Nothing has finally unveiled the Phone 2 after plenty of teasers, and it's likely what you're looking for if you thought the Phone 1 was underpowered — or if you simply couldn't buy the earlier model where you live. The new device offers performance much closer to a flagship thanks to a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip versus the mid-tier 778G+ from last year's hardware. While that's still not cutting edge, the company claims it's 80 percent faster. It enables 4K video at 60 frames per second, too, and RAW HDR photography captures eight frames (and thus more overall scene detail) instead of three frames like its predecessor.
Accordingly, Nothing says it has upgraded the Phone 2's camera quality. The updated 50MP primary and 50MP ultra-wide rear cams now have 2X "super-res" digital zoom, object tracking and other imaging updates. The front camera, meanwhile, jumps from a 16MP sensor to 32MP. As with some competitors, there's now an "Action Mode" to deliver extra-stable video recording.
There are some more conspicuous changes. You can expect a larger 6.7-inch, 120Hz LTPO OLED (if still 1080p) screen with a higher 1,600-nit peak brightness and thinner bezels. There's a tapered "2.5D" glass back. And yes, the signature Glyph lighting on the back is more advanced. In addition to more LED segments, you can create different lighting sequences for every contact and notification type. You can also have persistent lights for must-see notifications, and some lights now double as progress trackers for delivery and ride hailing services like Uber.
Software plays a considerably more important role. Where the first model only had a few modest customizations, Nothing OS 2.0 on the Phone 2 lets you tweak considerably more. You can now have multiple home screens with custom color themes, grid sizes and app labels. You'll likewise find customizable folders, and a more advanced widget set includes shortcuts to quick settings. Those widgets are available on the lock screen as well.
The Phone 2 is billed as longer-lasting thanks to its 4,700mAh battery, and you'll get a complete charge in 55 minutes. The 15W wireless charging and 5W reverse wireless charging aren't surprising, but they're not always present in this upper-midrange phone segment.
Crucially, the Nothing Phone 2 will be priced right when it arrives in North America. It will be available in the US and Canada on July 17th at 4AM Eastern starting at $599 (and an oddly high $929 CAD) for a version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Pay $699 ($999 CAD) and you'll get 12GB of RAM with 256GB of storage, while the top-end 12GB/512GB configuration sells for $799 ($1,099 CAD). Pre-orders are available now, and there will be early sales on July 13th through physical "Nothing Drops" in New York City (69 Gansevoort Street) and London (4 Peter Street).
There's no mention of North American carrier deals as of this writing, so this sequel might not be as easy to find as more mainstream offerings. However, the launch in the region remains a big deal. The Phone 2 significantly expands the audience for Nothing's handsets, and provides fresh competition to bang-for-the-buck phones like Google's similarly-priced Pixel 7.