Nothing Phone 2, Starting at $599, Comes to the U.S. Today

London-based fashion phone company Nothing is bringing its second-generation Nothing Phone to the U.S. on July 17, starting at $599. With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the Phone 2 is being described as a solid entry in the mid-tier price range. Included is a 32-megapixel front camera, with Sony’s IMX890 the primary sensor. There are also two rear 50-megapixel sensors. The advanced 18-bit Image Signal Processor (ISP) allows the new model “to process camera data up to 4,000 times more than its predecessor,” the company says.

“This empowers Phone 2 to leverage cutting-edge algorithms, resulting in incredible levels of accuracy for both photos and videos,” Nothing explains in a news release. “Capturing three times more data than before, the new Advanced HDR algorithm takes eight frames with varying exposure levels within the RAW domain of the sensor.”

The system’s rear camera shoots 4K video at 60 frames-per-second while the front-facing lens captures 1080p at the same rate. And you can see it all on a 6.7-inch display, slightly larger than the Phone 1’s 6.5 inches. “Like its predecessor, it supports refresh rates up to 120Hz,” TechCrunch observes, pointing out that the battery has been increased from 4500mAh to 4700.

Noting that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is a year-old chip (Qualcomm unveiled the Gen 2 in December), TechCrunch concludes “a vast majority of potential users almost certainly won’t notice a difference,” adding that “being one or half a generation behind affords the company the ability to price aggressively” and that the $599 starting price is “well below other companies’ flagships.”

Founder Carl Pei, who opened the firm in 2020 after exiting his previous startup, OnePlus, has tried to avoid positioning Nothing as a budget phone maker, instead fashioning it as “a kind of luxury item worthy of limited edition drops,” TechCrunch explains. But pricing has been a distinguishing factor for Nothing. With new devices regularly priced at $1,000 and above, cost has contributed to a decline in smartphone sales.

Released in May 2022 for $480, the Phone 1 continued the transparent rear casing and unique glyph interface that displays notifications using LED lights that has become the company’s signature aesthetic, heightened in Phone 2, which allows for greater glyph customization. The upgraded model with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage costs an extra $200, “still well below flagship prices, and closer to the Pixel 7 Pro’s starting price of $899,” TechCrunch reports.

CNET says the Phone 1 “impressed us with its solid all round performance, its low price and of course its flashing lights, but it never officially made it to the U.S. aside from an unusual beta program,” adding that “this second-generation phone is here to change that.”

Nothing Phone 2 Review: If ‘Being Extra’ Was an Android Phone, ZDNet, 7/11/23
I’ve Used the Nothing Phone 2. Here’s Why You’ll Love It, Digital Trends, 7/11/23

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