OnePlus has confirmed that it's going to return to offering more affordable devices. It's been called the OnePlus 8 Lite and the OnePlus Z, but the company has now confirmed that its new smartphone will be the first device in the new OnePlus Nord line.
OnePlus found fame offering flagship specs at prices that were hard to beat. But in 2019 it changed direction, offering the OnePlus 7 Pro and moving itself into a higher price bracket. While it still continues with the solid flagship offering, it seems the company is going to widen its offering to a lower price point again.
Here's everything we know so far about the OnePlus Nord smartphone.
What's it going to be called?
- OnePlus Nord line confirmed
Early on in the rumour cycle there was some debate over what the new phone would be called. It was initially called the OnePlus 8 Lite, because it was thought to be a lower specs version of the OnePlus 8.
The OnePlus Z name appeared in March 2020, with Max Weinbach saying that a source had referred to the phone as the OnePlus Z.
The OnePlus Nord name came from another Twitter leaker, Max J, which has since been confirmed by OnePlus as a new product line. OnePlus stated that "OnePlus Nord will be the company’s first smartphone product line that will make the premium OnePlus experience accessible to more users."
Before confirming the name, OnePlus created the Instagram profile with the name "onepluslitezthing" to tease the new smartphone series, as a reference to the earlier rumours.
OnePlus Nord release date and price
- 10 July 2020 announcement
- Limited run pre-orders on 1, 8 and 15 July
- £399 price likely
OnePlus launched the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro on 14 April, but the expected OnePlus Nord wasn't included in that launch. Experienced Twitter leaker @OnLeaks suggested that the device was delayed because of coronavirus, while @MaxJmb shared an image simply saying Z July 2020. A source has suggested a date of 10 July, with a launch in India.
With OnePlus now doing media interviews confirming a return to more affordable devices, it looks like the start of a build-up to launching this expected device. To confirm the timeframe further, OnePlus used a teaser image on its Instagram profile which said 'July' in Morse code.
In addition to that, OnePlus used its hype-building Instagram page to announce that a limited pre-order run of just 100 units would be going live on 1 July, at 9am BST, as well as another limited presale on 8 July and another less limited run on 15 July.
On the pricing front, we've had one rumour suggesting that it might cost as little as £400. We suspect it will come to market at £399, which is the exact same price as the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G, which we're guessing is the natural rival to this phone.
While it hasn't said exactly how much this phone will cost, OnePlus has made it clear that this new series of smartphones is being launched to offer a powerful phone at a "more accessible" price point, and that it will be less than $500.
OnePlus Nord design
- 159.2 x 74 x 8.6mm
- IP53 water protection
- Aluminium alloy frame
There's been a couple of substantial leaks for the OnePlus Nord and that has furnished us with approximate details. That puts the size of the phone close to the OnePlus 7T in terms of height and width, although it's a little thicker.
The rear panel is said to be glass, with curved edges towards the sides, but with the front display being flat overall, using 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5. A USB-C port sits on the bottom, but there's no sign of a 3.5mm headphone socket, often commonplace on more affordable devices.
The biggest thing about the design is the pronounced camera housing on the back. This sits off to the left-hand side, making the numerous lenses prominent rather than trying to hide them in the design. Thanks to an image coming from Amazon India, it looks like the mockups of this phone are accurate.
It looks as though it retains the mute slider too, that hallmark of OnePlus devices staying in place.
A leaked spec sheet has suggests an IP53 water protection rating.
OnePlus Nord specs and display
- 6.4-inch AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixel, 90Hz
- Snapdragon 765G, 8/12GB RAM, 128/256GB or MediaTek Dimensity 1000
- 4000mAh battery, 30W Warp Charge
Leaked specs have furnished us with some details about the OnePlus Nord. It's said to have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate.
One thing we're pretty certain of, however, is the 90Hz display. At the launch of the OnePlus 7T, Carl Pei said on stage that OnePlus wouldn't be going back to slower refresh rates. We're expecting that to be the OnePlus Nord's unique selling point - that fast refresh rate in a mid-range phone. This detail has also been confirmed by Ishan Agarwal, a Twitter leaker with a good track record.
When rumours first started appearing, it seemed that OnePlus might be making this a more affordable model by going with MediaTek. The Dimensity 1000 is a 5G SoC was mentioned in that initial speculation, which would have been a departure from Qualcomm which OnePlus has used in the past.
Despite the early rumours of a MediaTek chip, OnePlus has recently confirmed that the phone will be using the Snapdragon 765 processor, which fits in with the more recent rumours which suggested it would be that chipset. Rumours - including a leaked benchmark result - also suggest we'll see a 12GB RAM model.
There's 8GB RAM and 128/256GB storage rumoured too, so there's still some impressive specs here.
There's no fingerprint scanner, so it probably uses an in-display scanner, most likely using optical scanning technology.
OnePlus Nord cameras
- Quad camera rumoured, or three, or two?
- Punch hole front camera
One detail that's interesting is the punch hole front camera, meaning no notch and no pop-up. This was a bit of a change in direction for OnePlus when introduced in the 8 series. Leaked specs suggest that it's a 32-megapixel sensor, although a dual unit has also been suggested.
As for the number of cameras on the rear, the most recent leak suggests there will be four cameras on the back. However, early leaked images show two cameras and the flash in the housing, while the leaked spec sheets suggest there's three cameras on the rear.
