Nothing Phone (2) review

GSMArena Team, 13 July 2023.

Dual 50MP camera on the back, a 32MP selfie

The Nothing Phone (2) has two 50MP cameras on the back - a wide-angle primary and an ultrawide secondary with macro capabilities. There are all sorts of lights to help you in the dark, a video capturing indicator, and three microphones.

On the other side you will find a 32MP Quad-Bayer selfie camera.

Nothing Phone (2) review

The primary camera on the Nothing Phone (2) uses the 50MP Sony IMX890 1/1.56 imager (Nord 3), with 1.0µm pixels. It is coupled with a 23mm f/1.88 optically stabilized lens and supports PDAF. This camera shoots by default in 12.5MP.

The ultrawide camera uses a 50MP Samsung JN1 sensor with a Tetracell color. This sensor is noticeably smaller than the primary 50MP imager - 1/2.76" type with 0.64µm. The sensor sits behind a 14mm f/2.2 lens; automatic distortion correction is always in play. This camera supports PDAF and can focus as close as 4cm away - meaning you can shoot macro with it, and a dedicated macro mode is available.

Both cameras support automatic Night Mode. When the scene is suitable for Night Mode - a moon icon will appear on the viewfinder, meaning the Night Mode is active (like on the iPhones). It usually uses 1s-2s exposure time on both cameras. There is no other way to access the Night Mode.

Nothing Phone (2) review

The front camera relies on either a 32MP Sony IMX 615 or the 32MP Samsung S5KJD1 sensor. It is coupled with a wide-angle 19mm f/2.45 lens. The focus is fixed. The sensor has a Quad-Bayer color filter. It still saves images at the nominal 32MP resolution, which might compromise the quality if you examine the photos up close.

Camera app

The default Camera app is close to what you'd find across the latest Realme, and OnePlus smartphones use. Swiping on the viewfinder or the scroller below switches between modes, while the additional ones can be found under the "More" sub-menu.

Nothing Phone (2) review

Flash and timer are available on the opposite of the viewfinder side, but you can expand more settings like resolution (12MP/50MP), aspect, Ratio, Live Photo, and advanced settings.

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Camera app

Expert mode is also available, and it works on both cameras. The shutter speed can be as low as 30s for the main camera and 20s for the ultrawide cam. RAW capturing is available, too.

Night Mode can work on videos, too, but it's only for the main camera and drops the resolution down to 1080p at 30fps.

Camera settings - Nothing Phone (2) review Camera settings - Nothing Phone (2) review
Camera settings

You can use either the LED flash or the Glyph LEDs across a variety of occasions like video capturing, portraits, photos.

Daylight photo quality

The main camera saves 12.5MP by default and those are excellent. There is plenty of resolved detail, the noise is low if any, and the sharpness is just right but not over the top - something that is rare these days.

The contrast across all photos is high, the dynamic range is good but not extremely wide, and the color rendition is easily likable - it's accurate, sometimes maybe a notch more saturated than the reality, but not always.

We would rate the new processing as mature, it offers natural-looking foliage, people and buildings and does not rely on over-sharpening and smoothing, or not to the unpleasant extent at least. Sometimes the grass out-resolves the sensor, but it's still handled rather well and we have no complaints.

Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 12.5MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Main camera, 12.5MP

The 2x Super High Res zoom works very well. The zoomed photos we took with the Phone (2) are of good detail and sharpness - we can see they weren't digitally zoomed, but more probably extracted from the 50MP output. More complex areas do look a bit artificial, but other than that - a solid performance and very good zoomed photos.

As far as colors, contrast, dynamic range, noise reduction, are concerned - they are a match to the default images - meaning great across the board.

2x zoom main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review
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2x zoom main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review
2x zoom main camera

The 50MP output is okay, but not great. The detail is average at best, and we can't say we can extract more detail than the 2x zoomed photos can offer. But, if you need a 50MP image, one that's not that bad, you can have it.

Main camera, 50MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2723s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 50MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2605s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 50MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/4420s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, 50MP - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/3146s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Main camera, 50MP

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool
Nothing Phone (2) against the Nothing Phone (1) and the OnePlus Nord 3 in our Photo compare tool

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool
50MP: Nothing Phone (2) against the Nothing Phone (1) and the OnePlus Nord 3 in our Photo compare tool

There is no depth sensor on the Nothing Phone (2) and the Portrait mode relies entirely on AI. The subject separation is good, but not that great. If you don't have a complex haircut, it will do just fine, but curly hair would pose a real challenge.

