Update, July 8, 2020 (4:41AM ET): OnePlus has announced an official launch date and details regarding the rear camera setup have also leaked. Scroll down for all the new information.
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, with “Nord” referring to the concept of true north. You can read all about the name choice here.
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 (spoiler alert: no)? Here’s everything we know (or think we know) about it so far.
Name and release date
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 and even took the time to explain what that means.
Interestingly, the Nord moniker is not for one phone but actually a new line of phones and other products 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.
A string of leaks recently suggested that we could see the OnePlus Nord launch in India on July 10. Strangely, OnePlus already opened pre-orders for the Nord online but kept supply very limited. You can read all about how pre-orders work for the Nord here.
Amazon India may have spoiled the launch date more recently, as it prematurely listed an invite for July 21. The listing was then removed from the site.
On July 7, OnePlus announced that the Nord launch would indeed take place on July 21. This means that the premature Amazon India listing was indeed correct.
OnePlus Nord design
Prior to the small announcements OnePlus has recently made related to the OnePlus Nord, we saw a whole lot of different renders and leaked images for the device. We now know that nearly all of these images were wrong.
It’s possible OnePlus originally did intend to release a phone that looked like this but then scrapped those plans. It’s also possible that leakers got their hands on incorrect info and ran with it. Whatever the case, we removed all the leaked images from this hub once we found out for certain what the OnePlus Nord will actually look like.
Below, you’ll find a series of still images we got directly from OnePlus as contained within a video teaser for the phone. You’ll also find the teaser video mirrored below:
View this post on Instagram
The videos show the OnePlus Nord is a large phone with a blue-gray colorway. It has a dual-lens selfie camera housed within a display cutout on the front and a multi-camera array housed in a left-aligned module on the rear. It is hard to see, but we think the phone has four cameras on the back.
There is no fingerprint sensor on the front or back of the phone, which leads us to believe it will have an in-display fingerprint sensor. That would all but assure us that the display is an OLED panel. The image also clearly show the display is flat.
You’ll also find the familiar alert slider on the top right side of the phone. Being that this is one of OnePlus’ most popular features, it’s great to see it included with the OnePlus Nord.
Specs and features
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.
OnePlus itself confirmed the processor that will come with the OnePlus Nord: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t confirmed any other specs yet. The only thing we can be relatively certain of at the moment (aside from the processor) is a 90Hz display refresh rate. This is due to OnePlus’ 2019 commitment that all its phones would have this feature.
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.
However, part of the above spec sheet is already in dispute. Tipster Max J previously claimed that these specs are inaccurate and he also suggests that the OnePlus Nord will feature a quad-camera system at the back. Unfortunately, the images we’ve seen so far of the Nord are not clear enough to back up or deny this claim.
— 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.
OnePlus confirmed via Instagram in early July that the phone would pack optical image stabilization (OIS) on the main camera. This technology reduces hand-induced blur and judder in photos and videos. It also allows the camera shutter to stay open for longer, theoretically enabling better low-light images.
Android Central reported on July 7 that the OnePlus Nord would indeed pack a 48MP quad camera setup. Don’t expect anything crazy though, as it’s believed the rest of the cameras consist of an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. This is essentially in line with phones like the Redmi Note series and Samsung’s Galaxy A range.
The website also posted apparent selfie camera details last month, claiming it will offer two shooters. These are said to be a 32MP primary camera and an 8MP ultra-wide shooter.
OnePlus Nord price and availability
We already know what the OnePlus Nord won’t cost, which is $500. This comes directly from OnePlus co-founder 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. OnePlus confirmed to us that the OnePlus Nord will not land in North America. However, there will be some sort of beta program that will allow a select group of users to get the phone. The company did say that future devices in the Nord line will see North American launches, though.
That’s about it for our OnePlus Nord rumor hub! Spotted any other leaks? Then let us know in the comments!