Nothing shows off the Phone 2a in person at MWC Barcelona

The Nothing Phone 2a on display
(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Future)

What you need to know

  • Nothing is gearing up to launch the Nothing Phone 2a, a budget Android phone, on March 5. 
  • The company had a real Phone 2a on display at MWC Barcelona, and our team on the ground saw it firsthand.
  • While we've seen the Phone 2a's design before, through leaks and teasers, this is the first time the Glyph Interface has been lit up. 

Nothing's Phone 2a is set for a launch next week, and the company took this opportunity to show off its phone's design at MWC Barcelona. Android Central got to see the real thing, albeit behind a glass cube. While there wasn't a whole lot of new information shared at the Nothing event, a closer look at the Phone 2a did reveal a few things, such as the new Glyph Interface in action. 

The Glyph Interface has been a staple of Nothing phones thus far, but no two phones have had the exact same Glyph Interface to date. It's what Nothing calls the collection of LED strips on the back of its smartphones. The Nothing Phone 1 had a Glyph Interface spread throughout the back of the phone, with five total light strips. With the release of Phone 2, the company split the Glyph Interface into 11 light strips. 

Now, the Glyph Interface on the Nothing Phone 2a has just three light strips that surround the phone's camera housing. At MWC Barcelona, it was lit up for the first time.

It's neat that Nothing's budget-oriented device is getting the Glyph Interface, even if it is more limited. Aside from looking cool, the Glyph Interface can be used to signal notifications or custom ringtones. 

Phone 2a also has other mainstays of Nothing design language, like the visible ribbon cables. However, it has much less character and detail on the Phone 2a compared to the regular Phone 2. On that flagship, the ribbon cable resembles the NYC subway map, but those undertones are less clear on the Phone 2a. 

Nothing had the white version of the Phone 2a on display at MWC Barcelona, which has a red square on the back as an accent color. Additionally, the side rails of the Phone 2a are plain white, which contrasts with the black bezels and display on the front. Based on this, we can assume that Nothing ditched the metal sides for Phones 1 and 2 in favor of plastic. The volume buttons are nearly perfectly centered on the side of Phone 2a and are black in color on the white model. 

Aside from the design, Nothing previously confirmed that the Phone 2a will use the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset. For the full reveal, we'll have to wait for the official March 5 launch. 

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.