Nothing Phone 2a leaked images suggest it could have a strange design omission

 Nothing Phone 2 showing screen and lit glyph LED lights.
Nothing Phone 2 showing screen and lit glyph LED lights.

Update: SmartPrix has retracted its leak of the glyph-free Nothing Phone 2a design below, having concluded it's probably fake. But the other design in this article with the eye-like cameras is quite possibly accurate, as explained in a more recent Nothing Phone 2a design article.

A recent leak suggests the upcoming Nothing Phone (2a) may make a shocking design choice by omitting the line’s signature rear glyph light.

This tidbit comes from notable industry insider OnLeaks who shared his findings with news site SmartPrix. He claims the image is an “official press render”, and on it you can clearly see that the light is not there. In its place are swirling design elements sporting Nothing’s monochrome style with a pair of cameras in the upper left hand corner. It looks like a dressed-down version of the Nothing Phone (2).

Assuming it’s all true, getting rid of the glyph is a strange choice to make, in our opinion. Not only is it the brand’s signature style, but the company also announced a Glyph Developer Kit giving third-party devs a way to control the rear light on Nothing’s mobile device. Originally, it was thought this newfound utility would extend to the Phone (2a), but now, it appears that isn’t the case.

SmartPrix points out these changes could be the result of the company cutting corners. The Nothing Phone (2a) is slated to be a mid-ranger, so it won’t be as powerful as the older Phone (2). It’s possible the glyph may be one of the features to get the ax.

Other potential design

We should mention that there is a second leak making the rounds on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) and it's muddying the waters. Abhishek Yadav, another industry insider, posted hands-on images of what he claims to be the Phone (2a). Don’t give too much credence to the bulky black frame, which GSMArena states is a concealing case meant to hide the smartphone’s actual design. What you should pay attention to is the rear camera array.

Unlike the Phone (2), the lenses are sitting next to each other horizontally near the top. This mirrors an older leak from December 2023 showcasing a similar positioning. Additionally, Yadav’s post lists out specifications for the Phone (2a), revealing it may sport a 6.7-inch Full HD Plus (2,220 x 1,080 pixel resolution) AMOLED display and run on a MediaTek Dimensity 7200 chipset. On the back will be two 50MP lenses with a 32 MP selfie camera at the front.

Analyzing: Conflicting leaks

Between the two, it’s hard to say which should be given the benefit of the doubt. Yadav’s post does have detailed information, but OnLeaks claims a lot of the Phone (2a) leaks out there are either incorrect or not reliable. His words have weight to them since OnLeaks has proven himself to be a reliable source. He has gotten a lot of details correct over the years so we’re leaning towards the supposed press render as the more likely design.

When it comes to specs, Yadav does provide much needed information. We know very little about the hardware on the Phone (2a) currently. Of course, take everything you see here with a grain of salt as things can always change at the last minute.

We may not have to wait long to hear more. Online rumors suggest Nothing will hold an event at MWC 2024 (Mobile World Congress) in Barcelona where it may reveal future devices.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best Android phones for the year.

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