Nothing Phone’s US “beta test” targets people with more money than sense

Enlarge / The Nothing Phone (1) bets the farm that you’ll instantly fall in love with this back design. If you don’t, there’s not much else to see. (credit: Nothing)

Does anyone remember the “Nothing Phone?”

The awkwardly named “Nothing” is a new smartphone company from OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei, and its first phone, the Nothing Phone 1, launched about half a year ago in Europe, India, and China for 469 euro (about $500). Nothing will now let you buy that phone in the US for $300. The company is calling this a “beta test,” but it doesn’t sound like you’re testing anything other than market interest. The “beta test” label means that buying the phone comes with caveats that make it a pretty terrible deal.

First, a quick recap: The Nothing Phone 1 is a $300 mid-ranger with a Snapdragon 778G+, a 6.55-inch, 2400×1080 120Hz OLED display, a 4500 mAh battery, and a bunch of other specs that fall firmly into the “meh” category. The device has no clear sales pitch for why it’s a good smartphone, with only a few light strips on the back panel to separate it from the crowd. The company hopes the wacky back panel will blow you away.

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