Nothing’s budget Phone (2a) hits preorder at $349

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The much-teased and oft-leaked Nothing Phone (2a) is now officially official, just under a week after it made its limited debut at the company’s MWC after party. Nothing’s third phone is the first that goes directly after the mid-tier/budget space, with a starting price of $349.

While preorders open today, there’s an important caveat in the States. The phone is currently only available here for developers looking to integrate third-party apps with the light up “Glyphs” on the device’s back.

“The Glyph Developer Kit for Nothing devices is here,” Nothing writes of the program. “Your opportunity to build your own integration with the Glyph Interface. You can start developing it and register for an API key starting March 5, 2024.”

The handset will, however, be available in the U.K. and India through more traditional means. In the London-based firm’s home market, it’s available in both 8GB/128GB and 12GB/256GB models, running £319 and £319, respectively. In India, those models run ₹23,999 and ₹27,099, respectively. The world’s largest smartphone market is also a massive target for budget-minded phones. It will be the only launch market to get a third configuration of 12GB/256GB for ₹25,999.

Image Credits: Nothing

The handset drops the Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs found in the more premium models, instead opting for a customized MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro chip. Says Nothing:

Together, Nothing and MediaTek have introduced optimizations such as Smart Clean (+200% UFS read/write speed over prolonged usage) and Adaptive NTFS (+100% file transfer speeds with Windows computers) and have been able to reduce power consumption of specific components by up to 10%.

The performance will naturally be a step down from the Nothing Phone (2)’s flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (you may, however, see a bump in speed from the Phone (1) with certain workflows). The (2a) maintains the (2)’s 50-megapixel dual rear-facing cameras, though it shifts them to the center-back. The back is otherwise reminiscent of the phones that came before it, with the trademark transparent design, coupled with the light-up Glyphs (though they’ve been reduced in number to three and are only located on the top).

Image Credits: Nothing

At 5,000 mAh, the battery is larger than the ones found on both the Phone (1) (4,500mAh) and Phone (2) (4,700 mAh). The (2a) maintains the more premium handset’s 6.7-inch screen size, along with the 120Hz refresh rate.

All told, it’s shaping up to be a solid phone for its price point. Given the number of flagships that top out at over $1,000, however, one could certainly classify the $639 Nothing Phone (2) as a mid-tier price point.

Read more about MWC 2024 on TechCrunch

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