May 27, 2024
Nothing Phone (2a)

Nothing Phone (2a) Review:

With Nothing Phone (2a), the corporation makes a new effort to target consumers in the mainstream market while making the fewest possible concessions. The new phone has a similar general look to the Nothing Phone 2 (review), and it has the same iconic Glyph Interface and black-and-white UI. The phone also introduces the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro SoC, which is said to be more potent than its Snapdragon equivalents. In this Nothing Phone (2a) review, we try to learn that and more. Continue reading.

Rating: 8 / 10

Verdict

Things are going rather well with the Nothing Phone (2a). Although some smartphones in this category have distinctive designs, none are quite as distinctive as the phone’s translucent rear and Glyph Interface. The smartphone’s performance, battery life, cameras, and display all work well with this enticing feature, making it a good choice for everyday users.

Design and display

For the Phone (2a), nothing adheres to the same design language that was first used for the Phone 1 a few years prior. The phone has a translucent rear that serves as a window to the Glyph interface-branded LED modules. Nevertheless, the (2a) only has three LED modules surrounding the two rear cameras, in contrast to the more costly Nothing devices. Since the bottom half lacks LEDs, the charging indications found on the Phone (2) are also absent. Rather, there is a design that resembles a single, enormous ribbon wire.

There are a few things that could have been done differently, even though I respect the design decisions. For instance, fingerprints and smudges stick to the translucent back’s plastic construction. In the brief period I had the item, it also acquired a good number of scratches. Additionally, the cameras are prone to smudging, thus cleaning the lens is necessary to obtain sharp images.

The Nothing Phone (2a) has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and a peak brightness of 1,300 nits. These features make for an excellent viewing experience. To extend battery life, the Nothing smartphone’s adaptive refresh rate may automatically change the refresh rate between 30Hz and 120Hz depending on the content of the screen. Although you may lock the refresh rate to the maximum settings, you will lose the smartphone’s excellent battery life, which I’ll discuss in a moment.

Except for the refresh rate, the display quality is standard for the category. The screen appears bright even when viewed from an angle and supports broad color gamuts. Moreover, it boasts incredibly small bezels and deep, dark blacks to provide an immersive experience. The legibility in direct sunlight is passable but unimpressive. I read the material from the smartphone’s screen in direct sunlight without any problems.

The fingerprint scanner, which quickly and securely unlocks your device, is likewise housed in the display. It is not, however, the natural place for your thumb to rest. Some people may find it difficult to access the scanner because of its placement so far down the screen.

Glyph User Interface

In case you didn’t know, the company’s unique approach to drawing customers is the Glyph Interface. The interface is made up of LED modules that light up on the back panel in response to calls, notifications, progress indicators, and visual countdowns. Comparing The Phone (2a) to its older sibling Nothing Phone 2, the interface is a little bit simpler. This time, there are just three LED modules total—two on the left side of the camera module, arranged in arcs, and one vertically on the right.

The main goals of the Glyph Interface are to give the phone a distinctive appearance and ensure that you never miss a notification—even when it’s turned facedown and in silent mode. It also enables you to have some fun with things like creating your ringtones and getting the LEDs to dance to the music on your phone.

While it is undoubtedly alluring, purchasing this smartphone cannot be based only on it.

Cameras

The camera configuration of the less costly Phone (2) is also present in the Nothing Phone (2a). The phone has two back cameras: a 50 MP primary sensor and a 50 MP ultra-wide lens. It features a 32MP camera up front for video calls and selfies. Pixel-binning technology is used by the rear cameras to produce 12.5MP photos by default. At least under bright light, when the photographs appeared pretty appealing, I was really happy with the outcome. High contrast, impressive clarity, a good dynamic range, and an abundance of details are present. Even while the colors might not look natural, they give the pictures a strong, vivid look.

In well-lit environments, the ultra-wide lens also produces some respectable images. Although they are not as striking as the primary camera, the dynamic range, contrast ratio, and details appear decent. When using the 50MP ultra-wide, there is also a change in color, with the pictures tending towards warmer hues.

The cameras automatically go into night mode in low light to get those long-exposure pictures. Although you have the option to disable it, we would advise against doing so if you want clear, bright, and vivid photos with good exposure and no noise. Without the night mode, photos can come out a little fuzzy, grainy, and lifeless.

In low light or interior environments, the smartphone’s 32MP front camera may not function as well as its other cameras. But during the day, the camera produces some beautiful self-portraits with precise skin tones and great exposure.

Both software and performance

Performance-wise, the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset powers the Nothing Phone (2a). The business collaborated with MediaTek, a chipmaker, to develop a new chipset for smartphones. Although the chipset is not as potent as the one that came with the iQOO Z7 Pro (review), it does appear to be superior to the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 SoC.

Now, the smartphone comes pre-installed with Nothing OS 2.5, which is based on Android 14. It offers the same user experience as the software’s prior version. Next, there are new home screen widgets that now work with the media player and camera, featuring swipeable views and animations for additional information.

More significantly, the software has a clear and simple user interface because it doesn’t contain any bloatware, or third-party apps. For the smartphone, the business has promised to provide four years of security updates and three years of major software upgrades.

Recharging and battery

The Nothing Phone (2a) has a conventional 5,000mAh battery, which seems to be well-optimized to provide more than a day’s worth of backup power between charges. I was going to bed with 40% of the power remaining due to my reasonably heavy usage. You won’t be rushing to find a charger, but a little bit more use may lower that percentage by the end of the day.

Regarding charging, the device includes a 45W wired charging option, although the charger is an additional cost. A 45W Type-C charger from a third party will take about 70 minutes to fully charge the phone from zero to one hundred percent.

Final verdict

In India, the Nothing Phone (2a) is available for purchase for Rs 23,999. For those on a limited budget who cannot get the flagship Nothing Phone (2), which is presently on sale for as little as Rs 36,999, this is a reasonable substitute. The Phone (2a) lives up to expectations even if it lacks flagship-caliber features like wireless charging and a powerful CPU.

The phone functions well for daily chores, even though it might not be as user-friendly as the POCO X6 Pro (review). Although the Phone (2a)’s cameras aren’t as adaptable as those of its rivals, such as the Realme 12 Pro+ (review), they nevertheless function admirably in a variety of lighting scenarios. All things considered, the Phone (2a) has a unique design compared to other devices in the sector, and its software is clear and easy to use. In addition, the gadget provides a great viewing experience, clear audio, and a long battery life.

The Nothing Phone (2a) is an appealing option for general consumers because of all these features.

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