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Nothing Phone 2 problems and how to fix them

Most glitches have simple workarounds.

Published onFebruary 5, 2024

The Nothing Phone 2 is a welcome addition to the upper mid-range category, bringing high-end power to an affordable package, with a unique design and lighting feature that makes it stand out from the competition in its price range. It brings solid improvements over its predecessor and is also more easily available in the US and other large global markets. However, like any smartphone, and even more so because it’s only in its second generation, the Phone 2 has its fair share of bugs and glitches. We take a look at some common Nothing Phone 2 problems and how to fix them.

Editor's note: Not every Nothing Phone 2 will have these problems. In fact, it is more than likely that you won't come across any issues at all.

Problem #1: Performance issues — freezing, lag and stuttering, crash dump mode, and random reboots

Android 14 AI Wallpapers Real Life Examples on Nothing Phone 2 (1)
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

The Nothing Phone 2 is very capable in the performance department, for the most part. However, some software glitches seem to cause a variety of performance issues that users have come across.

  • Home screen freezing: Nothing rolled out a software update in January to fix the home screen freezing problem on the Phone 2 following the last major update to OS version 2.5.1. If you still have the issue, an app may be the cause. Boot the device into Safe Mode (you can find the instructions on how to do so in the Guides section below) and see if the problem persists. If it doesn’t, try uninstalling any recently updated or installed apps to see if the issue goes away.
  • Lag when using picture-in-picture mode: You can try clearing the app cache of the app you’re using in picture-in-picture mode to see if the performance improves. Go to Settings > Apps > See all Apps > (app name) > Storage and Cache and tap Clear Cache. You can also try Clear Storage, but keep in mind that resets the app entirely, so you should back up any important data.
  • Crash dump mode/random reboots: Crash Dump Mode is a useful safety feature that automatically turns off the device in the case of critical issues. However, some users are seeing frequent crash dump reports and random reboots and aren’t able to pinpoint a specific app or system setting causing the problem. A rogue app is a likely cause, so you can try removing any recently updated or installed apps. If you can figure out which specific app is the issue, try clearing the app cache and storage. If nothing else works, your only option may be a Factory Reset (the instructions are in the Guides section).
  • Nothing Launcher freezing after boot: A few users say that the phone launcher tends to freeze after a restart, and the only option is to Force Stop the app (when the “Not Responding” error pop-up appears). Try clearing the launcher app cache and storage to fix the problem.

Problem #2: App drawer search opens the wrong app

Nothing launcher on Nothing Phone 2
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Some users say that when using the search box in the app drawer and tapping on the app icon they want, the wrong app opens instead. This wrong app seems to be the one that was previously in that position in the app drawer before the search function was used.

Potential solutions:

  • This seems to occur because of a slight lag between the search box showing the app icon of the one you want and it actually “working.” Waiting a couple of seconds after the search box shows the results should do the trick.
  • This is likely because of the phone’s animation settings, which you can change to get smoother performance with no animation lag.
    • First, enable Developer Options. Go to Settings > About Phone and tap on Nothing OS at the top of the menu. Then tap the Build number multiple times until you see a pop-up that says, “You are now a developer.”
    • Then, go to Settings > System > Developer Options. Scroll down to Window Animation Scale, Transition Animation Scale, and Animator Duration Scale. You can set them to 0.5x or turn them off.

Problem #3: Charging issues — Slow charging, problems with smart charging

Nothing Phone 2 clear USB C charge cable
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Some Nothing Phone 2 owners have come across a few charging problems with their phones. Some users say that the phone charges slower than expected, while others report issues with the phone’s smart charging feature.

Potential solutions:

  • The Nothing Phone 2 doesn’t come with a charger in the box, and in many cases, slower than expected charging is because of using a charger that doesn’t meet the phone’s fast-charging requirements. To get the fastest possible charging, you need a 45W USB-PD charger. There are plenty of third-party wall chargers you can find that meet the necessary standards, and you can also check out our guide on how to find the right charger for your phone.
  • If you’re seeing slower than expected charging even with the correct charger, check the cable to ensure it isn’t torn or frayed. You may also have to turn off the phone’s battery optimization settings. Go to Settings > Battery > Adaptive Battery and toggle off the option.
  • On the other hand, some users say that the phone’s smart charging feature, which ensures an optimized, steady charge when the phone is plugged in overnight, doesn’t seem to work.
    • First, check that the feature is active. Go to Settings > Battery and toggle on Battery Health.
    • However, users say that you have to enable the phone’s other battery features like Adaptive Battery and Sleep Standby Optimization.
    • If that doesn’t work, another workaround is to set an alarm (between 3 AM and 10 AM), even if you don’t use the phone’s alarm.

