Just yesterday we told you that while the OnePlus Nord is coming to the U.S., it might be a different phone than the one that you've seen on our site over the last few weeks. The gang over at XDA tore apart the latest version of OxygenOS 10.5 for the OnePlus Nord and found some hints about an upcoming new OnePlus phone that could be a variant of the Nord for the U.S. market. The device has a codename of Billie which could be a reference to U.S. pop singer Billie Eilish. The manufacturer has a habit of using artists as codenames. Other references discovered include one for "SM6350" which is code for the Snapdragon 690 chipset. This is Qualcomm's lowest priced SoC that carries an integrated 5G modem chip (the Snapdragon X51 5G).
The Snapdragon 690 is manufactured by Samsung using its 8nm process and includes a pair of Cortex A-77 CPU cores to handle heavy-duty tasks and six Cortex-A55 CPU cores for general housekeeping. The included Adreno 619L GPU is said to be 60% faster than the Adreno 612 GPU found in the Snapdragon 675. So far HMD Global, Sharp, Wingtech, Motorola, TCL, and LG have said that the Snapdragon 690 will power future handsets. But there has been no word from any of the smartphone brands owned by BBK Electronics (which includes OnePlus) stating an intention to use the chipset.
Nonetheless, the Snapdragon 690 is cheaper for OnePlus to buy than the Snapdragon 765G powering the only OnePlus Nord model current announced and available. As a result, we should see the pricing come down on the U.S. version of the Nord. OnePlus might have felt compelled to produce the mid-range phone as pricing for its top-of-the-line models has moved higher. Originally OnePlus called its handsets the "flagship killer" as they delivered flagship-type specs at a lower price. However, the OnePlus 8 Pro is priced as high as $999 which puts it close to the pricing of major manufacturers' flagship phones.
Later this year OnePlus is expected to launch its second-half flagship OnePlus 8T line.