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OnePlus Nord Android Beta Is Here, But You Can't Get In

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The long-awaited OnePlus Nord Android beta program is finally official as of this week. That’s where the good news ends, at least assuming you’re reading this because you want to enroll. Namely, the Chinese company is only looking to fill 200 spots during this initial wave. In other words, that boat has most likely sailed the second it was confirmed.

As expected, the very first iteration of the program comes with a number of pretty serious requirements. Or, better said, a number of requirements meant to ensure anyone signing up is pretty serious about this testing thingy.

Besides owning a OnePlus Nord (duh), the company says it will only consider applications from active members of its product forums, aka the OnePlus Community. Which brings us to the third and final requirement – being willing and able to provide a lot of written feedback to the devs. As in: this will basically be like a side job, except you’re not getting paid.

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OnePlus Nord Android beta should look familiar to anyone who ever tested OxygenOS

Which, honestly, isn’t a dig at OnePlus. Why not add an air of exclusivity to something as mundane as an Android beta? If there’s no shortage of interest among your customers, that is – which there definitely isn’t. Add some NDAs for good measure and it’s basically free work doubling as free marketing. And and all from a brand that started as a flagship killer back in 2014.

It seems OnePlus didn’t just kill flagships of old – it absorbed them. Which we mean in the nicest possible way, no joke. Oh, but the existence of the aforementioned NDA likely means only OnePlus Nord owners that are of voting age will be in contention.

In more mainstream news, the OnePlus 8T launch is almost upon us. And that particular flagship is widely expected to run Android 11-based OxygenOS out of the box. The very same one that’s about to get beta-tested on the OnePlus Nord.

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Of course, expect the OnePlus 8T to get its very own OxygenOS (and HydrogenOS, in China) beta branch not long after release. And the same Android 11 implementation is also inching closer to the OnePlus 8, the company’s first 2020 smartphone.

All things considered, OnePlus is still doing a remarkable job keeping up with the update practices of much better-funded rivals such as Samsung. Of course, having only a few new devices per year helps, but no one’s forcing Samsung into releasing three Galaxy M handsets a day.