The Nothing Phone 2a is releasing in March, but there’s a catch

A person holding the Nothing Phone 2, with the lights lit up.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The date is set for the arrival of Nothing’s next phone. The British upstart’s upcoming flashy gizmo — the Nothing Phone 2a — will arrive on March 5, right after the Mobile World Congress 2024 consumer tech fest concludes. In a short hype film that dropped earlier today, Nothing teased that the device could be cheaper than the Nothing Phone 2, which chased flagship credentials.

Once again, a standout design will be the key selling point, but the looks will be married to meaningful tricks. CEO Carl Pei, an alum of OnePlus, took a few potshots at Chinese smartphone brands in the non-flagship segment (as well as Samsung), ribbing them for chasing volume sales while cramming in parts that are barely useful to the buyer. two-megapixel macro cameras, eh? Of course, a UI loaded with bloatware and ads was also in the crosshairs.

Those cool LED lights at the back, which also blend functionally with app notifications and alerts, will make an appearance on the Nothing Phone 2a. This time around, though, it seems we are in for a fresh take on what Nothing calls the Glyph Interface. Notably, the company is also opening it to developers, allowing them access to the LED light elements so that they can play well with third-party apps.

Speaking of developers, it seems they will be the only folks able to get their hands on the Nothing Phone 2a, at least on U.S. soil. The company has no wide-release plans for the U.S. market. For folks in Asian markets like India and Europe, they will be able to purchase it without any developer shenanigans.

“In the U.S., Phone (2a) will be accessible to developers exclusively through Nothing’s U.S. Developer Program. Participants will be provided a Phone (2a) and are encouraged to provide feedback on their experience and outcomes using the Glyph Developer Kit,” says the company in an official press release.

Nothing won’t say why the device isn’t getting a wide release in the U.S. market, but if the brand’s previous statements are anything to go by, carrier deals and profitability could once again be the culprits. We have sent a query to Nothing regarding the lopsided market release and will update this story accordingly.

The Glyph interface on the Nothing Phone 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Rumored to cost somewhere around $400, the Nothing Phone 2a will reportedly embrace a fresh camera island look at the back. However, Nothing’s design chief has confirmed that the Nothing Phone 2a will once again play with the transparent design elements that have become a hallmark of the brand.

As far as the internals go, leaks hint at MediaTek’s Dimensity 8300 chip, a 6.7-inch 120Hz display, and a minimum of 128GB of onboard storage. The two cameras at the back rely on a 50-megapixel sensor each, while Nothing OS 2.5, based on Android 14, will handle things on the software side.

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