Comparing Nothing Phone (2a) with Nothing Phone (1): what are the key differences?

The Nothing Phone (2a) was launched in India on Tuesday and is positioned as an affordable alternative to the Phone (2). The device carries a starting price of Rs 23,999, which is significantly cheaper than the Nothing Phone (1). Considering that Phone (1) has aged a little now, we will be doing a specification-based comparison between the two phones to find out how much has changed and if the new Nothing phone is worth buying.

Nothing Phone (2a) vs Nothing Phone (1): specs at a glance

SmartphoneNothing Phone (2a)Nothing Phone (1)
Display 6.7-inch 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED panel6.55-inch 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED panel
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ SoC
RAM & storageUp to 12GB RAM and 256GB storageUp to 12GB RAM and 256GB storage
Rear cameras50MP main camera +50MP ultra-wide50MP main camera +50MP ultra-wide
Front camera32MP selfie camera 16MP selfie camera
Battery & charging5,000mAh battery with 45W wired charging4,500mAh battery with 33W wired charging, 15W wireless charging

Nothing Phone (2a) vs Nothing Phone (1): price in India

Nothing Phone (2a)Nothing Phone (1)
8GB+128GB: Rs 23,9998GB+128GB: Rs 31,999
8GB+256GB: Rs 25,9998GB+256GB: Rs 33,999
12GB+256GB: Rs 27,99912GB+256GB: Rs 35,999

Nothing Phone (2a) vs Nothing Phone (1): design

The Nothing Phone (2a) features a similar design philosophy as that of the Phone (1) and Phone (2) but recreates it to make it entirely its own. The smartphone’s dual rear cameras are horizontally positioned in the middle of the back panel. The design, which looks like two eyes peeking out from the panel, is unique while still being quite Nothing-like. The rear panel still comes with Nothing’s classic transparent design, but the Glyphs have been reduced to just three LED modules around the rear cameras. 

The Nothing Phone (1) was the brand’s first smartphone and also the main design inspiration for the Nothing Phone (2) which launched last year. The unit comprises a matrix of LEDs that extends all the way down to the bottom of the panel, unlike the Phone (2a), which extends only to the upper half. The “Glyph” lights in both smartphones act as a notification alert and also light up during calls, with unique LED patterns for each ringtone. The Nothing Phone (1) also has a bonus LED module near the charging port, which showcases the battery level and increases along with the battery as the smartphone recharges.

Nothing Phone (2a) vs Nothing Phone (1): display

The Phone (2a) equips a 6.7-inch AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution, an adaptive refresh rate from 30Hz up to 120Hz and 1,300nits of peak brightness. The display comes with very thin bezels, which improve the viewing experience, and flat edges that ensure good viewing angles. The Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protects the panel against damage. 

The Phone (1), meanwhile, packs a 6.55-inch AMOLED panel with a similar resolution, an adaptive refresh rate of 60Hz to 120Hz and 1,200nits of peak brightness. The bezels are also quite thin, and the display offers good viewing angles. The Nothing Phone (1) also comes with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. 

Takeaways: The Phone (2a) features a better display in comparison to the Phone (1), with a better adaptive refresh rate and higher peak brightness level. The differences aren’t huge, however, and the visual experience is expected to be on par with both smartphones.

Nothing Phone (2a) vs Nothing Phone (1): cameras

The Nothing Phone (2a) comes with a 50MP Sony IMX890 main sensor paired with a 50MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide sensor for its rear camera setup. At the front, there’s a 32MP Sony IMX615 lens for selfies and video calls.

The Phone (1) in comparison features an older 50MP Sony IMX766 primary lens paired with a similar 50MP Samsung JN1 ultra-wide lens for the rear cameras. For the front camera, the device comes with a 16MP Sony IMX471 lens. 

Takeaways: The Nothing Phone (2a) features an improved camera setup compared to the Phone (1) and should offer better camera performance. You can check our comprehensive review of Nothing Phone 2a (review) and Nothing Phone 1 (review) to find a more detailed analysis. 

Nothing Phone (2a) vs Nothing Phone (1): performance and software

The MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro powers the Nothing Phone (2a) while the Snapdragon 778G+ SoC powers the Nothing Phone (1). Both phones come with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage support.

When it comes to software, both smartphones feature NothingOS, but the Phone (2a) comes with version 2.5 out of the box, which is Android 14-based, courtesy of being the latest launch.

Takeaways: The Nothing Phone (2a) comes with a superior chipset, which should offer it a better performance output compared to the Phone (1). In terms of software, the Phone (2a) also comes with the latest NothingOS version, which gives it an edge. 

Nothing Phone (2a) vs Nothing Phone (1): battery

The Nothing Phone (2a) comes with a 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast charging support, while the Phone (1) features a 4,500mAh battery with 33W wired and 15W wireless charging support. The Phone (1) is also capable of 5W reverse charging. 

Takeaways: While the Phone (2a) offers a higher capacity battery and better charging speeds, the Phone (1) comes with some added features like wireless and reverse charging. Ultimately, the choice between the two devices depends on your specific preferences.