Nothing Phone 2a: Cheap, but Not Cheap

Budget phones are usually disappointing. They don’t perform well, have subpar cameras, are cheaply constructed, and lack the software polish found in flagship phones. Nothing seems to be fixing most of these issues with their new budget offering.

So, is the new Phone 2a something special? Or is it just another cheap midrange Android? Let’s find out!

Nothing Phone 2a
Nothing Phone 2a

New, but Familiar

I think it’s fair to say that Nothing phones have a controversial design language.

With the new design of the Phone 2a, Nothing seems to be going for a look that resembles a pair of eyes in the top middle. The phone is out in two colors: black and off-white.

The back of the phone features a transparent design but sadly uses plastic, instead of glass used on the previous two releases. Phone 2a doesn’t have wireless charging so the transparent back is much simpler this time around.

I’m concerned about the phone’s long-term durability as there already are reports of the phone getting scratches and dents in the chassis.
Nothing’s new phone feels cheaper this time around, but that’s because it is.

What’s Under the Hood?

Phone 2a features a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with a variable refresh rate from 30 to 120Hz and 1,300 nits peak brightness. This is a significant upgrade over the Phone 1. Not only that, it also has thinner bezels and the screen is brighter compared to Phone 2.

The phone comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro, which was engineered specifically for this phone. The processor features a 4nm chip which should be faster than the Snapdragon 778+. Nothing also worked on future-proofing the device by adding 12GB of RAM to the device.

This makes the phone great for gaming. The smooth display and Nothing’s amazing optimization ensures that the phone doesn’t stutter during the intensive gaming sessions. Shooting, sliding, and peeking during those intense Call of Duty sessions requires a stable internet connection with low latency.

And for that, Xfinity takes the edge by providing blazing-fast internet speeds with extremely low latency. So, if you’re looking for an internet plan that suits your needs, check out Xfinity internet plans or contact its support for more information.

The phone isn’t just lightning fast, but it also has a 5,000-mAh battery for all-day use. After a regular day of use, my Phone 2a usually ended with a 25% charge. With lighter usage, you can easily go for two days.

Let’s Talk About Glyphs

Being cheap doesn’t mean skipping out on features. The Phone 2a doesn’t skimp out on the brand’s defining feature, the Glyph Lights.

While the lights are scaled-down compared to the Phone 2, they are still eye-catching and a conversation starter. The phone has three lights around the camera module. These lights can pulsate and flash when the phone gets a call or notification.

Not just that, one of the light bars can show the volume levels or the time in a timer. Right now, Nothing features integration with the calendar, Zomato, and Uber to give alerts based on time. The Glyph interface can also sync with the music app to show the music playing on the device.

Nothing also has these futuristic ringtones and alert sounds with their unique light sequences with a built-in editor that lets you compose a personalized tone.

The Cartoon Eye Cameras

The two cartoon eye cameras at the back of the new Phone 2a feature a 50-megapixel wide-angle and main sensor with autofocus and optical image stabilization. The front of the phone features a punch-hole 32-megapixel camera which is the same as the Nothing Phone 2.

Pictures taken by the Phone 2a camera are colorful, vibrant, and saturated, which showcases the strong HDR capabilities. However, the Ultra HDR feature can be turned off if the look isn’t for you.

The bright and vibrant photos produced by the Phone 2a might not be for people looking for realistic images. Lowlight also isn’t a strong point of this phone so you’re going to see blurry and colorless pictures at night.

The camera is fun to use and is a capable camera for the price point. There’s also a lot of consistency between the wide-angle and the main camera lens. However, the camera doesn’t disappoint, especially for a “cheap” Nothing phone.

Where Is It Available?

So, to get Nothing’s shiny new phone, you’re going to have to jump through some hoops. The phone isn’t widely available in the U.S., but you can get one if you’re motivated. You can sign up for the Nothing U.S. Developer Program to get the Phone 2a in the U.S.

The Nothing Phone 2a costs around $400 in the U.S. for the 8/128GB model. If you pay $50 extra, you can get the 12/256GB variant.

Wrapping Up

Nothing’s new phone is going to make waves in the midrange smartphone market. It’s directly competing with the likes of the OnePlus 12R, Galaxy A54, and Pixel 7a. So, it’s a knowing fact that midrange phones always skimp out on features.

However, phone 2a seems to avoid the pitfalls and comes up as one of the very few cheap phones that doesn’t feel cheap.

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