The OnePlus Nord line will mark OnePlus’ return to a price point that helped smartphone enthusiasts adopt their phones to begin with. While the Nord products aren’t expected to be high-end “flagship killers,” they should still offer a premium experience at a price well under the current top OnePlus 8 Pro series, which sells for prices as high as $1,000.
As we track the story of the OnePlus Nord, we thought it was time to tell you everything we know in one place, including price, release date, specs, and more.
What is the OnePlus Nord line?
First rumored as the OnePlus 8 Lite and then the OnePlus Z, the OnePlus Nord is the official name for a new line of products that OnePlus has confirmed will arrive shortly. The company recently acknowledged that its customers might want a smartphone that is “more affordable” yet still “premium” and that’s where Nord comes in.
You may recall that the original OnePlus One started at $299 with a set of specs that matched up well to the phones from Samsung and LG and Google. Since that phone, we are now up to the OnePlus 8 Pro that tops out at $999. This OnePlus Nord phone won’t come anywhere near $1,000.
After years of price jumps from one OnePlus model to the next, this will be the first OnePlus phone in some time that won’t try and compete with the highest-end phones on the market either. With OnePlus Nord, OnePlus might now find itself competing with Samsung’s successful A series, a variety of LG phones, and the Google Pixel “a” line. As a company trying to grow, adding a new line at a different price point makes a lot of sense.
What does OnePlus Nord look like?
When the first rumor for the OnePlus Nord started, we were still in 2019 and the original guess for a name surfaced as OnePlus 8 Lite. The design of that phone from the end of 2019 might have been accurate at the time, but we now know the phone will take on a slightly different final appearance.
The image used in the header of this post is a shot of the phone taken from a recent OnePlus teaser video. The entire design is tough to make out from this shot, but you can see the big display, OnePlus alert slider, and power button. As you continue watching the video, we get one more front shot with the display off that could show a double selfie camera module pushed to the top left corner. After that, we get the quickest of looks at the back, where a vertical camera housing might show up to 4 lenses.
I know these aren’t the best shots, just know that they are at least accurate. They also look very similar to the design of the recently announced realme X50 5G, a phone from a company close to OnePlus. Knowing OnePlus’ history and the use of facilities they apparently share with companies like OPPO (and realme), the similarities between a OnePlus phone and another from a BBK Electronics brand are not that surprising to see.
Oh, I almost forgot that OnePlus shared images of the box.
- UPDATE JULY 14: Here is the OnePlus Nord design! Carl Pei showed off the phone (and OnePlus Buds) during an interview a full week before the phone’s reveal.
OnePlus Nord specs
In the specs department, OnePlus is mostly known for giving you almost everything available to the high-end phone market in a package that is hundreds less than competitors are offering. For OnePlus Nord, that may still be the case, but a lot of this part of the story is a mystery.
As of today, we know for sure that the OnePlus Nord will run the Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset, an upper tier mobile processor from Qualcomm that companies may turn to to offer 5G while keeping phones well under $1,000. We have so far seen Samsung and LG adopt this chip, plus we think Google might with the Pixel 5 too. OnePlus is also promising a flagship level camera in a mid-tier-priced phone. with optical image stabilization (OIS).
The rest of the rumored specs list suggests we’ll see a 6.55″ FHD (1080p) Super AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, at least 6GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage, 4300mAh battery (30W fast charging support), quad rear camera setup (48MP main + 8MP wide-angle + 5MP macro + 2MP portrait), 32MP and 8MP selfie cameras, and an in-display fingerprint reader.
- UPDATE JULY 13: OnePlus confirmed on Instagram that Nord will have a 105-degree selfie camera for capturing wide angle shots without a selfie stick.
- UPDATE JULY 17: OnePlus confirmed camera details we mentioned above. OnePlus Nord will have a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor as the main shooter, alongside 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP depth, and macro sensors. On the front, we’ll get 32MP main and ultra-wide shooters.
- UPDATE JULY 17 (x2): OnePlus confirmed this week that OnePlus Nord has a 90Hz display and up to 12GB RAM.
Since OnePlus is one of the best at optimizing performance on an Android phone, I’d imagine that this phone will be as snappy as any, we’re just a bit worried about the camera not delivering.
|Display||6.44" Fluid AMOLED (2400x1080, 20:9, 408ppi)
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G (2.4GHz)
Adreno 620 GPU
|Memory||Storage: 128 / 256GB UFS2.1
RAM: 8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
Warp Charge 30T fast charging (5V/6A)
--48MP main (f/1.75, OIS, EIS)
--8MP wide (f/2.25, 119° FOV)
--2MP macro (f/2.4)
--32MP main (f/2.45 EIS)
--8MP wide (f/2.45, 105° FOV)
|Connectivity||5G / 4G LTE
|Other||In-display fingerprint reader
USB-C (USB 2.0)
Single bottom speaker
|Size||158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm
|Colors||Blue Marble, Gray Onyx|
Pricing and availability
When can you buy OnePlus Nord and for how much? Those are two pieces of info that OnePlus has not yet fully revealed. We know that all signs point to a device coming this month (July), that pre-orders keep popping up, and that Amazon India is expecting there to be some sort of a launch on July 21. If I was a betting man, I’d target that date.
- UPDATE JULY 7: OnePlus has announced that July 21 is OnePlus Nord launch day.
With that said, OnePlus already stated that the OnePlus Nord is only launching in India and Europe to start. They will open up a “highly limited beta program” for sales in the US eventually, though that doesn’t sound promising. At this time, we aren’t sure if there will ever be general availability of Nord in the US.
As far as price goes, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said to expect the phone priced under $500. Does that mean $350 or $399 or $499? Your guess is as good as mine. No matter what, the OnePlus Nord will be about half the price of the OnePlus 8 Pro.
UPDATE JULY 21- OnePlus Nord has been announced.