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Nothing Phone 3 wishlist: All the features I want to see

The Nothing Phone 2 is great, but there's room for improvement.
By

Published onMarch 18, 2024

nothing phone 2 lockscreen monochrome 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Carl Pei wasn’t satisfied with making history just once with OnePlus. In early 2021, he announced the formation of a new company called Nothing. While the very first Nothing Phone showed promise, the Nothing Phone 2 demonstrated a significantly more refined effort, leaving me optimistic about the company’s future.

However, there are certain aspects I hope to see addressed with the Nothing Phone 3. Here’s my wishlist, along with the limited information available about the device so far.

Nothing needs to work on improving its durability and appeal as a true flagship

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

The Nothing Phone remains somewhat of an enigma. Is it designed for power users, gamers, value users, or spec enthusiasts? It sort of appeals to all of these groups, but only partially. While it undoubtedly delivers a strong performance, it also makes compromises in various areas, including build materials and the camera package. Judging by our readers’ interests and my own, it seems that the Nothing brand currently appeals to individuals seeking raw power and a distinctive look that stands out in a crowd. Typically, this kind of user is willing to pay a premium for such an experience, making an upgrade to a more true flagship experience a potentially well-received move. This upgrade starts with improvements in protection and durability.

The Nothing Phone 2 is rated at just IP54; this is a rarity in the smartphone world and is notably less impressive than the more common IP68 rating. For the Nothing Phone 3, I would like to see the brand address this limitation while also upgrading to newer glass technology. The Gorilla Glass 5 on Nothing’s current flagship is starting to show its age, especially considering that Gorilla Glass Victus has become the new gold standard for top-tier phones, with the original Victus often featured on entry-level flagships.

Nothing could benefit from pushing further upscale, while introducing a budget option

Nothing Phone 2 vs Nothing Phone 1 thumbnail
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The biggest complaint about the original Nothing Phone was that it was underpowered, a concern that was partially addressed with the Nothing Phone 2. However, there is still room for improvement. Despite featuring a potent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus SoC, the Nothing Phone 2 appears to throttle its GPU more aggressively than phones with comparable specifications. While the absolute best Qualcomm chip might not be necessary, refining the user experience to ensure performance matches that of phones in the same price range is crucial. At the very least, including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the Nothing Phone 3 should be a priority, especially considering that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is expected to set a new standard by then.

The Nothing Phone 3 needs a much better camera experience

Upper half of Nothing Phone 2 rear panel in gray
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Not all power users prioritize having the best camera; some are more into mobile gaming, emulators, and other geekier pursuits. Regardless, while the camera might not be the deciding factor for power users, it remains an important consideration. Regrettably, Nothing has been relatively conservative with its camera setups. The Nothing Phone 2 featured a nearly identical mediocre camera suite to its predecessor, though it did upgrade its main sensor to the IMX890. While an upgrade, it wasn’t as substantial as one might hope.

Currently, the Nothing Phone 2 performs adequately in good lighting conditions, and even its low-light images are acceptable. However, its colors tend to be overly contrast-heavy, occasionally bleeding into other objects and surfaces. Additionally, it exhibits a noticeable shutter lag compared to other phones like the Pixel 7 Pro. While the main shooter generally does a satisfactory job, the primary issue lies with the Samsung JN1 used for its ultrawide camera. This sensor produces muddy textures and halo effects, despite the company’s efforts to enhance the experience with software updates. Even if Nothing decides to retain the IMX890, it should consider replacing the JN1 with a more modern sensor.

Another significant concern is the selfie shooter. While it performs adequately, its limitation to 1080p seems like a major oversight in today’s world of bloggers and TikTok users. It is hoped that the Nothing Phone 3 will offer true 4K performance for video recording, addressing this apparent limitation.

Improved speakers

Nothing Phone 2 gray
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Okay, this is a relatively minor point compared to all the others, but I’d like to see an improved sound experience with the Nothing Phone 3. The Nothing Phone 2 has a somewhat tinny sound quality to it. While many of us use Bluetooth earbuds for mobile audio, having a set of good internal speakers is still appreciated when you want to quickly show someone something on your phone.

