YouTuber Marques Brownlee exclusively unveiled the design in a video on Monday with a helpful side-by-side comparison to the original Nothing Phone 1 that was released in June 2022. The sneak peek didn’t reveal any new software tweaks, as it only concerned the altered look of the upcoming handset — which inherited the flat-sided iPhone-esque look of the original Nothing Phone 1 — as well as an update on the light-up glyph design on the rear cover.
Aside from swapping out the old phone’s black rear cover for a gray one, the biggest change to the Nothing Phone 2’s design is in the LEDs, which are still in the same general glyph shape as the original but split apart into many smaller ones. To wit, the Nothing Phone 1 had 12 LEDS on the back, while the new one has 33, which can still be programmed using the phone’s software, Brownlee said.
Nothing seems to have focused on these LEDs, as 16 of the 33 are located in one long arc near the top of the back cover, which can be programmed as a progress bar — for instance, if you turn the volume up and down using the buttons on the phone’s side, the bar fills and depletes, respectively. You can also set a timer and watch the arc darken bit by bit. Nothing plans to open this functionality up for notifications by third parties, Brownlee said, with signups from ride-sharing app Uber and India-based restaurant app Zomato so far.
You can do more with other parts of the glyph, like keeping one strip lit until you address notifications or programming a sequential light-up pattern as your own custom ringtone.
Cameras and display: slightly better?
Separately, leaker Kamila Wojciechowska claimed in a tweet that the Nothing Phone 2’s main camera will use a 50-megapixel Sony IMX 890 sensor (the same as in the OnePlus 11‘s main shooter) — though as The Verge pointed out, it’s unclear how that will differ from the Nothing Phone 1’s 50-megapixel main camera. The ultrawide camera will also be unchanged from its predecessor, though the new phone’s selfie camera will be 32-megapixel, up from the Nothing Phone 1’s 16-megapixel front-facing camera.
Wojciechowska also tweeted a supposed screenshot of the Nothing Phone 2’s home screen, and in another tweet, said the phone will have a 1080 x 2400 AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. That doesn’t seem much different from the Nothing Phone 1’s screen, though the new phone will supposedly have multiple low-refresh rate intervals of 1Hz, 10Hz, 24Hz, and 30Hz low-power modes.
Wojciechowska also shared the purported length and width of the Nothing Phone 2 at 156 x 69mm, which is slightly smaller than the first phone’s 159.2 x 75.8mm dimensions.
Lastly, Nothing CEO Carl Pei teased the Nothing Phone 2’s camera capabilities in a tweet with some sample photos, but didn’t list any specs.
If you’re looking to buy a new phone, here’s CNET’s advice on the best phones this year and the best cellphone carrier plans (though you may want to consider waiting for Amazon Prime Day before getting that new phone).