If you’ve been looking forward to getting your hands on a Nothing Phone (1), it’s finally available to US consumers. Don’t expect it to work well with all mobile carriers.
Nothing, the startup of OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, is selling the Phone (1) in the US, but not through a traditional product launch. Instead, the company is offering the device to interested consumers through a beta program.(Opens in a new window) which was posted on Tuesday.
The startup is likely opting for the beta approach because the phone (1) will only have limited cellular connectivity, according to the carrier. Additionally, the handset comes with a beta version of Nothing’s OS 1.5 software, which is based on Android 13.
But on the plus side, interested consumers only have to pay $299 to receive the phone, a significant decrease from the £399 ($484) starting price of the product when it launched in July. Also, the device itself is not a beta model; it is the same unit sold worldwide.
“The phone (1) was not originally marketed in the United States, but it is becoming an important market for us. By giving our US audience access to the Nothing Beta membership, we can get to know them better and incorporate their input,” the startup explained when giving away the phone.
Telephone (1) (Credit: Molly Flores)
From a FAQ(Opens in a new window), the Nothing Phone (1) works with AT&T, but you won’t have access to the carrier’s 5G network. “Also, VoLTE and VoWifi won’t work,” the startup says.
T-Mobile users, on the other hand, get 3G, 4G, and 5G access, though not all 5G bands are supported. But when it comes to Verizon, users should expect very little compatibility and only access to the carrier’s 4G network. “Before using your Phone(1), you will need to contact Verizon customer service to add Phone(1) IMEI to their database,” it says nothing.
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We hope the company has fixed some of the mobile issues we noticed while testing the product in the US in July. For us the phone (1) did not work well with Verizon or T-Mobile and suffered from constant battery drain while trying to connect to local cell towers. So buyer beware.
That said, nothing gives buyers 14 days to return the phone for a refund. In December, Pei also told CNBC that his startup was in talks with carriers about a future phone launch in the United States.
Interested consumers can register and pay for the beta program on Nothing’s website.(Opens in a new window). In return, they will receive the 128 GB version of the phone. The beta program is expected to last until June 30.
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