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OnePlus Nord: What you need to know about the affordable OnePlus phone

OnePlus’ next big smartphone release will be the OnePlus Nord (previously thought to be called the OnePlus Z or the OnePlus 8 Lite). The Nord is the company’s answer to cries for an affordable mid-ranger and a handful of features have already been confirmed. Read on to find out everything we know about the OnePlus Nord so far.

Laying on the more budget-friendly end of OnePlus’ mobile line up, the Nord will position itself in competition with Apple’s iPhone SE 2 and Google’s yet to be released Pixel 4a.

We’ve rounded up all of the latest leaks and rumours about the OnePlus Nord and compiled them together in this handy guide. Scroll down to learn more about the OnePlus Nord, including its release date, expected price, specs and more.

Related: OnePlus 8 Pro review

OnePlus Nord name confirmed

OnePlus has officially revealed the name of its next budget phone, and it isn’t the OnePlus Z or the OnePlus 8 Lite. The OnePlus Nord is open for pre-order in Europe and India, with some Americans able to nab it through a limited beta process. How that beta release will work is yet to be determined.

Little else is known about the Nord right now, but read on to see all the latest rumours and leaks on the OnePlus mid-ranger.

OnePlus Nord release date

  • OnePlus Nord will be unveiled on July 21

OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus Nord will be unveiled in “the world’s first AR smartphone launch” on July 21.

The company hasn’t been entirely clear on how an AR phone launch will work (we’re picturing Pokémon Go but with OnePlus Nords instead of Eevees) but OnePlus has been handing Nord AR Cardboards out to select Instagram followers to ensure they get the best experience.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of a July 21 announcement, as an invite to the digital event was leaked just the other week. While its a little later than the July 10 launch we’d been hoping for, the AR release is sure to be interesting and we can’t wait to see what OnePlus has in store.

OnePlus Nord price

  • OnePlus Nord will cost less than $500

The OnePlus 8 is currently the cheapest option in the brand’s range, costing £599/$699. As a more budget-friendly option, the OnePlus Nord is sure to undercut this.

TechRadar spoke to Assistant Head of Nord Carl Pei last week, who confirmed that the Nord will be €500 in Europe and less than $500. While he didn’t provide any specifics for the UK, that’s already a lot more affordable the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.

During an interview with Fast Company back in May, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau revealed that he wanted to return to making great all-rounders at unbelievably low prices. Considering OnePlus was once known for its seriously low-priced handsets it’d be great to see the company try and make this sector it’s own again.

The OnePlus Nord is already open for pre-orders, despite the fact the price has yet to be confirmed. Keen OnePlus buyers can reserve themselves a Nord for £20 before completing the order when the phone is officially released. The next pre-order is scheduled for July 15 at 10am CEST so make sure to check in then if you want to bag yourself one of the first handsets.

We’ve also had a glimpse of the retail box for the OnePlus Nord courtesy of the brand’s Instagram page. Oddly, OnePlus seems to hype up the sturdiness of the box and its ‘sleek new design’. Hopefully, it is doing this for the humour value, which we can only assume it is.

OnePlus Nord camera

  • OnePlus Nord likely to pack OIS

It looks like OnePlus is going big on the camera here. Carl Pei retweeted a tweet stating the OnePlus Nord would would include a camera system with OIS (optical image stabilisation) though other details weren’t disclosed. We also expect the phone to feature a dual-selfie camera that’ll sit on the front in a pill-shaped cutout.

Related: Best camera phones

In the past, OnePlus cameras have not performed quite as well as the rest of the package, relatively speaking, but it seems promising that this device appears to share the same camera set-up as the OnePlus 8, minus the macro camera that we described as “rubbish” in our review. Overall, we found that camera set-up to be good for a mid-ranger, so we reckon it’s likely that the OnePlus Nord will perform well given its price point even though there might be better snappers out there for your money.

OnePlus Nord chipset, 5G and specs

OnePlus has had a strong history of releasing phones with the very-best internals available. All its flagship phones so far have boasted the very latest chipsets from Qualcomm and it was one of the first to introduce 5G in 2019 with the 5G version of the OnePlus 7T Pro. Even when it was a brand that solely focused on ‘budget’ devices they would still be equipped with internals that were, at the time, far more common on higher-priced models.

With the OnePlus Nord, things are a little different. In the same TechRadar interview we mentioned above, Car Pei revealed the Nord will be powered by the Snapdragon 765G. This is a supremely popular chipset currently and you’ll find it in phones like the LG Velvet and Moto Edge. The headline feature of this chipset though is the 5G modem, which means the Nord will match the 8 and 8 Pro in offering support for the 5G data networks.

In terms of RAM, the Nord could ship with a whopping 12GB of it if benchmark data is to be believed. We wouldn’t be surprised if there was an 8GB option too, as this has been OnePlus way for previous launches.

Our best look at the phone comes from the ‘Dear Past’ video below. We’ve also pulled out a screenshot for the best view of the back. The video teases the long camera sensor on the back and the dual selfie camera on the front.

OnePlus Nord screen

The OnePlus Nord is reputed to have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, which will include an under-display fingerprint scanner for secure unlocking. Agarwal adds that the screen will have a 90Hz refresh rate, which would represent quite the coup for a handset at this price point; this enhanced specification should ensure smoother scrolling that matches last year’s OnePlus 7T Pro flagship.

As seen in the images further up the page, this screen appears to be flat rather than curved around the edges, which many customers will see as a plus point due to its practicality, rather than the premium feature that curved displays can sometimes be perceived to be.


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