One of the most interesting devices of 2022 was the Nothing Phone (1). It wasn’t just the cool lighting on the rear that made it stand out (although that helped), but rather the emergence of a new brand that managed to take on the big boys without being wiped out.
Now, the next generation of the handset is reported to be in production, so how will Carl Pei and his team deal with the traditionally difficult second album?
Here’s all we know so far about the Nothing Phone (2).
When will the Nothing Phone (2) be released?
There’s no official release date for the Nothing Phone (2) at the time of writing but Carl Pei, the company’s CEO, did confirm in an interview with Inverse that it would be later in 2023 and that this time around the device would get an official launch in the US, unlike the Nothing Phone (1).
As a rough guide for when the new model will appear we can look to its forebear, which made its debut in July 2022. But with Nothing being a new company, there’s no telling yet whether it intends to use a 12-month update cycle or hold on a bit longer before introducing the successor.
One hint is that in late March the phone was spotted on the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certification site by 91mobiles. The listing itself doesn’t reveal anything about the Phone (2) aside from a model number (AIN065), but certification suggests that the phone is finished and nearly ready to launch. Could we see it arrive even before July?
How much will the Nothing Phone (2) cost?
Again, it’s too early to know for sure. The Nothing Phone (1) surprised many people (us among them) when it’s hugely competitive pricing was revealed. Here’s how the various configurations lined up:
- 8GB + 128GB: £399/€469/₹33,999/$299 (beta-only in US)
- 8GB + 256GB: £449/€499/₹36,999 (approx. $540)
- 12GB + 256GB: £499/€549/₹39,999 (approx. $600)
Dominic Preston / Foundry
In the interview with Inverse, Carl Pei did say that the new device would be “more premium than the Nothing Phone (1),” which could indicate a move from the mid-range to the higher end. Obviously, this would bring a price increase, although how much is uncertain.
What features will we see in the Nothing Phone (2)?
We’ve seen very little in the way of details when it comes to the technical specifications likely to appear in the Nothing Phone (2). If it is to be a ‘more premium’ device, then we suspect that a few areas that will be addressed are the processor, cameras and battery life.
At Mobile World Congress in February, Pei announced the Nothing Phone (2) will run a Snapdragon 8 series chipset.
However it’s not confirmed which chipset specifically. That could mean it’s the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but using the older 8 Gen 1 or 8+ Gen 1 could let the company deliver increased performance while keeping the price on the lower side of the Samsung and Apple behemoths.
The Nothing Phone (1) came equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ chip, which is a solid mid-range processor.
The cat might already be out the bag though as 91Mobiles spotted a LinkedIn post from MWC by Qualcomm executive Alex Katouzian that plain said the Phone (2) will run the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The post has since been edited, but a bit late now. Whoops.
If correct, the Phone (2) will run the same chipset as the OnePlus 10T and could well mean a powerful phone for a reasonable price, letting Nothing lean into the ‘affordable flagship’ mantra Pei was successful with back when he was with OnePlus.
The twin 50Mp main and ultrawide cameras in the Nothing Phone (1) were actually decent, and perhaps the primary issue we detected in our review was that the computational software wasn’t quite powerful enough to make the most of the optics.
Dominic Preston / Foundry
Carl Pei has said that the company is focussed on improving the software for the new model, so we may see a similar approach to Google, which has often kept the same sensors in its Pixel cameras across multiple generations but honed the software to maximise their performance.
An area that really let the Nothing Phone (1) down was battery life. The 4500mAh battery itself is pretty standard (although 5000mAh would be better), but it drained quickly when the display was on. Added to this was the limit of a 33W maximum charging speed, which is lower than many comparatively priced Android phones.
We did see that software updates had a positive effect on battery life, so it could be that more refinements will do the trick, but an upgrade to the battery would also be a positive for the Nothing Phone (2).
We have seen one report from MySmartPrice which laid out some of the specs that could appear in the new device. It stated that Nothing would use a Snapdragon 8-series processor, 12GB of RAM (plus virtual RAM), 256GB of storage, an AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, plus a 5000mAh battery. This aligns with many of our suspicions, although it might be a while until we know for certain whether any of this comes to pass.
That’s all we have so far, but rest assured we’ll keep updating this article as more details emerge. Until then, be sure to also check out our picks of the best Android phones and best mid-range phones to see what the Nothing Phone (2) will be up against.