The subject in the portrait photos is well-exposed, nicely detailed, with accurate and lively colors, and no noise. The background is blurred nicely and there is HDR applied where necessary. Overall, if it weren't for the average artificial separation, these could have been excellent portrait shots.

Portraits with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/500s - Nothing Phone (2) review Portraits with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 55, 1/125s - Nothing Phone (2) review Portraits with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 88, 1/125s - Nothing Phone (2) review Portraits with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Portraits with main camera

The 12.5MP ultrawide photos are very good with proficiently corrected corners and good detail. The noise is kept low, the contrast is high, while the dynamic range is enough, but once again - not extremely wide. The color rendition is a match to the main camera's, meaning it's rather great.

The per-pixel sharpness is not that good and you can see smeared foliage here and there. That's because the 50MP sensor is quite small. Still, we'd say these 12.5MP ultrawide photos are of high-quality and above average these days. And they are pretty wide, aren't they?

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Ultrawide camera, 12.5MP

The ultrawide camera supports autofocus and you can capture from as close as 4cm away. The closeups we took with the UW cam are really nice - there is a lot of visible detail and good sharpness for the subject at focus, the contrast and the dynamic range are good, and the color rendition is lovely. There is no visible noise across the samples we took.

Overall, the macro shots are superb, much better than most phones can do these days.

The dedicated Macro mode crops and upscales from the UW output in order to match the main camera's filed of view. This lowers the image quality and that's why we shot without it.

Macro with ultrawide, 12.5MP - f/2.2, ISO 803, 1/100s - Nothing Phone (2) review Macro with ultrawide, 12.5MP - f/2.2, ISO 178, 1/100s - Nothing Phone (2) review Macro with ultrawide, 12.5MP - f/2.2, ISO 291, 1/100s - Nothing Phone (2) review Macro with ultrawide, 12.5MP - f/2.2, ISO 143, 1/100s - Nothing Phone (2) review
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Macro with ultrawide, 12.5MP

You can shoot 50MP photos with the ultrawide camera, but those appear as simple upscales from the default 12.5MP output.

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Ultrawide camera, 50MP

The selfie camera is quite peculiar on the Phone (2). First, it uses another Quad-Bayer sensor and yet it still saves full-res photos. And then - it comes with pretty wide-angle lens - that's why you can choose between two fields of view - wide and standard (cropped). We took all samples with the widest FoV possible.

The 32MP selfies are quite alright. There is no noise, the contrast is good and the dynamic range is wide. The colors are as consistently good as on the rest of the cameras, meaning lively and mostly accurate.

The detail and the overall sharpness are not as great as these photos should have been 8MP in the first place. But the "debayering" algorithm is pretty good and they don't look as simple upscales either. Furthermore, the photos appear impressive on the phone's display, our monitors, and on the social networks. Another solid performance, indeed, even if with a small asterix.

Selfies, 32MP - f/2.5, ISO 50, 1/1000s - Nothing Phone (2) review Selfies, 32MP - f/2.5, ISO 50, 1/1000s - Nothing Phone (2) review Selfies, 32MP - f/2.5, ISO 50, 1/1000s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Selfies, 32MP - f/2.5, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Selfies, 32MP - f/2.5, ISO 50, 1/0s - Nothing Phone (2) review Selfies, 32MP - f/2.5, ISO 50, 1/1000s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Selfies, 32MP

Low-light photo quality

Auto Night Mode is available across all three cameras, but it triggers only when the conditions are suitable for it (meaning in low light). You cannot control its exposure time (usually 1s-2s); you can just choose whether to use it or not.

The photos we took at night with Auto Night Mode are superb. They are detailed and sharp, with excellent exposure and color rendition, proficient noise reduction processing, and of wide dynamic range with minimal blown highlights.

Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 2758, 1/20s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 3200, 1/10s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 3200, 1/13s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 3200, 1/10s - Nothing Phone (2) review
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Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 1560, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 3001, 1/7s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 3200, 1/9s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera with Auto Night Mode - f/1.9, ISO 2475, 1/20s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Main camera with Auto Night Mode

Turning the Night Mode OFF returns a similarly bright and colorful photo, but a bit noisier, slightly less detailed, and with minor drop on the dynamic range. And that's why we don't recommend disabling the Auto Night Mode.

