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Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

Following the success of its first smartphone, Nothing is trying again with a Phone (2) just unveiled. We were able to try it exclusively. before its release, and we reveal our review of the Nothing Phone (2).

For those who are not yet familiar with Nothing, let's do a quick recap. This very young company, created in 2020 by Carl Pei, former CEO of OnePlus, aims to "make tech funà new" with different products that stand out from the current tech landscape. After the release of its first product, the Ear (1) (which we had tested in the editorial office), Nothing revealed and released its very first smartphone: the Phone (1). A device as surprising as it is convincing, and which we generally very much appreciated. at Linternaute.

It was at the end of a major Keynote conference that Nothing revealed its brand new smartphone for the year 2023: the Phone (2). The latter comes with improved performance, but also a significant increase in price compared to the first model which surprised us last year. A surprising decision when we know that the Phone (1) had the big advantage of being at the same time. both efficient and inexpensive. Discover our complete test of the new Phone (2) from Nothing.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

The new Phone (2) from Nothing. © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

One of the best designs on the market

How to approach a Nothing product without mentioning the question of design. Although this notion is specific à everyone (tastes and colors…), we must recognize without detours that the design of the Phone (2) goes completely beyond received ideas compared to &agrav; a classic Android smartphone that we could test today.

And yet, the design of the Phone (2) only has subtle references compared to the previous model. his predecessor. First of all, the transparent back of the device is now curved, which makes gripping the phone more flexible on a daily basis. . Some small elements have also been changed. modified compared to the Phone (1), but nothing that really stands out.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

The design of the Nothing Phone (2) is still very original. © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

The layout of the Glyph system (set of small LEDs placed at the back of the phone) has also been improved. ;eacute;té review. The Glyph system of the Phone (2) thus has more specific locations than its predecessor, which has proven to be very useful. re very interesting for certain uses (battery, timer, grocery delivery, etc.) which we will discuss in a few lines

The edges of the Phone (2) still have an aluminum frame that looks great and looks very nice. smooth to the touch. The power and volume buttons are distributed on either side of the smartphone, which can unfortunately interfere with use across the phone. a hand.

Side On the front, we have a 6.7-inch panel with a fingerprint sensor placed on the front. at the bottom of the screen and a selfie camera now placed in the center (when that of the Phone (1) was located at the top left ). Little development on this side; So, and you should always feel like you're dealing with someone. an iPhone looking at the front of the Phone (2).

A very well calibrated screen. and bright

Let's look at the Phone screen (2). The slab of the first model had been removed. a nice little surprise with an OLED screen with with a refresh rate of 120 Hz (non-adaptive).

This last data is now and already available. modified on the Phone (2) since it is possible to choose between a rate & 60Hz or 120Hz locked or leave a display that adapts automatically. Enough to gain in fluidity, but above all in autonomy by lowering the refresh rate when you do not need a high value (reading a text does not does not really require the constant use of a rate of 120 Hz).

The Phone's screen (2) is in line with its predecessor: bright on a daily basis and easily readable m& even when you are in direct sunlight. A sometimes complicated exercise; as we saw in our test of the latest Motorola Razr Ultra. The colors of the Phone's screen (2) are also very well transcribed with controlled contrast. and deep blacks.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

The Phone (2) screen is bright and pleasant to see. to use. © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

Note that the Phone (2) offers two display modes for its colors, as is often the case on Android devices: "natural" and "vivid". It is this last configuration which is chosen by default when the device is first switched on and which will clearly increase the contrast of the colors displayed. It's up to you if you prefer a duller rendering (but also more realistic) by choosing the "natural" mode.

A processor that heats up more than it heats up

When Nothing announced that its next smartphone would be equipped with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, we were rather worried. This choice notably implies an increase in the price of components (and therefore of the telephone), but also raised some questions following the overheating problems of this chip.< /p>

Let's put an end to any concerns right away: the Nothing Phone (2) does not suffer from any heating problems. Used for more than a week with different resource-intensive applications (Genshin Impact, Tower of Fantasy, Call of Duty Mobile…), we never felt any significant heating in the breast. of the smartphone. Voilaà which reassures us about the optimization of this chip and the lifespan of the components.

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor also proves excellent in displaying your favorite games with good quality. image and beautiful fluidity. If the Phone (2) from Nothing is not the best Android smartphone for gaming, it is definitely a good choice for enjoying many games with good graphics. However, don't expect to push the settings to the maximum, otherwise you'll notice a lot of slowdowns.

Nothing OS 2.0: fluidity and pixels are on the program

Like the company's first smartphone, the Phone (2) has an in-house overlay called Nothing OS. For the release of this new product, the company notably unveiled version 2.0 of this operating system which adds several small improvements.

When you first turn on the Phone (2), you have the option of switching on the Phone (2). to choose between a classic launcher or that of Nothing. The latter clearly stands out due to its resolutely "geek" with its pixelated icons and widgets. The animations are fluid and browsing our applications with the Phone (2) is a real pleasure. In particular, it is possible to group several applications within the same icon whose logo you can choose. The firm has also pushed to expand its portfolio. the experience until '' include small animations when the phone is locked with the screen fading little by little. small towards the power button. The kind of little details that we appreciate.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

The Nothing OS 2.0 overlay is pleasant &agrav; use, but not all icons are supported yet. © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

The Glyph system: to disconnect

Introduced with Nothing's first phone, the Glyph system is based on a set of integrated LEDs. on the back of the device and able to light up according to your notifications or applications. The Phone (2) revises this layout a little by integrating many more slots dedicated to the Glyph system. The good news is that these changes are not just aesthetic since they allow the Phone (2) to have some small new features regarding its system. egrave;me Glyph.

