The Camera that Could: Nothing Phone (2a) is Calling the Shots

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Be honest. What’s the first feature you try out when you’re checking out a new phone? In our office, three out of four editorial members will make a beeline towards the cameras. So of course, upon receiving the unreleased Nothing Phone (2a), we explored the camera offerings.

We first got acquainted with Nothing through the Nothing Phone (2). And by far the best quality of this phone is just how much you can tailor it to your lifestyle. If you’re a busy individual trying to weed out distractions, then you should consider snagging a Nothing phone. If you’re a jet-setter, you can add clocks to your home screen as well as clone apps so you won’t have to swap in and out of apps that allow single users only.

Seeing that this was only one phone drop ago, there are plenty of familiar features that we’re seeing with the Nothing Phone (2a). For instance, the brand’s signature Glyph Interface remains, but is now way sleeker, taking up less space yet with even more functionalities attached to it. As an avid fan of widgets—especially when they’re done right—we’re excited to see that Nothing is continuing their expansion into this frontier. This time, they are signalling users to prioritise their well-being by adding a pedometer and screen time measure, both available as a widget.

The first thing you might note upon meeting the Nothing Phone (2a) in real life is that they have moved the camera position. This was done to give the phone an anthropomorphic vibe to it, which is very much in line with Nothing’s aspiration of infusing “technical warmth” into their gadgets. As for the camera’s capabilities, the rear camera is loaded with a 50 MP main sensor with an f/1.88 aperture lens and a 1/1.56” sensor size that results in stunning images (even in low-light settings!) and a 50 MP ultra-wide sensor that’s perfect for capturing scenic pics. On the flip side, the front camera has a 32 MP sensor that uses the same sensor as the Phone (2). Hardware aside, the real reason that the Nothing Phone (2a) is worth a try is in its software.

Four Reasons to Get the Nothing Phone (2a)

Ultra XDR

Working in tandem with Google, Nothing has created advanced HDR software to help you achieve the most true-to-life shots yet. Available in both photo and portrait modes, the HDR software kicks in with every image captured. Behind the lens, it takes eight total frames in RAW format, captured at varying levels of exposure. In turn, it gives the software ample data points to work with to preserve as much detail as possible, even lighting.

Motion Capture

More often than not, a picture-perfect moment is not one that’s staged for easy success. That’s why Nothing has made sure to include the motion capture feature, because they know you’re out here living life. So when you’re taking dynamic shots, the phone automatically adjusts the shutter speed to help you get the clearest output. To fix the typical low exposure issue, the phone would capture some regular frames afterwards to use as reference points to normalise the main shot to make sure that you get the shot. This is all done with just one click of the shutter.

Night Mode

Just because the sun goes down, that doesn’t mean the camera gets stashed away. Instead, put your trust in Nothing’s camera software to help you ace that nighttime pic. By grouping multiple pixels together, the Phone (2a) is capable of taking amazing pictures even in low-light settings. The OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) enhances this by extending exposure times. Holding the phone still for a nighttime shot is now a thing of the past. Similar to the previous perks, multiple frames are captured, all at different exposure rates, and this is to bring back that true-to-life brightness of the scene.

Portrait Optimiser

Nailing that perfect selfie is obviously something you can do with this phone. But, the cherry on top is that you can ace a group picture too. Embedded into the Phone (2a) is an AI algorithm that detects faces and increases the resolution—even when the person is far away. Even better, the software can balance out the lighting across faces, so again, you’re getting that true-to-life portrait.