Sometimes you just have to break the rules and go for it. I attended the Nothing’s product launch in New York City last week and got the Nothing Ear 2 and the Nothing Phone 2. Now a long-time Verizon customer, this seemed like a big hurdle in trying this phone and its flashing glyphs. At one point, Nothing had mentioned “limited” support for Verizon on its website, but the company has since removed the carrier from your technical specifications All in all, it’s never a good sign.
But as I’ve found, as long as you have an active SIM that was already in another Verizon-certified phone, you can throw it into the Nothing Phone 2 and get started without any immediate headaches. When I tried to do this, the phone’s mobile data turned on, calls and texts worked fine (including RCS messages), and I’ve avoided hanging up so far. The automated SMS scolding me for using an unauthorized device never came.
A week or so after testing the Phone 2 as my full-time device, I noticed that the network indicator was showing 4G, 4G Plus, 5G, and 5G Ultra Wideband. Even the VoLTE (voice over LTE) icon is present at almost all times. I’m not clear on what 4G Plus means in Verizon parlance; maybe it’s LTE Advanced, or maybe the phone is getting confused about which network it’s on. But he’s rolling with the punches either way. I have traveled throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn with no obvious service interruptions thus far. But we are talking about New York; 5G, disappointing as it often is, can be found everywhere.
The experience could be a bit more hit and miss elsewhere. And in the case of the Nothing Phone 2, that’s because it completely omits support for band 13. That frequency band is pretty vital to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. For much of the country, it is essential. So if you move away from a crowded city or suburbs and start to move away from 5G coverage, that’s where you’ll probably start to hit some weak spots and lose signal, which is why it’s unlikely Verizon will ever fully certify Nothing’s latest phone.
I think there may be no rules
I’m a tech reviewer and usually have a few different phones at my disposal. So I’m not sweating my time putting Nothing’s $599 phone to the test around town. But if I were to drive seven hours upstate to visit my father in the “Up Country” of New York, there’s no chance I’d gamble and keep my SIM card.
I find the glyph system misleading? Mostly, yes. I have the top right LED assigned to Messages, and it’s certainly nice to know when I’ve received a text if my phone is tipped over. Lights and network limitations aside, I’m a fan of this phone overall. The Phone 2 manages what I would consider excellent battery life, it has a very nice vibrant screen – I’m fussy about screens, people, and I like the software tweaks that Nothing has made.
Being able to change quick settings directly on the lock screen is surprisingly useful. I’m running pretty basic right now and I’m sure there’s more I could do, but so far so good. The Phone 2 hums and I’ve hardly noticed a single hiccup in my time using it. AND the shots I get from the camera they are satisfactory most of the time.
All of this is to say that if you have Verizon and are curious about giving the Phone 2 a try, it’s doable. You will receive your text messages and calls. The data works quite well. but you shouldn’t depend on the Nothing device in this scenario. Outside of 5G coverage areas, it’s unlikely you’ll get as strong a signal as you would on other phones that support Verizon’s full range of bands. So keep another really certified phone on hand if you decide to splurge on this new device.