First of all, let's point out the return of our favorite tools of the Glyph system: it is always possible to opt out. serve as a "Ring Light" to brighten your photo subjects. The slot on the bottom of the phone also lights up when you charge the device to measure the percentage of battery currently available. Finally, it's always possible to set notifications to play a pre-selected set of lights. according to your tastes. Enough to leave your Phone (2) placedé on your desktop while keeping an eye on your notifications.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

The Phone's Glyph system (2) (right) has more slots. © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

These now have an improvement with locked notifications. By selecting the most important applications to choose from, monitor, your Phone (2) will leave the LED in the upper right corner permanently lit until you have consulted the LED in the upper right corner. notifications from said applications. The hoop-shaped LED in the upper right corner now supports the Uber app to gradually light up based on your driver's remaining trip to the Uber app. &agrav; your location. A very gimmicky addition (and one that clearly lacks precision), but we appreciate this effort by Nothing to open up to others. other third-party publishers.

Photos that impress without being LED

Original design, improved Glyph system, good quality screen, performance to match… On reading these lines, we We would be tempted to believe that the Nothing Phone (2) is approaching the irreproachable. This is unfortunately not the case when we approach the photography part.

The photos of the Phone (1) were quite correct, a phone sold for around 500 euros. After a big move upmarket with a price hovering around 600-700 euros, the Phone (2) is expected around the corner on its photo section…  And it disappoints a little.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

In broad daylight and when the ideal conditions are met, the Phone's camera (2) manages to capture images. deliver nice results, but which clearly lack “spiciness”. The photos lack details, especially when you zoom in on the photo. The colors are also faint at times and lack contrast depending on the available light and your subject. If the result is not disastrous, the comparison with the competition (notably the Google Pixel 7 sold at the same price) is quite bad in the # 39;set.

Let's still welcome the portrait mode which automatically applies a Bokeh (blur) effect around your subject to make it stand out. The results are generally satisfactory with rather well-managed management of the often complicated elements. spot and explore; cut out (like hair, fur or fine grass).

At night, the faults of the main sensor are even more noticeable. The digital processing of the Phone (2) greatly accentuates the smoothing of photos to make them more readable, but to the detriment of details. The result is not bad vagueness on certain subjects (notably texts and inscriptions). The Phone (2) will also force its digital processing to brighten the scenes too much, giving the impression that certain photos are taken in broad daylight. Note also that night mode takes a long time to complete. trigger (between 2 and 4 seconds depending on the ambient light), which can quickly cause you to miss a beautiful photo.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

A rather decent audio part

The Nothing Phone (2) has a dual stereo speaker to manage the sound emanating from the device. device. Test with different streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Netflix, Twitch…), it must be admitted that the smartphone from Nothing turns out to be pleasant to play. Use it to listen to music or enjoy our favorite videos. The quality The sound is there with fairly decent bass and well-transcribed mids and highs. The Nothing Phone (2) will unfortunately not be well indicated. to set the mood in the evening since its double speaker tends to be louder. saturate as soon as the audio is pushed too much à bottom.

Nothing has doté its Phone (2) with three microphones for its communications. Although we will come back in more detail on these in a few lines, they appear to be of rather good quality. to transcribe your conversations and record audio. Note that the Phone (2) does not have a jack socket. You will therefore need to have a wireless device to take full advantage of the phone's audio or record yourself with an external microphone.

Battery life and charging that last

The Phone (2) is equipped with a 4700 mAh battery, or 200 mAh more than for the previous generation which already showed 200 mAh more than the previous generation. honorable results on autonomy. The result therefore does not follow: we have been pleasantly surprised for the autonomy of the Phone (2). Unplugged in the morning around 9 a.m., the phone still had a little more than 50% battery in the evening around 6 p.m. We then used it. all day with reading emails, messages, a few phone calls, videos on YouTube and a little playing on Genshin impact. The Phone (2) should therefore easily allow you to last a day and a half, or even two if you limit its use.

Nothing Phone review (2): an improved formula, but at what price ?

Nothing still provides a charging cable, this time with a transparent coating! © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

The good news about the Phone (2) is that the charging cable is still included in the box! The latter is also adorned with a small transparent coating. the image of identity visual of Nothing. However, you will still need to find a charging pad (knowing that the Phone (2) is compatible with fast charging up to 45 W). Allow a little less than an hour to fully recharge the Phone (2), which is average for phones on the market.

Compatibility with 5G and Wi-Fi networks 6

Testé for a little over a week as our main smartphone, the Nothing Phone (2) will not have posed any problem for us. no problems with communication and connections. We also made good use of it. We used the phone with a 4G plan as well as local (and corporate) Wi-Fi and experienced no connection issues.

Communications with the Phone (2) are clear and all our conversations were perfectly audible to us and our listeners. The smartphone handles ambient noise well to keep your conversations audible even if it can't hear it either. work wonders if your environment is particularly hectic.

Our conclusion to the Nothing Phone (2) test

What can I say except that our feelings with Nothing's Phone (2) remain mixed. Let's be clear: this is what we're talking about. a very good smartphone, especially if you like the design of the device and its in-house software overlay. Nothing has done an excellent job on the design of its flagship, its screen and its autonomy while adding a powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip which allows the smartphone to establish itself as a good gaming device.

Unfortunately, this addition is also synonymous with a significant increase in price compared to the previous version. the first generation. Displayed at a price of 679 euros (in its basic configuration), the Phone (2) rubs à competitors like Google Pixel which focus everything on photography. It is precisely this part that will have left us with no problem. on our hunger with clich├ęs, certainly exploitable, but which lack details.

At the price of 679 euros, we would therefore recommend a Google Pixel (with the best photos but too little autonomy) or a Nothing Phone (2) (or a less recent Samsung Galaxy) which will be a little more balanced on all of its characteristics.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116