The OnePlus Nord Could Be OnePlus’ Big Return to Affordability

Graphic: OnePlus
Graphic: OnePlus

When the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro launched earlier this year at $899 and $1,300 it sort of felt like OnePlus had given up on making speedy and relatively inexpensive phones in order to cater to mainstream buyers. But with the new OnePlus Nord, it appears OnePlus is looking to return to its roots by making a truly affordable phone with big specs for the money.

For the last couple of months, OnePlus has been teasing the Nord with cryptic posts on social media, but this week OnePlus made things official with the debut of its new documentary series titled New Beginnings, which discusses the inspiration and direction behind the Nord.

In a recent statement sent to the media, OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau said:

Launching the OnePlus Nord product line marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for OnePlus. The ‘Never Settle’ spirit is centered around sharing the best technology and products with the world, but it is also about challenging ourselves and going beyond our comfort zone. We are immensely proud of our flagship products and will continue to create more tech-leading flagships for our users. Now we are excited to share the OnePlus experience with even more users around the world through this new product line.

While OnePlus has yet to reveal official details about the Nord, previous leaks and rumours paint a very interesting picture of a budget/mid-range device with big specs for the money. Based on a OnePlus survey discovered by XDA Developers, the OnePlus Nord could feature a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, an in-display fingerprint reader, a Qualcomm 765G processor, 6GB of RAM, and a 128GB of base storage.

The Nord is also expected to have a decent-sized 4,300 mAh battery and 30-watt wired charging, with Android Central claiming the Nord will also get dual 32-MP and 8-MP cams in front, along with a primary 32-MP cam and an 8-MP ultra-wide cam in back.

But perhaps the most tantalising thing about the Nord is that based on a tweet by OnePlus’ other co-founder Carl Pei showing a photo of the original OnePlus One, it’s possible that the Nord could cost as little as $450 or $500. If true, the Nord would offer significant savings over existing affordable phones like the Pixel 3a and iPhone SE, and if those rumoured specs are anywhere close to being accurate, a price tag that low would make the Nord an incredibly good deal.

However, the potential downside to all this is that the Nord will only be initially available in India and parts of Europe, with the Nord only headed to North America by way of a “highly limited” beta program. With the recent backlash against $1,500 phones, it would be kind of disappointing for the Nord to have such limited availability.

As for the Nord’s build and design, it looks like we’re going to have to wait until OnePlus’ official Nord launch event, which is set to take place next week in India on July 10.