OnePlus Nord Preview: 90Hz Display, 5G & Affordable Price Tag

Screen Shot 2020 07 14 at 10 32 09 AM
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This article will be regularly updated with new information on the OnePlus Nord (this is a preview article) — both official teasers and credible leaks, rumors, and insider claims — as it becomes available in the run-up to the release of the upcoming Android smartphone. The last update was made on July 16.

The OnePlus Nord is the company’s upcoming mid-range smartphone, its name has been confirmed by the company, and it's codenamed 'Avicii'. The device has been leaking for quite some time now, and based on the latest information, it will become official in July. As most of you know by now, OnePlus did announce two flagship-grade phones in April. Well, the OnePlus Nord will be a more affordable alternative to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.

The OnePlus Nord will become a spiritual successor to the OnePlus X, kind of. The OnePlus X, for those of you that don’t remember, was a mid-range smartphone that launched alongside the OnePlus 2. That was way back in 2015, and since then, OnePlus did not release a single mid-range smartphone. The OnePlus X was quite popular in the tech community, but its sales were not as good as OnePlus had hoped.

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Well, considering that the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are quite expensive, the company seems to think it’s a good idea to offer a more affordable alternative. The OnePlus Nord will resemble its siblings a bit, but not as much as you may think. In this article, we’ll talk about what you can expect out of the OnePlus Nord, as this is a preview article after all. So, let’s get started.

OnePlus Z vs OnePlus 8 Lite vs OnePlus Nord?

Before we get down to the design portion of this preview, let’s talk about the name of the device. The OnePlus Z was rumroed be its name, but OnePlus Nord prevailed. Initial rumors and leaks suggested that the phone will be called the OnePlus 8 Lite. That would make sense as the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are the company’s flagships. Well, OnePlus has decided to go down a different route, it seems.

OnePlus Nord pre release image 11

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This will be a first Nord-branded handset, by the way. OnePlus wanted to create a whole new lineup of devices, which is why it went with the 'Nord' branding. The OnePlus X wasn’t exactly called the OnePlus 2 Lite either, so… it seems like OnePlus wants to completely differentiate those devices. It wants to keep its flagship lineup completely separate.

Dual camera hole on the front, and a flat display

The OnePlus Nord will resemble the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, but only to a degree. Its final design has been revealed by Evan Blass, and then the company's co-founder confirmed it in a lengthy video. Check out that video for additional info as well. It will be made out of metal and glass, as those two phones, but it’ll be easy to recognize it. Unlike the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, the OnePlus Nord will feature a flat display. On top of that, it will have a larger camera hole, as it will feature two selfie cameras. The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro include a hole in the top-left corner of their displays. Well, it will be placed in the same spot on the OnePlus Nord.

OnePlus Nord render leak front

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The back of the device will also look different. The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro include a centered display camera setup, while the OnePlus Nord’s will be moved to the side (top-left corner). The camera module itself will look different as well. The OnePlus Nord is rumored to include four cameras inside its rear camera module, less than both OnePlus 8 phones.

The alert slider will be included

The power / lock key will be placed on the right side of the phone, along with the alert slider. The volume up and down buttons will be located on the left. The phone will not include a 3.5mm headphone jack, even though some people were hoping it will. OnePlus has completely abandoned the audio jack it seems.

OnePlus Nord render leak back

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Many people will probably appreciate a flat display on this phone, as the curved display was one of the main complaints when it comes to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. The OnePlus Nord is also expected to be a bit smaller than its siblings, especially the ‘Pro’ model. It’s rumored to include a 6.4 or 6.5-inch display. An initial leak, containing CAD-based renders, suggested the phone will measure 159.2 x 74 x 8.6mm. Well, it seems like that leak was showing off an early prototype. The size may not change, but the display camera hole size and location are different.

If the dimensions are accurate, the phone will be a bit shorter, and a bit wider than the OnePlus 8. It will be considerably shorter than the OnePlus 8 Pro, though. Those measurements are probably accurate, at least approximately.

OnePlus also prepared some interesting cases for the phone

The OnePlus Nord cases have been leaked by Evan Blass. It seems like we'll see six different cases being offered for the device. OnePlus has partnered up with JerryRigEverything and dbrand in order to deliver a 'teardown case' for the phone. In addition to that, we'll also see two other 'Creators Cases'. A case by Finsta, and one by Camilla Engstrom. That about it as far as Creators Cases are concerned.

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On top of those, OnePlus will also offer a regular clear case, made out of silicone. To round things up, blue and black rubber cases will also be on offer. Those cases will offer a bit more protection, based on the images that Evan Blass shared

Powerful mid-range specifications, and 5G support

The OnePlus Nord will be quite a powerful mid-range phone. The phone will be fueled by the Snapdragon 765G 64-bit octa-core processor, as confirmed by the company. Geekbench actually suggested that in a listing, along with Max J, before official confirmation. That is one of the most powerful mid-range chip that Qualcomm has to offer, and it supports 5G. The OnePlus Nord will be one of the most compelling mid-range phones with 5G support.

The device was initially rumored to include the MediaTek Dimensity 1000L, but that won’t be the case. OnePlus either changed its mind, or the original rumor was inaccurate. The device will also include a 90Hz AMOLED display. OnePlus said, a while back, that it will not release any more smartphones with regular, 60Hz displays. That basically confirms a 90Hz panel for the OnePlus Nord.

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The OnePlus 8 includes a 90Hz display, while the OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a 120Hz panel. The OnePlus Nord will probably include a fullHD+ 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display, like the OnePlus 8, but that display will be flat, and possibly smaller than the panel on the OnePlus 8. As mentioned earlier, we’re expecting to see a 6.4 or 6.5-inch display on the device.

The phone is expected to offer at least 6GB of RAM, though that information hasn’t leaked yet. Chances are only one RAM variant will be available, but we’ll see. We don’t have any information regarding the storage just yet, but you can expect 128GB to be included in the base model. That storage probably will not be expandable.

Android 10 coming, along with four rear cameras

Android 10 will come pre-installed on the device, along with OnePlus’ OxygenOS skin. OnePlus' co-founder, Carl Pei, promised that the device will include a "flagship-level" camera. The OnePlus Nord will feature four cameras on the back, including a 48-megapixel main camera. In addition to that, you'll get an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 5-megapixel macro module, and a 2-megapixel portrait lens.

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An in-display fingerprint scanner will be included inside of this phone, an optical one. You can also expect the device to offer a large battery, and 30T Warp Charge fast wired charging. The phone did surface on TUV Rheinland website, basically confirming that charging speed. That is a 30W charging, the same one you can find on the OnePlus 8 series. The device almost certainly won’t support wireless charging. The device probably won’t offer an IP rating either.

How affordable will it be?

OnePlus Nord pre release image 11

Well, the OnePlus Nord’s exact price tag hasn’t surfaced yet. The OnePlus 8’s base model is priced at $699 / €729 in the US / Europe, so the OnePlus Nord will probably be considerably more affordable than that. Pete Lau, the company's CEO, did say that the device will cost under $500, so that's at least some type of a guideline. This phone will still be quite compelling, but in order for it to sell, it needs to undercut the OnePlus 8 by a significant margin.

It’s coming on July 21

The OnePlus Nord will launch on July 21. The company has announced that much quite recently. The phone will be announced during an AR launch event, which will be online-only. OnePlus wanted to get attention by announcing an AR event, and it seems like that paid off. The company's first pair of TWS earphones will also launch during that event, it seems. As far as availability goes, the phone will first make its way to India and Europe, and it remains to be seen if it will roll out to any more markets.