Nothing's Budget-Focused Phone 2a Looks Like a Big Departure in Design

A budget-focused Nothing phone appears to be on the way and could arrive as soon as February.

Originally Published: 
The Nothing Phone 2 and its LED glyph interface

Update: December 26 at 12 p.m. ET — Alleged renders of the phone 2a show a more detailed look at the pared-down design that’s reminiscent of the Phone 1 and 2.

It’s been a busy year for Nothing. As if launching the second generation of its smartphone wasn’t enough, it also started selling said phone (the Phone 2) in America.

And while this year is just about a wrap, the company may start 2024 off with yet another addition to its phone lineup.

According to leaker Dylan Roussel, Nothing is reportedly readying a budget-focused phone with some serious design tweaks called the Phone 2a.

Nothing Phone 2a

If a render posted on X by Roussel is to be believed, one of the biggest tweaks to an upcoming Nothing phone will be camera placement. Instead of the back-facing camera array sequestered in the top left of the phone like the Phone 1 or 2, a render shows a centered camera array.

On top of that, one of the most iconic hardware elements on Nothing’s phones — the LED Glyph Interface that lights up the back for notifications — looks to be pared down from the 11 separate strips on the Phone 2 to only three on the Phone 2a. If this is a budget phone, as the name suggests, that would make sense. Cost has to get cut somewhere.

Here’s a closer look at alleged renderings of what the device looks like.

The good thing is that the Glyph Interface still looks fairly capable. A render shows it counting down a timer and flashing for other notifications, which are two of the Glyph Interface’s primary functions. As noted by Roussel, the codename of the device is “Pacman / Aero(dactyl)” which tracks with previous themes of Nothing phones; Nothing uses Pokémon as codenames for all of its products.

We don’t have a lot of information about what’s going on inside the Phone 2a but processor-wise, Roussel says the phone will use MediaTek’s Dimensity 7200— a first for any Nothing phone, since current phones use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips.

Previous leaks have suggested that the upcoming phone will also have a hole-punch selfie camera and a 6.7-inch display.

Nothing Phone 2a Release Date

As noted by 9to5Google, documentation has suggested an A-series phone is on the way for a little while now, but it’s hard to say for sure when Nothing’s phone will be available. It’s notable that Nothing has an upcoming event at Mobile World Congress in February, which would be a logical launching opportunity.

As for whether the phone will be sold in the U.S., that also remains to be seen. Nothing has notably diversified its product offerings this year with sub-brands like CMF — a more affordable lineup of earbuds, accessories, and a smartwatch.

CMF products aren’t sold in the U.S. right now, however, which suggests a budget phone could theoretically also be exclusive to Nothing’s other popular markets like India and Europe.

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