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First impressions with the Nothing Phone (2a)

Nothing just released their latest offering, the Nothing Phone (2a). Widely considered as a “budget phone” but its feature set, looks and performance says otherwise. Being designed in London and made in India adds to its desirability for people who are getting paranoid by China-made devices.  Starting at P18,990, the Phone (2a) may be in the running of becoming the phone of choice for people with limited budget.

Of course, corners had to be cut to get it down to its current price.  Unlike its predecessors, the Nothing Phone (1) and Nothing Phone (2), the 2a is made entirely out of polycarbonate.  It does have a Gorilla Glass Victus+ screen with IP67 ingress protection for water and dust resistance. It is running the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro, instead of the more popular Snapdragon processor.  To further bring the cost down, they opted to not include wireless charging.  Personally, I do not find any of these as a deal breaker because all the other features of the phone more than makes up for those so-called shortcomings.

The Looks

The Nothing Phone (2a) still retains the design language of its predecessors but with less Glyph LEDs – a good thing for people who want to stay low key yet still want the Glyph Interface.  The transparent backplate shows some of its components together with the Glyph LED for notifications.  The camera is placed in the upper middle part of the backplate giving it a sort of a Baymax vibe, especially on the “milk” variant.  Once powered on, the home screen gives that distinctive vibe that is unique to Nothing. It also has lock screen widgets that can be customized to show relevant information without being intrusive.  For a more uniform look, users can opt to download and install the Nothing icon pack that gives the phone a uniform minimalist look – too bad that not all apps support the icon pack at this time.

What’s Inside

Right out of the box, the phone is running Android 14 with the Nothing OS 2.5 with hardly any bloat to slow down the unit.  Nothing promises 3 years of major OS upgrades and 4 years of security updates.  The processor, the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro was co-developed by Nothing.  Since Nothing was involved in the development of the processor, they were able to finely tune the OS to be as snappy as it can be.  The speakers pump out clear and well-balanced sound.

The phone has a 5,000mAh battery that provides enough power for all-day use.  For context, the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S24 has a 3,880 mAh battery while the iPhone 14 has 3,279mAh. It also has an adaptive 120 Hz OLED screen pushing out 2,412 by 1,084 pixels which is more than enough for casual gaming.  The cameras (32 megapixels in front, 50 megapixels at the back) have both Optical and Electronic Image Stabilization for clear pictures.


  • The distinctive Nothing design language is a breath of fresh air considering how almost all phones in its class look and feel the same.
  • The adaptive OLED screen handles the demands of gaming decently.
  • The OS itself is optimized specifically for their co-developed MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro processor.


  • The polycarbonate body may be prone to scratches, a fingerprint magnet and is quite reflective making a clear case a must-have.
  • Lack of wireless charging option.
  • May not be suitable for AAA games that require a beefier CPU.


The Nothing Phone (2a) has the distinctive looks, features, functions, and performance that delivers value well beyond its SRP.  The typical cellphone user will find this a compelling option compared to the drab, mostly similar offerings from other cellphone manufacturers.