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Nothing Phone 2 vs Pixel 7: Same price, different approach

The battle of two very good phones that take rather different approaches to reach the same price point.
By

Published onDecember 4, 2023

Nothing Phone 2
MSRP: $599.00
Check price
Positives
Expertly crafted, effortlessly cool design
Brighter, beautiful OLED display
Solid main camera
Flagship-tier performance
Great battery life and fast, versatile charging options
Excellent value
Negatives
Mediocre ultrawide camera
Only IP54
Outdated Gorilla Glass
Tinny speakers
Selfie video capped at 1080p/30fps
Quick to throttle under GPU load
Google Pixel 7
MSRP: $599.00
Check price
Positives
Long-term update pledge
Clean Pixel UI software and exclusive features
Unbeatable value for money
Negatives
Slow to charge
Tensor G2 can run hot
Middling speakers

 

Nothing launched its Phone 2 back in July of 2023, bringing its device to the United States for the very first time. The device is priced much lower than typical flagships and is in the same price range as the Google Pixel 8. Of course, the Pixel 7 has similar specs and is even cheaper now thanks to aggressive holiday sales pricing. But which phone is the better pick? We take a closer look in this Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7 comparison.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7: At a glance

Curious how the Nothing Phone 2 and the Pixel 7 compare? Here's a quick summary of the key differences:

  • Google Pixel 7 has a better camera experience than the Nothing Phone 2.
  • Nothing Phone 2 has a higher refresh rate and bigger screen than the Pixel 7.
  • Nothing Phone 2 has higher RAM and storage options than the Pixel 7.
  • Google Pixel 7 has better water resistance than the Nothing Phone 2.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7: Specs

Nothing Phone 2Google Pixel 7
Display
Nothing Phone 2
6.7-inch LTPO OLED
Flat Gorilla Glass 5 cover
2,412 x 1,080 resolution
120Hz variable refresh rate (as low as 1Hz)
240Hz touch sampling rate
1,600 nits peak pixel brightness
HDR10+ support
10-bit color depth
Google Pixel 7
6.1-inch OLED
FHD+ 2,400 x 1,080
20:9 aspect ratio
90Hz refresh rate
429ppi
HDR support
Gorilla Glass 3 cover
Processor
Nothing Phone 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Google Pixel 7
Tensor G2
Titan M2 coprocessor
GPU
Nothing Phone 2
Adreno 730
Google Pixel 7
ARM Mali-G710
RAM
Nothing Phone 2
8 or 12GB LPDDR5
Google Pixel 7
8GB LPDDR5
Storage
Nothing Phone 2
128, 256, or 512GB
UFS 3.1
No microSD card slot
Google Pixel 7
128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1
No microSD card support
Power
Nothing Phone 2
4,700mAh battery
45W USB PPS/PD wired charging
15W wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Google Pixel 7
4,355mAh battery
20W wired charging
20W wireless charging (with Pixel Stand)
12W wireless charging (any Qi charger)
Battery Share supported
Cameras
Nothing Phone 2
Rear:
- 50MP wide (Sony IMX890, ƒ/1.88, 1/1.56-inch sensor, 1µm pixel size, 24mm focal length, OIS, EIS, HDR)
- 50MP ultrawide (Samsung JN1, ƒ/2.2, 1/2.76-inch sensor, 114-degree FoV, EIS, HDR)

Front:
- 32MP wide (Sony IMX615, ƒ/2.45, 1/2.74-inch sensor, HDR)
Google Pixel 7
Rear:
- 50MP wide primary sensor (1.2μm, ƒ/1.9, 82-degree FoV, 1/1.31-inch sensor)
- 12MP ultrawide (1.25μm, ƒ/2.2, 114-degree FoV)

Front:
- 10.8MP wide (1.22μm, ƒ/2.2)
Video
Nothing Phone 2
Rear wide:
- 4K at 60 or 30fps
- 1080p at 60 or 30fps

Front:
- 1080p at 60 or 30fps
Google Pixel 7
Rear:
- Primary: 4K at 60/30fps, 1080p at 60/30fps
- Ultrawide: 4K at 60/30fps, 1080p at 60/30fps

