Nothing Phone 2a brings personality to affordable phones

By Rajesh Regmi 4 Min Read

The budget phone crowd is usually awash in bland, samey devices. But the Nothing Phone 2a arrives to offer a much-needed injection of personality. This is Nothing’s first foray into truly affordable territory, and with prices starting at £319 (€329), it seems the company may have something special on its hands.

Let’s be clear: the Nothing Phone 2a isn’t going to dethrone any flagship handset. But its value proposition is undeniable. You get a 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED display, a fairly potent MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset, a generous 5,000mAh battery (with 45W wired charging), and a surprisingly capable main camera with a 50-megapixel sensor. It even has an IP54 rating for basic dust and water resistance.

The Nothing Phone 2a’s design is about more than just lights. But those lights help. Image: Nothing.

None of these specs alone would set it apart from other players in the race, but collectively they look impressive on a budget device. Still, compromises are inevitable, especially if look for a device that’s low on cash. And Nothing Phone 2a is no different. The frame and back panel are plastic, and you don’t get a wireless charging option. Though these aren’t a trade-off I would nitpick on honestly.

The real star of the show is the design. It’s instantly recognizable as a Nothing product. The transparent back, the Glyph lights, and the minimalist software combine for an aesthetic that pops, especially in contrast to its generic competitors.

Nothing Phone 2a
Display6.7-inch AMOLED, FHD+ resolution
120Hz display refresh rate (30Hz-120Hz)
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro
RAM8 or 12GB
Storage128 or 256GB
45W wired charging
(No charger in box)
– 50MP main f/1.88, 1/1.56-inch sensor, OIS & EIS, AF
-50MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 114-degree FoV, 1/2.76-inch sensor
– 32MP f/2.2, 1/2.74-inch sensor
4K at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, 1080p at 120fps (Slo-Mo)
1080p at 60fps
AudioDual stereo speakers
Dual mics
No 3.5mm port
Connectivity5G (Sub6 only)
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.3
SIMDual nano-SIM tray
SecurityOptical under-display fingerprint sensor
3 years of OS updates
4 years of security updates
Polycarbonate back
Aluminum chassis
SoftwareAndroid 14
Nothing OS 2.5
Dimensions and weight161.74 x 76.32 x 8.55mm
ColorsWhite, Black, Blue (India Exclusive), Special Edition
ExtrasGlyph lights on the back
Supports countdown timer light
Nothing Phone 2a specifications.

Value That’s Hard to Beat

At $349, the Nothing Phone 2a comes out as an interesting choice. It’s not perfect, but considering the overall package, those compromises seem much easier to swallow. The well-designed interface, fun Glyph lights, and informative always-on display all feel like premium perks on a budget phone.

Bezel symmetry? Nothing does it better in the budget category. Image: Nothing.

But there is a unfortunate news for US-based tech fans. The Phone 2a is available only via Nothing’s developer program in the country, and network support is also rather shaky. It has some T-Mobile 5G compatibility, while Verizon and AT&T users are stuck with LTE. This kind of inconsistency makes the Phone 2a a risky choice as an everyday phone in the US.

The Nothing Phone 2A is a reminder that the budget phone category doesn’t have to be completely devoid of style and substance. It makes its imperfections easy to forgive thanks to a bold take on design and a price that’s tough to argue with.

The US carrier situation is a major bummer, but for those in supported regions, the Phone 2a could very well be the most unique and exciting budget phone of the year.

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