Nothing recently confirmed that the Nothing Phone (2a) is heading our way, but a recent leak suggests it won't be bringing one of the smartphone lineup's most iconic features with it.
Going with a different style for the back panel on the Nothing Phone (2a) helps set the more budget-friendly phone apart from its flagship counterparts. The leaked (2a) design comes with a pastiche of geometric shapes, two rear-facing cameras jutting out of the chassis, and a subtle Nothing logo on the lower left-hand side. This is a bit of a departure from the initial renders of the Nothing Phone (2a) we received back in December 2023.
Deeper than design
The second difference between the mid-range and flagship phones will have a deeper impact on the user experience. While many are fond of the semi-transparent look, it's ultimately just an aesthetic difference. However, the Nothing Phone (2a) will also be dropping another major feature in addition to the translucent back panel – the glyph interface.
Personally, I could do without the Nothing Glyph interface on its phones. I don't find the LED light indicators help much, but the Nothing Phone (2) did improve over the Phone (1) in terms of Glyph features as plenty of folks wanted more. While we wouldn't expect a budget phone to have more features, Nothing has claimed the (2a) will be a substantial upgrade over their original Android phone.
Additionally, initial renders of the (2a) included some LED lights on the back panel in the same style as the Glyph interface. But this new render is flat and light-less. So, seemingly, no LED volume indicators, notifications, or timers will be visible on the rear panel.
The semi-transparent design and Glyph interface of Nothing's phones have become key selling points. So, these two changes together present a pretty large shift in design direction from Nothing. Though, it's likely that the changes are cost-saving measures as the (2a) is poised to target a sub-$500 price point, after all.
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A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.