The Nothing Phone 1 is heading to the US, although not yet to the entire public. Founder Carl Pei tweeted this morning that the US will be part of a “testing program” for Nothing OS 1.5 Beta, the handset maker’s custom Android 13 software.
It’s Pei’s second public statement this month teasing a US phone release. Earlier this month, he said his company was “in discussions with some carriers in the US to potentially launch a future product there,” citing US wireless companies’ “unique customizations” for initially skipping it. Earlier this year, the company said the phone wouldn’t be coming to North America, and it isn’t clear if that changed or if he’s targeting an unannounced smartphone for the US market. With Nothing saying it’s sold 500,000 phones without stateside availability, it may be in a stronger position than it was a year ago to negotiate with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T.
Preparing for a US launch 🇺🇸
While Android 13 Open Beta is gradually being rolled out in our existing markets, we will be extending it to the US market via a testing program with access to Phone (1). Would love to get feedback from our community there. Stay tuned.
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) December 15, 2022
While US residents wait for more news about the program, those who already own the Phone 1 can sign up for the beta today, which includes Android 13 features like finer privacy controls and new Material You themes. Nothing says its beta software can load apps up to 50 percent faster.
The Nothing Phone 1 was launched earlier this year in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In Engadget’s review, Mat Smith praised its unique design, Glyph interface and solid specs for a mid-range price. The Phone 1 costs £399, which currently translates to $487.