Nothing Phone (2a) offers a new trio Glyph Interface lights configuration that’s fun and functional

Nothing is still a pretty new tech brand (it was founded in 2020), but with every new product launch, it proves that it’s really nothing but innovative. The skeleton design of their earbuds and smartphones really stands out in the saturated mobile tech industry, while the Glyph Interface on the two current phone models — Phone (1) and Phone (2) — are like nothing else on the market. And this leads us to their third phone: the Nothing Phone (2a).

My first thought was that Phone (2a) is a budget-friendly version of Nothing Phone (2), but after testing it out for a day, it feels like it’s own person; it looks different, feels different, and I believe it will appeal to a different consumer than those looking at Phone (2).

Above: Unboxing Nothing Phone (2a).


Nothing Phone (2a) has a completely different back layout than its predecessors; the placement of the camera lenses, in particular, are now horizontal to each other, and the whole look resembles an owl. According to Nothing’s press release, the Phone (2a)’s back design is actually the brand’s first-ever internal smartphone design concept that was created in 2020, just a few months after Nothing launched, and it’s nice to see that this original design now lives and breathes in Phone (2a).

Above: The back design of nothing phone (2A).

Just looking at the back cover, it is striking in its simplicity and certainly intriguing; and Nothing tells us that it features an industry-first with a 90° angle unibody cover wrapping around the edges. It doesn’t just look and feel seamless, but it apparently makes the entire device sturdier too.

Above: nothing phone (2) has a 6.7” flexible amoled screen display..

There’s no “premium” metal feel here (like what you’ll get in the new iPhone 15 Pro series and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra that is crafted with Titanium); what you get is something a bit plasticky, but it’s lightweight (190g) and smooth (I would definitely recommend using a case that has more grip with this phone).

Above: the Nothing Phone (2a) unibody is very slim at only 8.55mm in depth.


So back to the camera — the rear “eyes” include a 50MP main sensor with f/1.88 and a 1/1.56” sensor, and a 50MP ultra-wide sensor that offers a 114° field-of-view. This appears to be the same setup as Nothing Phone (2), complete with a “Portrait Optimiser” (an AI algorithm that detects faces and increases the resolution), and “Night Mode” (low-light environments are amplified by grouping together multiple pixels into a series of ‘super-pixels’ that come together to increase light intake).

Above: The camera “eyes” on the nothing phone (2a). The camera is placed inside the nfc coil and is designed to be out of the way when taking photos.


Other features on the phone are pretty straightforward: MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro processor, 6.7” flexible AMOLED display reaching 1,300 nits peak brightness, 120Hz refresh rate, 5,000mAh battery, and support for 45W Fast Charging (you get 50% power in 20 minutes).

Above: the minimalistic operating system. There’s also a version in colour (if you insist).

Above: inside the box is the sleek nothing usb-c to usb-c cable and SIM eject tool. I like that there is much less packaging than nothing phone (2).


So here’s the real reason why you’ll get Nothing — it’s unique Glyph Interface. With Phone (2a), there’s a new trio light configuration and 15 functions. You can assign different patterns as ringtones for individual contacts or apps, focus your Glyph notifications to just the important stuff (and silence and ignore everything else), use it as a timer, as a camera shutter countdown, or just have it light up to the beats of your music for the fun of it.

Above: The glyph interface has three lights that flicker according to your settings.

The Glyphs can be as functional as you want them to be, or you can just turn them off (although why would you get a Nothing and do that?).


The Nothing Phone (2a) is a strong contender in the mid-range Android market offering a unique design and operating system (the Nothing OS is minimalistic and intended to reduce distractions), and you’ll have a phone that most likely none of your friends or colleagues will own. They’ll see your phone light up and secretly envy you, while having an internal debate about deviating from their Apple / Samsung ecosystem. If you’ve ever wanted a Nothing, this is as affordable as it will get for now.

Nothing Phone (2a) is priced at $499 (12gb/256gb), available in milk and black. it launches in singapore at 11am, March 6, 2024 at Chamber, 435 orchard road, #03-24-29 wisma atria. There are just 100 devices on sale at this location, available on a first-come, first-served basis, and these will be accompanied by limited complimentary bundles, which include a custom Phone (2a) case, a CMF Watch Pro, a watch strap by Limited Edt, a Nothing branded Dupont paper bag, and more.
You can also pre-order phone (2a) on Wednesday, March 6 at Nothing retail partners.