without resorting to finger gymnastics. The handset has a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer at the bottom edge along with the speaker grille. There is a secondary speaker on the top edge for stereo output. However, I found the speakers to be a bit weak, lacking clarity and clarity.

As for the viewing experience, the Nothing Phone (2a) features a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 1,300 nits peak brightness, and 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. Adaptive refresh rate on Nothing smartphones can automatically adjust the refresh rate between 30Hz and 120Hz depending on screen content to extend battery life. There is an option to lock the refresh rate to the highest settings, but you won't get the great battery life that the smartphone currently offers, which I'll talk about in a bit.

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Apart from the refresh rate, the display quality is as good as you find in this segment. The screen supports wide color gamut and looks vibrant even from an angle. It also offers deep, dark black colors and ultra-thin bezels, ensuring a great experience. Sunlight accessibility is good but not impressive. I had no problem reading content from the smartphone screen in direct sunlight.

The display is also home to a fingerprint scanner, which unlocks your device securely without any hassle. However, this is not where your thumb would naturally rest. The scanner is placed so low from the screen that there may be some difficulty in reaching it.

glyph interface

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In case you're unaware, the Glyph interface is the company's unique offering to attract users. The interface consists of LED modules on the back panel that light up for notifications, calls, visual countdowns, and progress indicators. The phone (2a) gets a slightly simplified interface compared to its bigger brother the Nothing Phone 2. It has fewer LED modules, this time only three in total – two are located in the arch on the left side of the camera module, while the third is placed vertically on the right side.

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The main purpose of the Glyph interface is to provide a unique look to the device and ensure that you don't miss any notifications even when the phone is face down and on silent mode. Additionally, it lets you create your own ringtone and enjoy watching the LEDs dance to the music playing on the phone, among other things.

This is certainly attractive, but cannot be the only reason to buy this smartphone.

camera

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The Nothing phone (2a) has the same camera setup as the more expensive phone (2). The handset sports dual rear cameras, consisting of a 50MP main sensor and a 50MP ultra-wide lens. On the front, it has a 32MP snapper for selfies and video calling. The rear cameras use pixel-binning technology to output 12.5MP images by default. I was very pleased with the results, at least in daylight, where the images looked quite attractive. It has plenty of detail, good dynamic range, high contrast and commendable sharpness. Although the colors may not look completely natural, they add an attractive and vibrant quality to images.

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The ultra-wide lens captures some good shots even in well-lit areas. Dynamic range, contrast ratio and detail look good, but not as impressive as the primary camera. Additionally, there is a shift in colors when switching to the 50MP ultra-wide, with images leaning towards warmer tones.

In low light, the cameras automatically switch to Night Mode to click those long exposure shots. There is an option to turn it off, but if you are looking for sharp, clear and vibrant images with excellent exposure and minimal noise, we would recommend not turning this feature off. Images taken without Night Mode may appear slightly blurry, grainy, and less vibrant. Although the phone also offers the option to use the Glyph interface to shed some light in low-light areas, it still doesn't match the effectiveness of night mode.

The performance of the 32MP front camera may not be as good as other cameras on smartphones indoors or when the sun is down. However, in daylight, the camera captures some stunning selfies with excellent exposure and accurate skin tones.

Display and Software

Performance-wise, the Nothing Phone (2A) is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset. This is a new chipset for which the company has worked with smartphone chipmaker MediaTek. While the chipset is not as powerful as the Dimensity 7200 Ultra that was introduced iQOO Z7 Pro ,Review), it seems to have an edge over the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 SoC. This superiority is evident on benchmarking tests, where the phone (2a) consistently gets higher Geekbench and AnTuTu scores than its Snapdragon-powered counterpart Realme 12 Pro+.

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However, the handset slows down a bit under intense load. In the CPU throttle test, the phone throttled down to 69 percent of its peak performance while running 50 threads for half an hour. This may be a concern for power users who enjoy mobile gaming. However, the phone (2A) is not positioned as a gaming device; It is more adapted to lifestyle use. It can handle routine tasks like browsing, social media scrolling, multitasking quite admirably. The phone (2A) is also capable of handling graphically demanding games like BGMI and Call of Duty with medium settings. Despite the large 3,200 mm square vapor chamber cooling system, the phone's temperature rises significantly during gaming, which can reduce performance and battery life over time.

The Nothing Phone (2a) comes in three RAM and storage configurations: 8GB+128GB, 8GB+256GB, and 12GB+256GB. The storage is not expandable by the user so calculate your storage requirements wisely before investing in a smartphone.

Moving forward, the smartphone runs Android 14-based Nothing OS 2.5 out of the box. It provides the same user experience as the previous version of the software. When setting up the device you have the option to select Nothing's monochromatic icon pack, which is still not optimized for all apps. Then there are new widgets for the home screen, with swipeable views and animations for more information, which are now compatible with the camera and media player. Additionally, animations and transitions have been refined to further improve the overall experience.

More importantly, the software lacks any third-party apps, aka bloatware, resulting in a clean and uncluttered UI. The company is committed to providing three years of major software upgrades and four years of security updates for the smartphone.

Battery and Charging

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On the battery front, the Nothing Phone (2A) has a standard 5,000mAh cell, which appears to be well optimized to deliver over a day of backup between charges. With my fairly active usage, I was hitting the bed and still had 40 percent battery life left in the tank. A little heavy use may bring this percentage down by the end of the day, but rest assured you won't have to struggle for a charger.

As far as charging is concerned, the handset comes with a 45W wired charging solution, although the charger will have to be purchased separately. When using a third-party 45W Type-C charger, the handset takes around 70 minutes to fully charge from 0-100 percent.

final call

Nothing Phone (2A) has been launched in India at a starting price of Rs 23,999. This is a good option for those who are budget constrained and can't afford the flagship Nothing Phone (2), which is currently selling for as low as Rs 36,999. Although the phone (2a) may not have flagship-grade features like wireless charging and a top-class chipset, it delivers on its promises well.

However the phone may not meet the needs of such power users poco x6 pro ,Review), it performs adequately for everyday tasks. The phone's (2A) cameras aren't as versatile as its competitors realme 12 pro+ ,Review), but they still perform well in a variety of lighting conditions. Overall, the design of the phone (2a) is unlike anything else in this segment, and its software is clean and user-friendly. Furthermore, the device offers an impressive viewing experience with crisp audio and excellent battery life.

All these factors make the Nothing Phone (2A) an attractive option for mainstream buyers.

Editor's Rating: 8/10

reason to buy

  • The transparent back and glyph interface add to the overall appeal of the smartphone.
  • The AMOLED display is great to look at both indoors and outdoors.
  • The cameras are capable of capturing photos with good details and vibrant colors.
  • The handset offers long lasting battery life.

reason not to buy

  • The back panel of the phone can easily pick up stains and scratches.
  • Throttling observed under intense load during extended use
  • The 45W Type-C charger needs to be purchased separately.

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