Front:
- Primary: 4K at 60/30fps, 1080p at 60/30fps
Audio
Nothing Phone 2
Triple mics
Dual stereo speakers

Google Pixel 7
Stereo speakers
2 microphones
Noise suppression
No 3.5mm headphone jack
Durability
Nothing Phone 2
IP54
Google Pixel 7
IP68
Biometrics
Nothing Phone 2
Optical in-display fingerprint sensor
Face Unlock support (insecure)
Google Pixel 7
In-display fingerprint scanner
Face unlock
SIM
Nothing Phone 2
Dual physical SIM
No eSIM
Google Pixel 7
Dual-SIM (1x nano-SIM + 1x eSIM)
Connectivity
Nothing Phone 2
4G: Gigabit with 4x4 MIMO
5G: Gigabit 5G Dual Mode (NSA & SA) with 4x4 MIMO
Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 6, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2.4G/5G dual-band, 2x2 MIMO and MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
Google Pixel 7
- 4G LTE
- 5G sub6
- Bluetooth 5.3
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e
- NFC
Ports
Nothing Phone 2
USB-C
Dual-SIM tray
Google Pixel 7
USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
Single nano-SIM
eSIM
Software
Nothing Phone 2
Nothing OS 2.0 based on Android 13
Three years of Android upgrades
Four years of Android security updates
Google Pixel 7
Pixel UI
Android 13
3 Android updates
5 years of security updates
The Glyph
Nothing Phone 2
33 individual addressable LED zones
Covered with Gorilla Glass 5
White light only
Google Pixel 7
N/A
Dimensions and weight
Nothing Phone 2
162.1 x 76.4 x 8.6mm
201g
Google Pixel 7
155.6 x 73.2 x 8.7mm
197g
Colors
Nothing Phone 2
Dark Gray or White
Google Pixel 7
Obsidian, Lemongrass, Snow
In-box contents
Nothing Phone 2
Nothing Phone 2
Transparent USB-C to USB-C cable
Transparent SIM tool
Pre-applied screen protector
Paperwork
Google Pixel 7
USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0, 1m)
Quick Switch Adapter
Support Card
SIM tool

In some ways, the Nothing Phone 2 and Pixel 7 have a lot in common. Same original retail price? Check. Both focus on giving consumers a cheaper alternative to more expensive flagships? Check. Relatively clean and pure takes on Android? Yup!

Despite all these similarities, the Pixel family also leans toward simplicity over power and targets mainstream consumers by offering an easy-to-use phone that can take great photos for users of all skill levels. This is in sharp contrast to Nothing, which has top-notch specs and adds shiny extras like a Glyph lighting system. It’s pretty clear Nothing’s focus is the power user type that likes to stand out from the crowd.

Probably the area where the two phones most differ is the engine used to power them. 

Nothing Phone 2 Geekbench 6 scores
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The Nothing Phone 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. This isn’t quite as powerful as the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 family would be, but it’s a high-performance chip that still has tons of punch and is more than capable of handling all of today’s latest apps and games. It’s also notably more powerful than the Pixel 7’s Tensor G2 SoC.

The Tensor G2 SoC isn’t a bad chip either but focuses more on AI and photography optimizations than on raw performance. It can still handle even the most cutting-edge games and apps, but just be aware it’s not the best for long play sessions. It tends to have some overheating issues when worked too hard, which is something you don’t have to worry about with the Nothing Phone 2 or the newer Pixel 8 series. The phone typically won’t stop working or anything; it just becomes hot to the touch, which can get annoying fast.

The Nothing Phone 2 has more power, but the Pixel 7 has simplicity and great AI prowess on its side.

Of course, the Nothing Phone 2 isn’t perfect. During our review, we found the phone was plenty fast and fluid, but there is one potential concern around GPU throttling. Our 3DMark Wild Life stress test found a 36% drop in GPU scores after five runs, which is worse than you’d see from other phones with this chip. It’s unclear if this would ever be a real problem in the day-to-day, but it’s at least something worth being aware of. It’s also possible later firmware updates will address this.

