Nothing Phone 1 vs Nothing Phone 2 – what’s the difference?

Here's how the two Nothing flagships go head to head

Nothing Phone 1 vs Nothing Phone 2 - what's the difference? Image shows the Nothing 1 and Nothing 2 on a pink blue gradient background.

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In the rapidly evolving realm of Android smartphones, Nothing has managed to make a name for itself in a relatively short amount of time. With its unique design and innovative features, Nothing has created a buzz that arguably rivals even the biggest tech giants. Ahead of the launch of the third iteration of the Nothing Phone, the Nothing Phone 2a, we’re comparing the Nothing 1 vs Nothing 2 to see which of these two flagship devices is more worthy of your attention. The Nothing Phone 2 has upgraded some key specs, and hence has increased its price tag; but is it worth it over the still capable Phone 1?

In this article, we’re putting the two phones head to head in terms of design, camera capabilities, hardware, and price to help you determine which is the best fit for your needs.

Nothing Phone 1 vs Nothing Phone 2 specs

SpecsNothing Phone 1Nothing Phone 2
Dimensions159.2 x 75.8 x 8.3 mm162.1 x 76.4 x 8.6 mm
Weight193.5 g201.2 g
Display6.55-inch OLED, 1200 nits peak brightness6.7-inch LTPO OLED, 1600 nits peak brightness
Resolution2,400 x 1,0802,412 x 1,080
Refresh rate120Hz refresh rate (as low as 60 Hz)120Hz variable refresh rate (as low as 1 Hz)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 778G PlusQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Power4,500mAh battery
33W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
4,700mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
SoftwareNothing OS 1.5Nothing OS 2.0
CamerasRear: 50MP wide (Sony IMX766, ƒ/1.88, 1/1.56-inch sensor, 1µm pixel size, 24mm focal length, OIS, EIS, HDR), 50MP ultrawide (Samsung JN1, ƒ/2.2, 1/2.76-inch sensor, 114-degree FoV, EIS, HDR)
Front: 16MP wide (Sony IMX471, ƒ/2.45, 1/3.1-inch sensor)
Rear: 50MP wide (Sony IMX890, ƒ/1.88, 1/1.56-inch sensor, 1µm pixel size, 24mm focal length, OIS, EIS, HDR), 50MP ultrawide (Samsung JN1, ƒ/2.2, 1/2.76-inch sensor, 114-degree FoV, EIS, HDR)
Front: 32MP wide (Sony IMX615, ƒ/2.45, 1/2.74-inch sensor, HDR)
RAM8 or 12GB LPDDR58 or 12GB LPDDR5
Storage128 or 256GBUFS 3.1, no microSD card slot128, 256, or 512GBUFS 3.1, no microSD card slot
Nothing Phone 1 vs Nothing Phone 2 specs comparison table

Nothing 1 vs Nothing 2 features

Design

When it comes to design, both the Nothing Phone 1 and Nothing Phone 2 are undeniably eye-catching and unique. They feature stunning see-through styling and Glyph lights on the reverse that emit a satisfying hue, and are one of the main reasons for the phone’s cult following. However, there are naturally a few differences between the two models. The Nothing Phone 1 has a sharp rectangular frame made from 100% recycled aluminum, and is IP53 water and dust resistant. It’s the slightly smaller of the two, with a 6.55-inch display that has its punch-hole camera in the top left corner.

On the other hand, the Nothing Phone 2 is physically bigger, at 6.7 inches, with thinner bezels and the front camera moved to a central position. It also sports a 2.5D curved slice of glass instead of a flat rear panel, softening the Phone 1’s edges, and gets an upgrade to an IP54 rating. Thanks to this, the Nothing Phone 2 surprisingly sits more comfortably in the hand despite its larger size. One of the notable advantages the Phone 2 has over the Phone 1 is a more customizable glyph interface, allowing you to set up your own combination of lights and sounds for various notifications and ringtones.

Camera capabilities

Both the Nothing Phone 1 and Nothing Phone 2 boast a dual-camera setup, but there are significant differences between the two. The Phone 2 utilizes a newer Sony IMX890 sensor for its main camera with a 50MP output, f/1.88 aperture lens, phase-detect autofocus, and optical image stabilization. The Phone 1 also features a 50MP lead camera with PDAF and OIS, but it uses a slightly older sensor. The ultrawide lens remains the same between both models, with a 50MP effort, f/2.2 aperture, and a 114-degree field of view.

Software improvements have been a key factor in the Nothing Phone 1’s image quality. With a year’s worth of image processing upgrades, it competes with mid-range rivals and performs similarly to a Google Pixel A-series phone. The Phone 2 builds upon this success, delivering even better image quality and leaving little room for complaint, especially considering its price point. 

Both phones offer quick rendering of images, a variety of shooting modes, and the ability to use the Glyph lights and LED flash to enhance low-light photography. Additionally, they can both shoot in 4K at 30fps or 1080p footage at 60fps.

Processor

When it comes to the processor, the Nothing Phone 1 is equipped with the Snapdragon 778G Plus, while the Nothing Phone 2 is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. The chipset on the Phone 2 is a significant upgrade over the older Snapdragon used on its predecessor, offering you a faster Ghz clock speed and overall better performance, faster charging, and more optimized battery life.

Nothing 1 vs Nothing 2 price

Both the Nothing Phone 1 and Nothing Phone 2 offer exceptional value for their respective price points. The Phone 1 falls into the sub-$516/£400 category, competing against more affordable handsets such as the Poco X5 Pro 5G and Sony Xperia 10 IV. Despite its lower price, the Phone 1 surpasses its rivals in key areas such as screen quality and overall appeal. 

On the other hand, the Phone 2 is priced slightly higher, but it offers significant upgrades over its predecessor. From improved screen and camera quality to an overall sleeker design, the Phone 2 justifies its higher price tag that comes in at $599.

Is the Nothing 1 Phone better than the Nothing 2 Phone?

When weighing in on all its factors, the Nothing Phone 2 does emerge as the superior choice when comparing it to the Phone 1. It offers more power, smoother performance, and better aesthetics, and still falls within an affordable price range. While the extra investment may be a consideration for some, the Phone 2’s enhanced features and overall improvements make it a worthwhile choice, and one that you’re able to purchase natively in the US – which is more than can be said for the Phone 1.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.