May 31, 2023

The moment Carl Pei departed OnePlus and unveiled the Nothing brand, all of us knew exactly what was in store. When the Ear (1) TWS earbuds dropped, we knew it was just a precursor to a smartphone. Surely enough, Pei took the stage in the summer of 2022 to announce the Phone (1), a device that promised to shake the status quo. The Nothing phone (1) was unveiled with pretty impressive specs and a ridiculous £399 GBP ($475 USD) price tag – ridiculous by flagship standards, definitely. It’s been almost a year since that landmark moment, and looks like Nothing is gearing up for round 2. The company just announced that the Phone (2) will be revealed at a keynote event ‘this summer’, and following Pei’s visit to Mobile World Congress this year, we know that it’ll be using the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 chipset.

However, the upcoming Phone (2)’s specs just dropped online, and the company (just like last time) released a cryptic render of a close-up that highlights one thing for sure – the Phone (2) will be an exercise in iterative improvement, just like the Ear (2) which released earlier this year. This concept by YouTuber Concept Central showcases what the new Nothing phone could look like. It retains the transparent design language and Glyph Interface, but makes just enough changes to really set the 2nd generation model apart.

Designer: Concept Central

The thing with making smartphones is that it’s an incredibly difficult task on a shoestring budget. For a company like Nothing, changing the design of every subsequent model means redesigning, re-engineering, and re-tooling… and that can drain a startup’s capital. That’s why the Ear (2) looked so similar to the Ear (1) because it hoped to establish two things. One, that Nothing’s design is on point, and that something that doesn’t look old and outdated doesn’t need revamping. And two, it’s easier to establish a brand by sticking to a visual design but making minor changes over the years. The Phone (2) concept from Concept Central reinforces that fact.

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The Phone (2), for the most part, looks a lot like its predecessor, but has one glaringly obvious change – the camera array. Now with three cameras instead of two, the smartphone gets a minor (yet significant) makeover. The Glyph Interface gets a slight change, which in turn acts as a visual symbol of progress, and the camera system gets an upgrade, with a third lens added to the mix. This 3-lens array would also probably help the Nothing Phone (2) shine better in MKBHD’s blind smartphone camera tests.

The Glyph Interface has a touch of familiarity, but is different enough to look like an ‘upgrade’.

The side profile remains unchanged, giving the phone consistency.

The unique camera bump not only looks appealing on the Phone (2), but it would also make the device differentiate itself from the iPhone

The front of the phone looks exactly the same, although it runs the latest NothingOS 1.5 launcher on top of Android 13. Google is expected to announce Android 14 this week, although I’ll be surprised if the new Nothing Phone (2) gets the upgrade this soon.

As per GSMArena, the upcoming Phone (2) is rumored to come equipped with the powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, along with either 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Its display is expected to measure 6.55 inches and feature an AMOLED panel with FullHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and an in-display fingerprint reader. The potential specs also include a 50MP main camera with OIS, as well as two other cameras, likely an ultrawide and auxiliary cam. The Phone (2) is also said to have stereo speakers and NFC capabilities. Additionally, the phone is rumored to boast a large 5,000 mAh battery that supports fast charging and wireless charging.

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