The OnePlus Nord is official, bringing to an end months of speculation about OnePlus’s return to the mid-range market.
Once thought to be the OnePlus Z (and before that the OnePlus 8 Lite) we now know that the Nord will be the first in a line of handsets designed to hit a more affordable price point than flagships like the upcoming OnePlus 8T.
When does the OnePlus Nord launch?
OnePlus only officially confirmed the existence of the Nord on 30 June in the first part of its New Beginnings documentary series, and hasn’t yet officially revealed a release date for the phone.
The following day, on 1 July, OnePlus then offered up just 100 pre-order opportunities (which were exhausted almost immediately), with two more scheduled for 10am CEST (9am BST) on 8 July and 15 July, respectively. Here’s how to pre-order the Nord if you’re keen.
Those are spaced out weekly, so a quick bit of maths suggests that a full release could come on 22 July, a week after the final pre-order session. Even that isn’t the correct date, we’d be surprised to see the Nord release any later than July.
OnePlus is also bundling additional OnePlus Nord merch in for those who pre-order, with the earlier pre-orders benefiting from more swag than the later ones.
Presently pre-orders are available to customers in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, with Indian pre-orders expected to follow soon.
It’s also worth noting that OnePlus has confirmed that the Nord is not actually a single phone but rather a new product line, so there are more phones to follow.
The official release states, “The first device under the OnePlus Nord line will be available in Europe and India. A select number of users in North America will also get a chance to experience the new device through a highly limited beta program after launch.”
How much will the OnePlus Nord cost?
OnePlus hasn’t confirmed the Nord’s final price, but has teased it. In part one of the New Beginnings documentary, CEO Pete Lau smiles and proclaims: “Nord will be our first product below $500 in recent years.”
Since part one aired, OnePlus’s Carl Pei confirmed in an interview with TechRadar, that the phone will also definitely cost under €500 as well – which makes sense, given current exchange rates.
Using current exchange rates, $500 is around £400, while €500 is closer to £450 – so we’re probably looking at a UK price in the £400-450 range, though if we’re unlucky it could go as high as £500.
The OnePlus X, the company’s only previous attempt at a cheaper device, was approximately 20% less expensive than the base OnePlus 2 at launch.
Using the OnePlus 8 as the equivalent flagship for 2020, which starts at £599, the first entry in the OnePlus Nord line would come in at around £479, lining up perfectly with what we consider a mid-range phone – the maximum threshold of which is £500.
What specs will the OnePlus Nord have?
In the aforementioned TechRadar interview Carl Pei confirmed that the debut Nord handset will be powered by the Snapdragon 765G chipset and support 5G.
That lends credence to a benchmark score that appeared on Geekbench in early June referencing the ‘OnePlus AC2003’. The specs shown match the Snapdragon 765G, and also show that the phone will come with 12GB RAM and run Android 10.
Beyond these core internals, other leaked specs include IP53 water protection, and a 6.4in AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and 2400×1080 resolution.
You should also expect an in-display fingerprint sensor and 30W wired charging – though wireless charging isn’t likely to make the cut.
What will the OnePlus Nord look like?
Back in December 2019, known tipster OnLeaks (on Twitter) partnered with website 91mobiles to assemble some CAD-based renders of what the OnePlus Nord (then still called the OnePlus 8 Lite) might look like.
The front of the phone appears to sport a flat display with broader bezels compared to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, alongside a centrally-positioned single hole-punch front-facing camera.
The rear camera arrangement, meanwhile, features an offset design that appears to use a dual-sensor setup, set into what is either a glass or plastic back. There’s also no 3.5mm headphone jack visible anywhere within the renders.
These renders look broadly similar to what might be the first official look at the back of the phone – a promotional image accidentally published on Amazon India, spotted by leaker Ishan Agarwal. Though the finish here is grey, the broad strokes of the design match the above renders, though it’s difficult to make out many details.
OnLeaks’ renders show two rear lenses, and it’s hard to spot how many camera lenses might be present in the Amazon image. A June 2020 post from Max J. hints at the inclusion of a quad-camera setup however:
— Max J. (@MaxJmb)
June 15, 2020
Of course, if Max J. is the creator of this image, he could simply be excising some creative license in order to whip up excitement for the device or simply garner fresh attention. Whatever the case, we shouldn’t have to wait much longer to see the finished article.
A source separately told Android Central that, contrary to the above concept renders, the phone will also boast dual front-facing cameras, sporting a 32Mp and 8Mp sensor setup respectively – something not even the OnePlus 8 Pro offers.
A frame pulled from part 1 of OnePlus’s ‘New Beginnings’ documentary shows a development device with a dual hole-punch camera
Much like the Realme X50 Pro, that secondary front sensor will supposedly offer a wider field of view and the whole arrangement will sit within a hole-punch design in the corner of the Nord’s display.