Verizon support

Verizon logo on smartphone with a colored background Stock photo 12
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Another small point for those in the United States is the lack of Verizon support. This likely comes down to Verizon’s strict certification processes rather than a true lack of capability. The reality is Verizon is no longer a CDMA carrier, which used to be the main issue. Now it’s often possible to get unsupported phones to work with Verizon, though their actual performance may vary. If Nothing wants to seek wider appeal in the US market, adding official Verizon support would be an easy way to do it. Verizon is also no stranger to partnering with carriers for exclusive additions that play nicer with their network.

Greater third-party support for the Glyph

Nothing Phone 2 on couch with glyph lights enabled
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

The Nothing Phone 2 made significant strides on the software front, transforming the user experience into something more polished and refined. However, there is still room for improvement, particularly when it comes to the Glyph, which, in my view, remains more of a gimmick than a true game-changer.

With the addition of more LED strips and innovative Glyph features such as Glyph Composer for personalized sounds and Essential Glyph for prioritizing certain apps, the Nothing Phone 2 showcased plenty of advancements. However, many of these features felt like nice extras with limited practical support. For instance, the feature allowing the Glyph to light up when your Uber ride is nearing completion is cool, but the lack of support for other services like Lyft or delivery apps diminishes its overall utility.

To truly elevate the Glyph’s standing, Nothing must attract third-party support. Unfortunately, Nothing hasn’t had very good luck here. Its third-party dealings have either been very limited, like in the case of Uber, or a bit ill-advised, like its collaboration with Sunbird for Nothing Chats. What holds Nothing back is that developers are often leary to work on such devices as they’ll only support the very small niche market of Nothing Phone owners. That’s not an easy problem to overcome without throwing around money. That’s something a newer company really can’t afford to do.

Even if Nothing manages to secure more app support for customized notifications and Glyph usage, it might not be enough. The company needs to explore innovative ways to use it first, which is a tall order. For example, envision a scenario where Nothing creates a free universal standard, enabling Nothing Phone users to use their device as a buzzer replacement in restaurants or retail establishments. Collaborating with major retailers and chain restaurants to implement such a feature could be a strategic move. That’s just one half-baked idea, but the point is the more places the Glyph can be used the more it will prove itself as a legitimate feature.

Which feature do you want to see the most on the Nothing Phone 3?

1071 votes

Will there be a Nothing Phone 3?

Nothing Phone 2 Glyph Timer Counting Down
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • Nothing Phone — July 21, 2022
  • Nothing Phone 2 — July 17, 2023

There have yet to be any early leaks or rumors on the Nothing Phone 3, but it’s still all but guaranteed the phone will exist in some form unless Nothing closes its doors suddenly. That’s not to say the company couldn’t change the direction, design, and name of the Nothing Phone 3. After all, the Nothing Phone 2 saw a push towards premium over its predecessor. The Nothing Phone 3 could continue to move further upscale, or could meet somewhere in the middle of the two if it wants to focus more on price over value. No matter what form it shows up though, there’s no sign that the company is done with producing phones or marketing its unique Glyph lighting gimmick.

Regarding the release date of the Nothing Phone 3, if history serves as an indicator, it’s highly likely that the phone will adhere to a similar release window as its predecessors. This would position its release in the summer of 2024, probably in late July.

Should you wait for the Nothing Phone 3?

nothing phone 2 lockscreen monochrome 2
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The only reason to wait for the Nothing Phone 3 is if you’re intrigued by the current-gen model but can’t get over its downsides like lower build quality and its less-than-wonderful camera package. If the Nothing Phone 2’s shortcomings aren’t dealbreakers for you, there’s really no other phone that looks like it, so it could absolutely be worth the buy. If you just want a good phone? The Google Pixel 8 ($699 at Amazon) or Samsung Galaxy S24 ($859.99 at Amazon) are probably more practical options with better software support, better cameras, and similar (or sometimes even better) performance.

Nothing Phone 2Nothing Phone 2
AA Recommended
Nothing Phone 2
Expertly crafted, effortlessly cool design • Flagship-tier performance • Excellent value
MSRP: $599.00
The Nothing Phone gets a power boost.
Building on the success of Nothing's debut Android handset, the Nothing Phone 2 features the same unique transparent look and Glyph lighting but adds more processing power, a larger screen and battery, and makes some subtle design tweaks. You can also buy this one in the US!

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