Nothing Phone (2) Review: Flashy, Grayscale Fun

The solely problem is that from the principle Glyph settings web page it’s not instantly clear how granular you may go in notifications. You can actually choose notifications from, say, Instagram Direct Messages (and not Direct Message Requests), however in apps like Telegram and Facebook Messenger, you may select particular conversations. These don’t all the time present up within the Glyph settings, so when a notification comes via, you’ll have to press and maintain the down arrow on the notification itself to mark it as an “Essential Glyph” notification.

Glyph lights additionally work with the Glyph Timer, which you’ll be able to set to your most well-liked size and begin by turning the cellphone face down. One of the LED strips will mild up and start fading in correspondence with the timer. No want to have a look at your cellphone! The LEDs can now even be built-in with third-party apps, though Nothing solely labored with Uber at launch. Right now, in the event you name an Uber driver, you gained’t should preserve checking the app to see how far-off they’re—simply have a look at the LED strip to see the motive force’s progress. It labored completely on the few rides I booked final week, although I inevitably needed to examine my cellphone to verify I knew my driver’s identify and license plate.

Still, these little options are intelligent methods that can assist you keep current and keep away from unnecessarily checking your cellphone. One drawback? It’s laborious to erase years of muscle reminiscence of placing a smartphone face up. Too usually I simply … forgot that Glyph lights are a factor. You’ll want time to get used to it. Also, if Nothing desires me to place its cellphone face down on each floor conceivable, the least it may do is embrace a transparent case that may preserve the Gorilla Glass 5 display contact-free. I don’t see any scratches but, however they appear inevitable.

Not utilizing the cellphone is an enormous a part of Nothing’s ethos—the corporate desires to make its software program and {hardware} extra “intentional” so that you simply’re solely utilizing your handset if you want it. Its new monochrome interface is a part of that play. It takes a web page from Google’s “Bedtime Mode” in Android, which converts the cellphone’s software program to grayscale to discourage you from doomscrolling earlier than mattress. There aren’t any app labels both.

However, after utilizing a completely grayscale interface for a number of weeks, I don’t suppose this works. I’m already utilizing my cellphone much less as a result of my favourite third-party Reddit consumer shut down (and I can’t be downloading Reddit’s official app, thanks very a lot), however when your complete cellphone is monochrome on a regular basis, I don’t essentially get that Pavlovian jolt as I do with Bedtime Mode that I ought to actually fall asleep. Instead, it simply appears like a extremely elegant design.

Looks are the place I’ve to offer Nothing props. Nothing OS 2.0 is beautiful, significantly with lots of Nothing’s personal widgets. Even extra amazingly, you may put these widgets on the lock display, and it seems much better than something I’ve ever seen on some other Android cellphone. The notification and ringtone sounds are additionally distinctive. Nothing has additionally launched a “Glyph Composer,” and I spent far too lengthy making a number of customized ringtones and notification alerts. It jogs my memory of the nice outdated days of Android, which fostered a “do-whatever-you-want-with-your-phone” mentality.

All or Nothing

The fundamentals of the Nothing Phone (2) are fairly nice general. The 6.7-inch AMOLED display has a fluid 120-Hz screen refresh rate that appears glorious and will get comfortably vivid on sunny days. The 4,700-mAh battery cell simply lasted me a full day—after 4 hours of display time, I normally had over 40 p.c left within the tank. It can simply final a full day and a half.

It’s now powered by final yr’s flagship processor, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, with 8 GB of RAM (128 GB of inside storage). It’s snappy and appears like some of the responsive telephones I’ve ever used, with speedy animations and fast app launches. It’s tremendous clean.

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