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Nothing Phone (1) officially not coming to the US — here’s why

A screenshot from a hands-on video of the Nothing Phone (1), showing the phone's back
(Image credit: Marques Brownlee)

Bad news for American readers: the Nothing Phone (1) is officially not coming to the U.S.

This was first suspected in an earlier rumor, but now in a statement to PCMag (opens in new tab), Nothing's officially said that American buyers won't be able to get a Phone (1) once it arrives.

"While we’d love to bring phone (1) to the entire community around the world, we're focusing on home markets, including the UK and Europe, where we have strong partnerships with leading local carriers," the company's statement reads, going on to explain the difficulty of complying with local laws and working with local carriers as a young brand.

There's a silver lining though, as this U.S avoidance may only be temporary.

"We have big plans to launch a U.S. supported smartphone in the future. For now, a limited number of our private community investors in the U.S. will be able to get their hands on phone (1) through a closed beta program," the statement adds.

The U.S. phone market is very reliant on partnerships with cellular carriers, which makes it a hard nut to crack for smaller brands. While Nothing has a huge amount of excitement built up, plus a reliable helmsman in the form of founder and ex-OnePlus leader Carl Pei, it's not even been around for two years yet.

Perhaps with the Phone (1), Nothing can establish itself as a legitimate rival to big phone brands like Apple, Samsung and Google and get itself a spot in the stores of major carriers for future versions. It's just a pity it's not happened for its initial launch.

Don't get Nothing, get something else

So, if you're reading this having saved up some money for what you thought was going to be your exciting new phone, what smartphone should you buy instead? Lucky for you, we know exactly what the best phones are, so here are our picks for you.

A lot of people looking at the Phone (1) have commented how it looks like an iPhone. So if the basic design is what interests you the most, maybe you should go for an iPhone 13 (or an iPhone 14 later in the year). 

iphone 13 camera green

(Image credit: Future)

You won't get the classy-looking all-white back with transparent elements and the flashy glyph lighting system, but it seems to be roughly the same shape, plus the iPhone's quality, power and ease of use are all well established.

Nothing promised that the Phone (1) was going to have amazing software design, taking Android to a new, more user-friendly level. If that's your priority, then we recommended either buying a Google Pixel 6 now, or waiting for the Pixel 6a or Pixel 7 that are due to arrive in the coming months. 

Google Pixel 6 held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As the company behind Android, Google makes the software run brilliantly on its own phones, including some unique abilities like the ever-helpful At A Glance widget.

We've also heard Nothing claim that it will keep the price of the Phone (1) down to make it accessible to more potential buyers. If hardware value is something you want, then our pick would be the OnePlus 10 Pro

OnePlus 10 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It's not as quirky as some OnePlus phones have been in the past, and arguably going back to Carl Pei's old company is a betrayal of the principles Nothing was founded on. However, don't ignore that for a 6.8-inch Android flagship, the OnePlus 10 Pro is the best blend of low price and quality parts you can get.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.