Update, July 1, 2020 (12:04 PM ET): We learned a lot about the first OnePlus Nord phone this week, including how much it won’t cost as well as what CPU will be under its hood. Read on for all the latest!
Original article: The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro became official in April, marking the firm’s first phones of 2020. But we’ve also been hearing about a mid-range OnePlus phone for months now, tentatively known at the time as the OnePlus Z. Now, though, we know it will land as the OnePlus Nord.
The company’s last mid-range phone was the OnePlus X back in 2015, so this is clearly a big deal for the budget-conscious fans of the brand. It’s an even bigger deal when we look at the OnePlus 8 series’ pricing.
So is the OnePlus Nord shaping up to be a worthy successor to the OnePlus X? Here’s everything we know (or think we know) about it so far.
Name and release date
Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority
When leaks first showed us a mid-range OnePlus phone, we didn’t have a name to go with the renders. Instead, people took to calling it the OnePlus 8 Lite.
XDA Developer‘s Max Weinbach broke the news of a potential official name at the end of March when he claimed that the upcoming phone could actually be called the OnePlus Z. This claim was corroborated by fellow leaker Ishan Agarwal.
However, it appears that didn’t pan out, as rumors started popping up suggesting the phone could be called the OnePlus Nord. Eventually, OnePlus itself confirmed the Nord name.
Interestingly, the Nord moniker is not for one phone but actually a new line of phones at OnePlus. Therefore, this upcoming device is just the first entry in a new series.
Originally, we expected to see the OnePlus Nord launch alongside the OnePlus 8 series on April 14, but that didn’t happen. OnePlus then teased a product announcement at its Chinese launch on April 16, but the phone didn’t appear here either.
Most recently, a string of leaks suggests we could see the OnePlus Nord launch in India on July 10. Strangely, OnePlus already opened pre-orders for the Nord online but limited them to just 100 units. Obviously, they sold out within seconds even without a confirmed release date or price.
OnePlus Nord design
The upcoming OnePlus Nord first leaked in December 2019 courtesy of OnLeaks on Twitter in partnership with 91Mobiles. These renders (seen above and below) show a phone with a centered punch-hole display, a possible glass back, and what could be an alert slider like other OnePlus phones.
Unfortunately, these renders don’t seem to show a headphone port, which is a big disappointment. We’ve seen flagships ditch the port in recent years, but mid-range devices have largely kept it.
There are a couple of differences between these renders and the OnePlus 8 series designs though. For one, the punch-hole cutout is in the center here rather than off to the left. It also looks like we have a dual-camera setup rather than a triple or quad camera as seen on the OnePlus 8 series. And this camera housing is off to the side rather than center-mounted like its flagship stablemates.
We also saw an image emerge earlier this year (seen below), with some claiming that this is a OnePlus Nord in the wild. The picture shows three rear cameras instead of two as seen in the OnLeaks renders.
The source for the above image is actually OnePlus itself, as the firm held a livestream with executives and seemed to show off dummy models (see the 29-minute mark). We doubt OnePlus would show off dummy models if the designs were representative of future products in the first place.
True-Tech also posted a real-world image apparently showing the OnePlus Nord, and it’s pretty much in line with previous renders. Check it out below.
The image shows a center-mounted display cutout as well as a flat screen, but it also seems to suggest that an in-display fingerprint sensor will be aboard. That technology is only compatible with OLED screens for now.
Interestingly, a very recent leak suggests these images could be way off base. According to a source speaking with Android Central, the OnePlus Nord could have a dual-lens selfie camera system. That means either the renders above are wrong, Android Central’s source is wrong, or OnePlus has somehow crammed two lenses into one display cutout (not likely).
Specs and features
Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
The OnePlus 8 series packs some impressive specifications, such as a Snapdragon 865 processor, plenty of RAM, and even wireless charging and an IP68 rating for the Pro model. We can’t expect these features in the OnePlus Nord, given the apparent lower price tag.
Leaker Ishan Agarwal and 91Mobiles gave us an early look at the OnePlus Nord’s potential specs, claiming that it could offer a MediaTek processor and a 90Hz display refresh rate. Previous rumors pointed to a MediaTek Dimensity 800 or Dimensity 1000 chipset, which means this phone could have 5G as well.
However, sometime later, a new rumor popped up suggesting that the OnePlus Nord could instead be powered by a Snapdragon 765. It’s not clear if OnePlus possibly planned on using MediaTek and then switched, if it always planned to stick with Qualcomm, or if the rumors aren’t true and MediaTek is still the plan.
Eventually, OnePlus itself confirmed the processor: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G. Unfortunately, the company didn’t confirm any other specs.
At the beginning of June, a screenshot of an alleged survey popped up online that appears to give away a bunch of the specs we might see on the OnePlus Nord:
The survey suggests we could see a 6.55-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner, a 64MP + 16MP + 2MP rear camera assembly, a 4,300mAh battery with 30W fast charging, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage. If this ends up being true, the OnePlus Nord could be the budget phone to beat in 2020.
Anyhow, part of the above spec sheet is already in dispute. Tipster Max J previously claimed that these specs are inaccurate and contrary to leaked renders shown above, his latest leak suggests that the OnePlus Nord will feature a quad-camera system at the back.
— Max J. (@MaxJmb) June 15, 2020
Max’s tweets are pretty cryptic and he doesn’t confirm any specifics in any of them regarding the OnePlus Nord, so we’re really not sure what to think. Max was one of the first to claim that the phone will be called the OnePlus Nord instead of the OnePlus Z, so we should absolutely pay attention to what he says.
The OnePlus Nord was purportedly certified by TUV Rheinland earlier in June (spotted via MySmartPrice), and the listing may have revealed 30W charging. This is in line with the OnePlus 8 series, suggesting we could see similar charging times. And the OnePlus 8 series indeed tops up in roughly an hour, which could bode well for the cheaper phone.
OnePlus Nord price and availability
We already know what the OnePlus Nord won’t cost, which is $500. This comes directly from Carl Pei, who dished the info during a documentary clip on the upcoming smartphone.
Now, that could mean a whole lot of things. It could be that the phone will cost $499, which would technically fit Pei’s statement. It could also be that Pei is saying “under $500” so that we’ll expect $499 and then be happy when it lands for $449 or even $399. We don’t know the plan yet, but at least you can rest assured that you won’t pay over $500 for the phone.
OnePlus confirmed that the following countries in Europe will see the OnePlus Nord:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
In addition to the countries above, we also know for certain the device will land in India. As of now, there don’t appear to be any solid plans for the phone to launch in the United States, Canada, or Mexico at all. OnePlus did say that there will be a limited beta program after the general launch that will allow some users in North America to buy a OnePlus Nord — but it is highly unlikely the Nord will ever be easy to get in that area of the world.
That’s about it for our OnePlus Nord rumor hub! Spotted any other leaks? Then let us know in the comments!
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