Nothing just added a great Phone (2a) free upgrade to improve cameras and more

Nothing OS 2.5.3 for the Phone (2a) brings camera upgrades, new features and more

Nothing Phone (2a) review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)
Quick Summary

Nothing's OS 2.5.3 software has landed for the Phone (2a), adding Ultra HDR support in the camera, optimised stabilisation, improved loading speeds and more. 

I've been using the Nothing Phone (2a) for a couple of weeks as my daily handset now, so it was a welcome surprise to have a pop-up notification upon waking up this morning (12 March 2024) telling me about a new free software upgrade. 

The new over-the-air update, Nothing OS 2.5.3, is available now to all Nothing Phone (2a) users – the handset officially launches today to market via nothing.tech and select partners – and adds a number of camera upgrades specifically, alongside additional features and bug fixes. 

I was thinking just the other day when opening the camera app that it was a little slow, so it's great to see "enhanced camera app loading speed and overall performance" cited as one of the improvements. There are also enhancements to colour saturation and clarity improvements (the latter for the front-facing camera).

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But those aren't the biggest benefits in my view: the new software upgrade brings Ultra HDR, "supporting XDR display effect for photos". That means 'extreme high dynamic range' support, which will look even better on relevant XDR displays. Furthermore the optical image stabilisation (OIS) has been optimised too.

The OS 2.5.3 upgrade doesn't only cover camera updates though. Also on the list of improvements are new ringtones, a new Recorder widget, tri-level haptic feedback, better charging adapter compatibility, and a variety of bug fixes for a more stable user experience overall. 

I've just installed the 71MB update and will be exploring the differences made to the Nothing Phone (2a). Given this is clearly one of the best affordable phones on the market right now, to see it improve with a day-one software drop is impressive. I'd best change my ringtone already, as 'woo yeh' is clearly a must-have... 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor and AV Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.