Nothing on Tuesday announced the Phone (2a) smartphone in an attempt to drum up excitement for the handset. The company gave the world the Nothing Phone (2a)’s launch date, without actually showing the new mid-range handset or revealing the key details you need to know. The Phone (2a) design, specs, and price are not likely to be revealed until March 5th, when Nothing will officially unveil the new phone. 

However, Nothing did tease that the Phone (2a) would be cheaper than its first ever phone, the Phone (1). That handset sold for under $500 initially, though it wasn’t available in the US.

The price

Nothing released a 10-minute clip where the British smartphone startup’s key execs talk about the Phone (2a). CEO and co-founder Carl Pei teased the price cut for the Phone (2a), without providing any further details. He said that Nothing has reached a place where its suppliers can offer better prices for the key components that go into Nothing handsets.

Well, let’s put it this way. We’re in a very special industry. On one hand, there’s all this design and creativity that we need to be super good at. 

On the other hand, it’s a purely financial and supply chain-driven industry. And over the last couple of years, we gained a lot of trust among our suppliers and we’ve grown our business to a point where we’re getting much better pricing on our products. So it’s only natural that we take some of these efficiency gains and pass them on to our consumers.

Pei also explained why Nothing is making another mid-range phone after launching the Nothing Phone (2) flagship about a year ago. The CEO said that Nothing has heard feedback from the community, and it’s looking to cater to the needs of buyers who don’t want a flagship device.

The CEO also implied that Nothing will not cut corners when it comes to offering a consistent experience for the user, whether it’s the design or the software experience. 

If anything, Pei criticized the direct competitors of Phone (2a), calling out the issues with various mid-range phones out there now.

Nothing Phone (1) Glyph
Nothing Phone (1) Glyph. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Pei called out the bloatware preinstalled on some devices and the ads. He also criticized the camera hardware gimmicks. The way some companies place the rear-facing cameras inside massive modules to imply the camera will deliver significant performance. The top Nothing exec also complained about the color options mid-range phones get and the fact they rock plastic backs rather than metal. 

But Pei did not show the actual Nothing Phone (2a) while talking about it. And he did not reveal whether it’ll rock the iconic transparent back complete with glyphs that light up during use.

The design

The CEO did say the Phone (2a) will be the best in its class, featuring great performance and a great camera. It’ll be interesting to see how the Phone (2a) holds out against the Pixel 7a and especially the Pixel 8a launching this summer. These are two of the most important mid-range Androids that will compete against Nothing’s new mid-ranger.

The second part of the Phone (2a) teaser clip features Chris Weightman, a Nothing industrial designer who has been working on the company’s phones, including the upcoming device. Like Pei, Weightman did not reveal the Phone (2a) design, but he showed some sketches that teased it. 

Weightman did say that transparency is still a key design detail for Nothing and the Phone (2a). He also said that the glyphs are part of the Phone (2a) design, though he noted that some changes are to be expected: 

The function that they provide is really important. We definitely didn’t want to lose that. But with the overall kind of design of the phone being quite different to Phone (2). Yeah, we had to work a little bit to figure out exactly where the glyphs fit in this time. 

With Phone (1) and Phone (2) being out in the world for a little while, it’s a really great for us to be able to look at how people are using them and really kind of understand how they fit in with people’s lives and use that to kind of inform the new products.

The full Nothing Phone (2a) teaser clip follows below.

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Cheaper Nothing Phone 2a launches March 5 with sub-$500 price

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