Nothing Phone 2 review: exactly what it looks like, flashy and new

Nothing Phone 2: Two-minute review

Nothing Phone 2 home screen showing weather and large app icons

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The Nothing Phone 2 is such a rarity in today’s phone world, it’s hard to believe it even exists. It’s an affordable phone made by an independent company with some simple, effective, and unique ideas. It’s also a good phone. If you’re bored with the same old flat slabs and colorful icons, the Nothing Phone 2 may be exactly what you want. 

That doesn’t mean the phone isn’t a bit overhyped. The glyph interface looks cool, but in my weeks reviewing the phone before launch, I hardly used it. I wanted to use it more, but it just doesn’t do much and it doesn’t work with every aspect of the phone, not even close. When a feature looks cool and adds bulk but doesn’t actually make the phone better, we have a word for that: gimmick. 

There are great ideas hidden inside the Nothing Phone (2). Samsung and Apple would be wise to pay attention, though it wouldn’t be hard to copy things like larger app icons and a monochrome interface option to remove distractions. In other ways, though, the software felt buggy and a bit half-baked. Some app icons looked great when I got my review unit, but a later update broke things and made them incomprehensible.

Nothing Phone 2 home screen in monochrome with large and small app icons

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Nothing has been working hard on software since the first Nothing Phone launched, but it still has a ways to go, and the Phone 2 leaves me questioning if Nothing, or any small phone company, can really compete against monstrously large development houses like Google and Samsung and Apple. 

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.