Main camera, Night Mode OFF - f/1.9, ISO 3200, 1/25s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, Night Mode OFF - f/1.9, ISO 2634, 1/10s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, Night Mode OFF - f/1.9, ISO 2926, 1/11s - Nothing Phone (2) review Main camera, Night Mode OFF - f/1.9, ISO 2634, 1/10s - Nothing Phone (2) review
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Main camera, Night Mode OFF

The Auto Night Mode never triggers when using the 2x zoom. And unlike on many other phones, the Phone (2) actually uses Super Res Zoom at night and saves plenty usable photos. They are of average detail, but they keep the great color saturation, good exposure, and wide dynamic range from the 1x ones.

2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 478, 1/50s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 2482, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 785, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 1278, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review
2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 2482, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 1241, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 375, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 2482, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review
2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 400, 1/50s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 2482, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 896, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review 2x zoom with main camera - f/1.9, ISO 762, 1/33s - Nothing Phone (2) review
2x zoom with main camera

The Auto Night Mode also delivers excellent photos from the ultrawide camera - there is enough detail, superb exposure and dynamic range, low noise, and the same lively colors.

Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/13s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/11s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/13s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/11s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 2659, 1/7s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 2900, 1/9s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/13s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/11s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/14s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 2659, 1/7s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 2659, 1/7s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/13s - Nothing Phone (2) review
Ultrawide camera with Auto Night Mode

Turning the Night Mode OFF for the ultrawide camera will lead to the introduction of some noise, the detail will often drop a bit, and the dynamic range becomes lower with more blown highlights. Indeed, we do not recommend opting out of the Auto processing.

Ultrawide camera, Night Mode OFF - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/13s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera, Night Mode OFF - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/11s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera, Night Mode OFF - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/13s - Nothing Phone (2) review Ultrawide camera, Night Mode OFF - f/2.2, ISO 3200, 1/11s - Nothing Phone (2) review
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Ultrawide camera, Night Mode OFF

Video recording

The Nothing Phone (2) captures videos with three cameras. The main and the ultrawide cameras record video up to 4K at 60fps, and there's 1080p at both 30fps and 60fps. The selfie cam is limited to 1080p@30fps video capturing.

You can choose between the h.264 and h.265 codecs.

Electronic stabilization is always-on for all cameras and works across all resolutions and frame rates.

The camera app is super generous with the bit rates - the 4K footage gets 50Mbps while 1080p/30fps is allocated a similarly above-average 25Mbps when using the h.264 codec. The audio bitrate is 96Kbps, the sound is stereo. Do not let the reported low audio bit rate fool you - the sound is always rich and deep, and wind whooshing is minimal if any (there are 3 mics).

Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool
Nothing Phone (2) against the Nothing Phone (1) and the OnePlus Nord 3 in our Video compare tool

The 4K videos from the main camera are great - they are of high contrast, good dynamic range, and faithful color presentation. The detail is good even if not as impressive as on other phones, probably because the always-on EIS took a minor toll. There is no noise and no over sharpening.

Speaking of EIS, it works fine on the main camera, though there is some jello effect visible.

The 2x zoomed videos is a simple crop and upscale from the regular 4K output and it is super soft and with low detail.

The 4K low-light video from the main camera is alright - it offers enough detail, good contrast, adequate dynamic range, and excellent colors. There is some noise visible, though, but it's not that intrusive.

Night Move for video is available on this camera but it is limited to 1080p@30fps. The one we captured is impressive with outstanding exposure, dynamic range, colors, detail, and no noise whatsoever.

You can shoot 2x zoomed videos at night, too, and night mode is present as well. The regular 2x we shot at 4K is rather bad, but the 1080p Night Mode one is very good.

The ultrawide camera captures excellent 4K videos in broad daylight. There is plenty of resolved detail, balanced sharpness, great contrast, good dynamic range, and spot on colors.

The ultrawide camera also offers always-on electronic stabilization and while good for the most part, we also observed some jello effect.

The gentle noise reduction helps at night and the ultrawide camera will give you solid 4K videos even if a bit dark. They are sharp and detailed, colorful, with good dynamic range, but they look underexposed.

Finally, the selfie camera saves likable 1080p videos, very well stabilized, detailed enough, with good dynamic range, high contrast, and accurate colors.

Reader comments

  • Ravi
  • 19 Feb 2024
  • CbE

Gray looks good

  • V
  • 18 Feb 2024
  • nUv

+ Very nice looking design. - Screen is like scratch magnet - Terrible UI

  • Rabbani
  • 14 Feb 2024
  • X$p

Which colour looks gorgeous? White or Grey? Please answer me