Nothing beats Samsung as a cheaper Android phone goes on sale today

Samsung has just announced two Android phones that are more affordable than its flagship Galaxy S24 range, but the tech powerhouse has been undercut already by a plucky UK startup with an even cheaper smartphone that’s well worth considering. The Nothing Phone 2a goes on sale today, and for £319 it is one of the best budget phones you can buy. That price massively undercuts what Samsung is charging for its £439 Galaxy A55, and even saves you 20 quid over the £339 Galaxy A35.

We’ve yet to get our hands on the new Samsung Galaxy A35 and A55 announced earlier this week but they will have to seriously impress for us to recommend them over the Nothing Phone 2a. We just reviewed the Phone 2a here at Express.co.uk, giving it four stars out of five.

“If you want a phone that nails all the basics but feels like a breath of fresh air then this could be the phone for you,” said deputy technology editor Henry Burrell. “… if you don’t want to spend the earth and want a phone that reminds you they can be fun and playful as well as functional, the Nothing Phone 2a is well worth your consideration.”

It’s a very impressive phone, with an eye-catching transparent design that shows internal components and has three LED light strips around the cameras that light up when you get calls, texts and notifications.

Placing the Nothing Phone 2a face down on a table silences it, and you can program the lights to only flash when important people are trying to get through to you. It’s refreshing to use a phone that often encourages you to use it less rather than more – a rarity in the age of social media.

Despite the large display, Nothing has made a lightweight, slim phone – perhaps that’s because the black or white blower is made from plastic rather than glass or metal. But this makes sense on a cheaper phone and helps to keep the price down. You’ll pay more for the Galaxy A55’s glass and metal, though that phone also has an extra camera.

You also get superb battery life and some of the best software in all of Android, with a monochrome theme and deep customisation to make the phone feel truly yours, and work like a tool rather than a toy.

The two cameras on the Nothing Phone 2a can get the job done, but they are not top drawer. Don’t expect shots as good as you’ll get on a more expensive Android phone or an iPhone 15. For the cream of the crop, check out Express.co.uk’s rundown of the best phones you can buy. 

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