The Nothing Phone 2 doesn’t just have a faster processor; it also has more RAM and storage options. The Pixel 7 comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage options. The Nothing Phone 2 offers 8GB and 12GB of RAM variants and storage sizes of 128, 256, or 512GB. It also offers two SIM card slots, something you don’t find on many phones today. While you can use the Pixel 7 with two SIMs, it only has a single physical slot. The second line has to use an eSIM card.

One small advantage on Google’s side is the support for mmWave in certain variants. The Nothing Phone 2 completely lacks support for mmWave, though it will work with Verizon’s Sub-6Ghz network in the States.

Nothing Phone 2’s display is better, but not by as wide a margin as you might think

Nothing Phone 2 punch hole notch
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Stepping away from the insides, let’s take a look at the displays used. The Nothing Phone 2 has a much bigger display at 6.7 inches versus 6.1 inches. There’s more to a good display than just the size. On paper, the Nothing Phone 2’s display continues to impress with features like a 120Hz variable refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling, and 1,600 nits peak pixel brightness.

The Pixel 7 has just a 90Hz refresh rate and nowhere near the range of brightness, but we have to say the colors were actually more vivid and vibrant on the Pixel 7. The Nothing Phone 2 certainly looks better in situations that call for a variable refresh, but the panel on the Pixel 7 makes it harder to compare the two than the specs might suggest alone. In many ways, the Nothing Phone 2 has the better display; just be aware you’ll have an equally great time even if you opt for the Pixel 7’s slightly less impressive display.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7 thumbnail

One of the biggest features of the Nothing Phone 2 doesn’t have a counterpart on the Pixel 7, the Glyph. The Glyph is a set of 11 LED strips and 33 LED zones that is found on the back of the Phone 2. It works a bit like the old-school LED lights found on Android devices in the years past, lighting up certain patterns to provide notifications. That said, this implementation goes a lot further than that.

We have a Glyph guide that goes deeper into its features, but some of the things you can do include building your own custom Glyph patterns for your contacts, creating alerts for essential notifications, and creating timers. Nothing even partnered with Uber to make it so the phone will use Glyphs to let you know when a ride is almost there and so on.

We’ll be honest, Glyph is a bit of a gimmick, but it’s a cool one and certainly one of the ways the Nothing Phone 2 stands out from the crowd.

Durability isn’t a major focus for the Nothing Phone 2

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

As much as we like the Nothing Phone 2’s design, we need to address its stranger design decisions around durability.

Instead of giving us IP67 or IP68, the Nothing Phone 2 is only rated IP54. This means it has modest dust protection but can only handle splashes of water. It’s a fair cry from the IP68 rating on the Pixel 7. The Nothing Phone 2 also features older Gorilla Glass 5, instead of the more durable Gorilla Glass Victus used on the Pixel 7. Even the Victus is technically not the latest from Gorilla Glass, but it’s still very resistant to scratches and breaks.

If you care about durability, the Google Pixel 7 has the advantage here.

How does the software compare?

Nothing Phone 2 display homescreen
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Now let’s talk software before we move on to camera, battery, and charging. The Google Pixel interface is known for being clean and near-stock-like. At the same time, Google adds meaningful extras like Material You customizable themes, AI features like Call Screening and Google Duplex.

Nothing followed a similar strategy with its Nothing OS, deputing a very spartan UI with its first Nothing Phone. The UI has evolved since then. The Phone 2’s Nothing OS 2.0 takes things to new heights. The OS adds a great custom weather app, a new one-handed mode, widgets on the lock screen, and plenty of other small touches. It still has a clean stock-like interface, there are just finally more additions that are actually worth using.

There are also plenty of customizations that revolve around the Glyph features, as we highlighted above. The upcoming linked article lets you learn even more about all the great Nothing OS 2.0 features.

Google isn’t the king of Android updates, as that crown oddly belongs to Samsung. Nonetheless, Google gives users three years of OS updates and five years of security, making it the second best in the Android biz. Nothing doesn’t have the same established reputation yet, but it has done a great job pumping new improvements to its Phone 1. It promises three years of OS upgrades and four years of Android security updates. Not quite as good, but darn close.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7: Size comparison

The Phone 2 measures 162.1 x 76.4 and has a thickness of 8.6mm. It’s not a huge phone, but it is notably larger than the Pixel 7, which comes in at 155.7 x 73.2. Interestingly, the Pixel 7 is a hair thicker at 8.7mm. Both phones have reasonably thin bezels, and a centered camera cut out, though the Nothing Phone 2 has more rounded corners.