Those rear cameras are suggested as 48-megapixel main, 16-megapixel ultra-wide and 12-megapixel telephoto, f/1.7, f/2.2 and f/2.4 respectively.
We're not sure exactly what the configuration will be here, but again, it's likely to be a way for OnePlus to control the price of this device.
The only thing OnePlus has confirmed is that this would be a flagship camera offering in a more affordable phone, which might suggest the phone uses similar sensors and hardware to its OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro lineup.
OnePlus Nord rumours so far
Here are all the rumours in chronological order with all the details about the OnePlus Nord.
3 July 2020: OnePlus Nord design revealed thanks to Amazon sighting
OnePlus has given us a sneak peak of the Nord thanks its page on Amazon India.
1 July 2020: Snapdragon 765G and sub $500 price confirmed
OnePlus co-founder, Carl Pei, stated in an interview that the phone would be powered by the Snapdragon 765G processor, feature a "flagship camera" and that it would have a sub-$500 price point
30 June 2020: OnePlus confirms 'OnePlus Nord' naming
In a press release, the manufacturer confirmed that the OnePlus Nord naming for the newest product line is true.
30 June 2020: OnePlus announces 100 unit limited pre-sale run
OnePlus has announced via its Instagram page that it will be opening up a very limited 100 unit run of the new device on 1 July at 9am BST.
26 June 2020: Nord set to have a double selfie camera
It's been rumoured that the OnePlus phone will have a dual selfie camera on the front, plus a 6.4-inch full HD+ 90Hz display, similar to the Realme X50 Pro.
23 June 2020: OnePlus confirms upcoming launch, teases July launch
OnePlus has officially announced the impending launch of the more affordable phone series, and teased a July launch in Morse code on its new Instagram channel.
17 June 2020: Four cameras on the back, possible?
A cryptic tweet from a OnePlus leaker suggests we're going to see a quad camera system on the rear of the phone.
9 June 2020: OnePlus Z could be called OnePlus Nord
A leaker suggests that OnePlus is going to called the OnePlus Nord.
8 June 2020: OnePlus Z launch date is 10 July, according to company insider
A source has suggested that the affordable OnePlus phone will be launched in India on 10 July.
2 June 2020: Geekbench result suggests Snapdragon 765 plus 12GB RAM
A leaked benchmark suggests we're going to see a phone with the Snapdragon 765 powering it, confirming an earlier leak, plus it might feature up to 12GB RAM like the more expensive models.
27 May 2020: OnePlus screen protector reveals front design
A store claiming to have an exclusive image of a screen protector for the OnePlus Z reveals the design we might see from this phone.
27 May 2020: OnePlus: We will return to making more affordable phones
OnePlus has confirmed in an interview that it is returning to making more affordable phones. The timing of the interview suggests this is the build-up to launching the new OnePlus Z.
4 May 2020: OnePlus Z may have a Snapdragon processor after all
New rumours suggest that the OnePlus Z might have a Snapdragon heart, rather than MediaTek.
28 April 2020: OnePlus Z could be announced July 2020
An established Twitter leaker has suggested we'll see the Z in July 2020.
16 April 2020: OnePlus Z could have been delayed because of coronavirus
A Twitter leaker has suggested that the OnePlus Z has been delayed because of coronavirus and should have been launched alongside the OnePlus 8.
According to my sources, that model was initially planned to be unveiled along with the #OnePlus8 series during yesterday's event but has been postponed (at least to upcoming summer) due to #CoronaVirus situation...— Steve H.McFly (@OnLeaks) April 16, 2020
16 April 2020: Surprise product teased for China launch of the OnePlus 8
OnePlus China is teasing a "surprise product" for an event in China in 17 April, which could be the missing OnePlus 8 Lite or OnePlus Z.
14 April 2020: OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro official, no OnePlus z launched
OnePlus has officially unveiled the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro, but there was not "lite" or OnePlus Z in the mix. There's been no mention of this phone, although the Bullets Wireless Z were revealed, suggesting the Z branding might be a thing.
30 March 2020: OnePlus 8 Lite might launch as the OnePlus Z
A reputable leaker on Twitter has suggested that the OnePlus 8 Lite might launch under the OnePlus Z name.
The source referred to it as "OnePlus Z" and said the hardware matched the previous OnePlus 8 Lite render. https://t.co/zB5PN9nQjW— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) March 28, 2020
30 March 2020: Official: OnePlus 8 series will launch on 14 April
OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 8 series will be launched on 14 April.
4 March 2020: OnePlus 8 Lite could cost around £400 and launch on 14 April
A reliable Twitter leaker, Ishan Agarwal, has provided some pricing details, as well as suggesting the 14 April date.
OnePlus will indeed launch a lower end phone, but we don't know its name yet. What we do know is that it will priced around £400 in the UK, have a Mediatek Chip and will launch by July in most countries. It will also feature 90hz Punch Hole Display!— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) March 4, 2020
3 March 2020: OnePlus 8 to launch in mid-April?
Rumours have moved over to suggest that OnePlus is going to launch the OnePlus 8 series in mid-April.
23 December 2019: Massive leak: Full specs of OnePlus 8 Lite revealed
A huge spec sheet leak has potentially revealed the full specs of the OnePlus 8 Lite.
9 December 2019: OnePlus 8 Lite renders appear, could signal return to mid-range pricing
Out of the blue, a render appeared for the OnePlus 8 Lite, a previously unconsidered phone.