Nothing Phone (1) is Finally Available in the U.S.

It's $300 to be a beta tester for a mid-tier phone with a mediocre camera.

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A photo of a person holding up the Nothing Phone 1
The Nothing Phone (1) is cool, but you don’t need to spend money to be a part of its beta.
Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

Six months after Nothing originally debuted the Phone (1), it is now available for U.S. users. The Nothing Phone (1) costs $300 and can be purchased directly through the manufacturer’s website. But caveat emptor, buying this device means actively entering a beta program.

Nothing is selling the black version of the Phone (1) smartphone with bright white LED glyphs here, versus its initial release, which was white with white LEDs. This beta version of the phone runs Nothing OS 1.5 and Android 13 out of the box. It ships with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and runs on a mid-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ processor.

All this time, the Phone (1) has only been available in Europe and Asia, though it did have the requisite 5G bands to work on T-Mobile for U.S. users willing to import the device. Nothing cautions that the phone won’t work with all U.S. carriers. T-Mobile is still supported, but Verizon and AT&T subscribers should probably consider something else, as the phone’s only compatible with their 4G towers, which are less ample since both networks started building their respective 5G coverage.

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The $300 price point might seem enticing for a smartphone that’s cool to look at. But unless you’re really in it for the party trick of the backside glyphs, heed the warning on Nothing’s website:

Please note, the Phone (1)’s distributed are for testing purposes. Whilst these are final models, devices may not work with all US carriers. Since this is a Beta version of the software, users may experience some limitations.

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There are better ways to spend your money. The Google Pixel 6a, for instance, gets Android updates directly from its maker and uses the same camera algorithms that power the Pixel flagships. If you read back to our Nothing Phone (1) review, the dual 50-MP camera system is only semi-capable compared to what else you can get for that price point.

As I mentioned earlier, the Nothing Phone (1) launch in the U.S. is merely a beta, and you are purchasing for the privilege of testing out the brand’s worth in this market. Plenty of Android diehards with money to burn will likely find themselves with this phone in hand. But there’s a reason the Nothing Phone ended up on our list of the most disappointing gadgets in 2022.