On the back, you can see Nothing and Google have their own very distinct design languages. The Pixel 7 features a protruding camera visor made of metal and an all-glass back. It’s a look that immediately makes it clear you’re dealing with a Pixel.

The Nothing Phone 2 takes inspiration from the iPhone family with its body shape, flat sides, and antenna layout. It makes this look its own by giving it a transparent back that lets you see the cooling pipes and the unique Glyph lighting system. It covers up major parts with panels, but it’s still a stunning semi-naked look that you won’t find on any other phone brand.

The Phone 2 and Pixel 7 are almost the exact same weight, at 201g and 197g, respectively. Sure, the Pixel 7 is slightly less, but you won’t be able to feel the difference. Both phones feel great, but the Phone 2 is a bit easier to hold, thanks mainly to the chamfer between the metal frame and the back glass. However, this point is negated if you put a Nothing Phone 2 case on your device.

Lastly, let’s talk about color choices. The Phone 2 comes in White and Dark Gray, while the Pixel 7 has the option of
Obsidian, Lemongrass,  and Snow.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7: Camera

The Pixel 7 has one of the best camera experiences in the smartphone world, even if it’s been bested by the newer Pixel models. At the center of the experience is a large 50MP 1/1.31-inch sensor and a 12MP, 144-degree secondary camera. Expect nothing short of excellent color accuracy as well as exceptional low-light performance. Portrait detection is also top-notching.

Still, nothing is perfect, as the saturation is often a bit heavy, and zooming past 4X isn’t recommended as the quality starts to fall apart. Overall, the hardware is great, but it’s the software and SoC that makes Google’s camera experience so special.

Pixel 7 primary camera samples

The Tensor G2 also allows for extremely advanced image processing that lets Google pull off AI trickery that other phones can’t handle. This enables features like Magic EraserFace Unblur, Long Exposure, and more. Ultimately the software and AI are designed to ensure that almost anyone can take a good photo.

Nothing Phone 2 primary camera samples

So how does the Nothing Phone 2 compare? The Phone 2 also has a 50MP main camera, though it’s a  1/1.56-inch sensor this time, which is a bit smaller than the Pixel 7. Overall it’s a good camera. Dynamic range is solid, and it handles multiple light sources well. Noise has been reduced in shadows, and the white balance has been improved. Most of the pictures taken were quite good, though I have to say the ultrawide camera is a mess. Textures are muddy, and you’ll often find halo effects around objects. The macro mode helps make up for this a little, as it uses the high-megapixel ultrawide camera and autofocus to take usable extreme close-ups.

As for the selfie cameras? Both phones also offer decent enough selfies, though we need to mention the lack of 4K video in a selfie camera on the Nothing Phone 2. It’s a strange omission in a phone that has a ton of appeal for bloggers.

Overall the Pixel 7 is one of the best cameras you can buy, but that doesn’t make Nothing Phone 2 a poor performer. It takes decent shots its just not quite in the same league as the Pixel, iPhone, or Galaxy S series just yet.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7: Battery and charging

google pixel 7 pro cameras
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Pixel 7 isn’t known for ground-breaking battery life, but it can make it through a full day’s use with around 15% life left to spare on its 4,355mAh battery. That’s with gaming, video watching, and other higher-performance activities. If you stick to the basics, you’ll likely see even better battery life than that.

The Pixel does a decent job, but the Nothing Phone 2 is hard to compete against with its 4,700mAh battery and more power-efficient components. We found in our testing that we could easily make it through a day and a half before dropping below 10%. That’s with average usage habits like video streaming, music listening, photography, light gaming, social media, and light testing. If you are fairly casual with your use, it could easily make it to two days. On the flip side, even power users should still find that they’ll easily make it through a full day and into the beginning hours of the next one.

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

The Nothing Phone 2 doesn’t just have better battery life; it also has superior charging options. The Pixel 7 has just 20W charging versus the 45W PD PPS standard on the Phone 2. My Pixel 7 usually takes me around one hour and 40 minutes to fill up from empty, which feels like forever compared to the Nothing Phone 2. Despite a bigger battery, the Nothing Phone 2 only takes around one hour to charge.