Problem #4: Display refresh rate issues

Instagram on Nothing Phone 2 showing Android Authority account
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Some users say that Nothing Phone 2’s display refresh rate stays at 120Hz and doesn’t drop, even though the phone comes with a 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate. On the other hand, a few users report that the phone’s refresh rate doesn’t go above 90Hz.

Potential solutions:

  • If the phone isn’t reaching the expected 120Hz refresh rate, simply toggling the setting seems to do the trick. Go to Settings > Display > Refresh rate and change the setting to Standard, restart the phone, and then change it back to High.
  • In the situation where the display refresh rate doesn’t drop, this seems to be linked to the brightness setting. The adaptive refresh rate won’t work if the screen brightness is too low. Users say that setting the brightness above 55 percent does the trick.

Problem #5: Fingerprint unlock not working

Nothing Phone 2 home screen
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Some users report problems with the phone’s fingerprint unlock not working, with the scanner failing multiple times before recognizing a fingerprint.

Potential solutions:

  • Adding the same fingerprint twice seems to do the trick. Go to Settings > Security > Fingerprint and add the same fingerprint again.
  • The screen protector might be interfering with the in-display fingerprint scanner. Re-adding your fingerprints after applying a screen protector helps. You can also increase the touch sensitivity to avoid problems with a screen guard. Go to Settings > Display and toggle on Increase Touch Sensitivity.
  • In some extreme cases, the fingerprint scanner issues seem to be because of a system problem. If that happens, the only option is to perform a Factory Reset. Users say that the fingerprint sensor starts working properly after a reset. However, don’t forget to backup your phone first since a reset will erase everything.

Problem #6: Enhanced Password Security feature not working for the lock screen PIN

Nothing Phone 2 display homescreen
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

When typing a password, you may notice the characters appear on the screen before quickly changing to dots or stars. The Nothing Phone 2 has an enhanced password security option that ensures that even that quick character flash doesn’t happen. To enable this feature, go to Settings > Security and Privacy > Privacy, and toggle off Show Passwords.

However, users say that this doesn’t seem to work when typing in a PIN or password on the lock screen. This isn’t a bug but rather the fact that the setting is in another menu. Go to Settings > Security and Privacy > Device unlock > Screen lock settings (gear icon) and enable Enhanced PIN Privacy.

Problems where the only option is to wait for a software update

Nothing Phone 2 gray glyph lighting 2
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Nothing does a decent job of rolling out bug fixes with their software updates, but there are quite a few problems that don’t have a workaround. Make sure that you keep your phone updated, and check the latest version info to see if the rollout has a fix for an issue you might be facing.

  • Feedback option missing: The Nothing Phone 2 has an easy way to send feedback and bug reports in the System settings. However, users say that the option has been missing since the November update. Some say that a Factory Reset brings back the feedback form, but that might be an extreme step if you don’t use the feature much.
  • Camera issues: Phone 2 users report a couple of camera problems. First, users say that the phone struggles to auto-focus on a subject and requires manual focusing. Others say that the selfie camera doesn’t work with third-party apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, and others. A restart fixes the issue with the front-facing camera, but only temporarily.
  • Glyph progress bar not working: The Glyph progress bar is a convenient way to track the arrival of your Uber and food delivery or the start of upcoming meetings (through Google Calendar). Users say that the progress bar doesn’t work for tracking meetings, while others report that the feature doesn’t seem to work at all.
  • Dark Mode turns off automatically: A few users say that the phone seems to automatically turn off Dark Mode. Turning it on only works temporarily.
  • Second SIM card slot issues: Some Nothing Phone 2 owners say that the phone’s second SIM card slot doesn’t work. In some cases, disabling data connectivity on the second SIM disables the feature on the primary SIM as well.
  • The bottom speaker not working: If the phone’s bottom speaker isn’t working, go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio Adjustment and ensure that the audio balance is correct. However, users say that a restart seems to fix the problem. In extreme cases, this may be a hardware problem, and the only option is to get a replacement.

Guides: Safe Mode, Factory Reset

How to boot into Safe Mode

  • If the phone is on, press and hold the power button (if it is mapped to the power menu) and long-press the power off icon. If not, swipe down the notifications panel and tap the power icon at the bottom right. Then long-press the power off icon. Tap OK to confirm that you want to boot into Safe Mode.
  • To exit Safe Mode, restart the phone.

How to Factory Reset the Nothing Phone 2

  • Go to Settings > System > Reset options.
  • Tap Erase all data (factory reset) and select Reset phone.
  • Enter your PIN or pattern and tap Erase Everything.

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