This week saw the release of its third phone and the first proper mid-ranger – the Nothing Phone (2a). We say “proper mid-ranger” because the original Nothing Phone (1) wasn’t exactly a flagship either, but this one is decidedly a more budget option. Check out the prices below:

Nothing Phone (2a) EU UK India
8/128GB €330 £320 ₹24,000
8/256GB ₹26,000
12/256GB €380 £350 ₹28,000

Unlike the Phone (2), the a-model won’t be available in the US, at least not through retail stores – you can get one for $350 as part of Nothing’s developer program. However, we’re not sure what the terms of that will be (warranty? support?).

Weekly poll: would you buy the Nothing Phone (2a)?

Anyway, with the Nothing Phone (2a) you are getting a whole lot of something for the price. This includes a 6.7” 120Hz AMOLED display (20:9 FHD+) with 10-bit HDR10+ colors, Gorilla Glass 5 and Always On mode. That’s comparable to the Phone (1), except a bit bigger (up from 6.55”). It’s comparable to the pricier Phone (2) as well, though the 6.7” panel on that one is LTPO (still 20:9 FHD+ resolution).

The a-phone has a very similar camera setup to the Phone (2). The main has a 50MP 1/1.56” sensor (a Samsung GN9 instead of a Sony IMX890) and the 114° ultra wide has a 50MP 1/2.76” sensor (Samsung JN1 for both). The selfie camera is 32MP.

Nothing Phone (2a)
Nothing Phone (2a) in Black
Nothing Phone (2a) in Milk
Nothing Phone (2a) in White

Nothing Phone (2a) in Black, Milk and White

More important than the different sensor is the lack of 4K @ 60fps video capture – the Phone (2a) tops out at 30fps due to its chipset. Specifically, the Dimensity 7200 Pro chip.

With a pair of Cortex-A715 cores and six A510, the CPU edges out the Snapdragon 778G+ that was in the Phone (1) and the Mali-G610 MC4 GPU has the upper hand (depending on the benchmark, the gap is quite big). However, comparing it to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 of the Phone (2), the CPU is in the same ballpark but strictly behind, the GPU is much slower – usually 2 times, but often as much as 3 times slower.

Weekly poll: would you buy the Nothing Phone (2a)?

All three Nothing phones are on the same update schedule – 3 years of major OS updates and 4 years of security patches. The difference is that the Phone (1) is already in its second year (it started with Android 12 and recently got Android 14). The Phone (2) started on Android 13 and the new (2a) model runs Android 14 out of the box.

Finally, the a-phone has the biggest battery of the three at 5,000mAh (vs. 4,500mAh for the original and 4,700mAh for the (2)). It supports the faster 45W wired charging of the (2) but there’s no wireless charging.

With all that in mind, would you buy the Nothing Phone (2a)? You can find a Phone (1) for around the same money, though new units are low in stock at the places we checked. But the Phone (2a) is the better phone, barring wireless charging and the complete lack of an IP rating. As for the Phone (2), that one is €200 more expensive, even with discounts.

Nothing Phone (1)
Nothing Phone (2)

Nothing Phone (1) • Nothing Phone (2)

What else? Nothing’s Android skin may be stylized, but is lighter than most. The Google Pixel 7a can be found for €300-€350, so basically the same as the (2a). There is only one configuration (8/128GB) and the 6.1” FHD+ display is both smaller and slower (90Hz). Speaking of, the Tensor G2 may not be your favorite chipset, but it is faster than the Dimensity 7200.

You also get a 64MP main camera (1/1.73”) and a 13MP ultra wide (120°), plus a 13MP selfie. The rear camera can record 4K @ 60fps video and the phone is rated IP67. The 4,385mAh battery is also smaller and slower with 18W charging, but it does have basic wireless charging at 7.5W. Google will deliver 3 OS updates (the first one is already out) and 5 years of security patches.

Google Pixel 7a

Google Pixel 7a

There’s the Samsung Galaxy A34 and A54, but those will soon be replaced by the A35 and A55, so let’s wait and see what those are like.

HyperOS customizes Android further than Nothing OS. But if you like it, the Poco X6 Pro is cheaper for equivalent storage and even 12/512GB costs around the same as the Nothing. It is powered by the faster Dimensity 8300 Ultra and has a 6.67” 120Hz AMOLED display with a higher resolution (1220p-class) with 12-bit colors. The 5,000mAh battery on this one charges even faster at 67W, but still only supports wired charging. There’s an IP54 dust and water resistance rating. The cameras are not up to par with the Phone (2a), however.

Xiaomi Poco X6 Pro

Xiaomi Poco X6 Pro

The Realme 12 Pro is in close in terms of pricing, the 12 Pro+ costs more. The 6.7” FHD+ 10-bit 120Hz display on the Realme is comparable to that of the Nothing and this one has an IP65 rating. However, the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is slower and the 50MP main camera has a smaller sensor (1/2.0”), though it is joined by a 32MP 47mm portrait lens and an 8MP ultra wide. The 5,000mAh battery supports 67W wired-only charging.

Realme 12 Pro

Realme 12 Pro

We are working on a Nothing Phone (2a) review, so expect more details on the company’s first true mid-ranger soon. In the mean time, do you think that you will be happy buying the Phone (2a)?