One small advantage of the Pixel 7 is its wireless charging capabilities. We don’t have any testing data on the Nothing Phone 2’s wireless charging speeds yet, but at 15W, you can expect it to take a little longer than the Pixel 7’s 20W wireless charging speeds. Both phones also have reverse charging, though the Phone 2 is slightly slower at 5W vs 7.5W.

Keep in mind neither phone includes a charger in the box. You’ll need to buy a third-party wall charger or use an existing spare. Be aware you’ll need a PD PPS brick capable of 45W charging to get the best charging speeds on the Nothing 2.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7: Price

  • Google Pixel 7 (8GB/128GB): $599
  • Google Pixel 7 (8GB/256GB): $699
  • Nothing Phone 2 (8GB + 128GB): $599
  • Nothing Phone 2 (12GB + 256GB): $699
  • Nothing Phone 2 (12GB + 512GB): $799

At retail, the Google Pixel 7 gives you 128GB for $599 or 256GB storage for $699, both models have the same 8GB of RAM. Keep in mind that you can find it on sale for $500 or less right now though. The Nothing Phone 2 prices its 128GB and 256GB models the same as Google but the latter model also upgrades the RAM to 12GB.

Want even more space? There’s a Nothing Phone 2 variant or $799 that includes 12GB of RAM and 512GB storage space.

Just be aware the Pixel 7 is much easier to get ahold of. Not only will you find it at most major retailers, but US carriers also offer the phone. The Nothing Phone 2 is also sold in the US but directly through the Nothing website.

Nothing Phone 2 vs Google Pixel 7: Which should you buy?

Nothing Phone 2 gray
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The Nothing Phone 2 and Google Pixel 7 are priced similarly, offering flagship-level experiences that will appeal to those who like clean, minimalist takes on Android. That said, they focus their hardware and software on very different things.

The Nothing Phone 2 has a better CPU, a marginally better display, better charging, and better battery life. It also has weaker glass protection and a puzzling IP rating. The Glyph makes it stand out a bit more, but it’s still unclear if the Glyph will morph into a must-have or remain nothing more than a cool gimmick. Still, if you’re the power user looking for something different, it’s a pretty awesome-looking phone.

The Google Pixel 7, on the other hand, is best suited for those wanting a phone that handles things well and without much thought. In many ways, the Pixel 7 is the iPhone of the Android world. It just works. You can customize it and make it more complex if you’re a power user, but the out-of-the-box experience takes great photos and is capable of nearly anything you throw at it. There might not be overcomplicated extras, but what Google gives you makes a lasting impact. It’s also even cheaper now that it’s not the latest member of the Pixel family.

You can’t go wrong with either device, it ultimately comes down to if you want power and lights or a simpler phone that makes magic for even the most novice photographer.

Should you get the Pixel 7 or the Nothing Phone 2?

288 votes
See price at Amazon
Nothing Phone 2
Nothing Phone 2
Expertly crafted, effortlessly cool design
Flagship-tier performance
Excellent value
See price at Amazon
Google Pixel 7
33%off
Google Pixel 7
Tensor G2 processor
Upgraded camera
Low price

Don’t mind spending more for a Pixel? You could also considering picking up the new Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro instead.

Google Pixel 8Google Pixel 8
AA Recommended
Google Pixel 8
Bright display • Upgraded face-unlock • Improved camera
MSRP: $699.00
A bright display from Google's 2023 flagship phone
The Google Pixel 8 introduces the new Actua display, a 6.2-inch panel that's 42% brighter than the Pixel 7. Backed by the fully updated Tensor G3 chipset, and a new 50MP camera, this promises to be one of the more exciting Pixel phones.
Google Pixel 8 ProGoogle Pixel 8 Pro
AA Editors Choice
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Excellent cameras • Fun, exclusive Android 14 customizations • Industry-leading update promise
MSRP: $999.99
Powerful Google phone with powerful camera features
The Google Pixel 8 Pro is packed with unique camera features and AI-assisted software that puts the smart into smartphone.

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