We've known for a really long time that OnePlus is preparing its return to the mid-range smartphone market after a five-year hiatus, but the company kept us waiting for official confirmation of this long overdue X sequel... of sorts all the way through last week
Initially rumored to be dubbed OnePlus 8
Lite and then OnePlus Z, the handset is slated to mark a "new beginning" for the 2013-founded outfit after all under an entirely new name.
The budget-friendly OnePlus Nord series
will be primarily focused on select European markets and India, and although the spec sheet of the first member of this non-flagship family is largely up in the air for the time being, the company has already kicked off limited pre-orders.
Fret not, you'll get a couple more chances to become an early adopter
Today's first round of pre-orders was so limited that OnePlus ran out of inventory in "less than a second"
, which has to be some kind of a record. If you weren't incredibly lucky (not to mention extremely fast) to secure your place in front of the line, you should know a second wave of "limited pre-orders" is scheduled for next week, July 8, at 10 am CEST (4 am ET), followed by an entire day of early sales on July 15.
It's also important to mention you can only join this "pre-order promotion"
from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Curiously enough, India is not on the list, but for what it's worth, the OnePlus Nord is expected to be regionally unveiled as early as July 10. In case you're wondering, the aforementioned "promotion" refers to the inclusion of "exclusive Nord merchandise" with every pre-order. We're talking a "random" lifestyle product, a sticker pack, and "other mystery gifts" for 1st and 2nd round pre-orders, downgraded to just a sticker pack and a "mystery gift" for the "earliest 3rd round pre-orders."
The 5G-enabled OnePlus Nord handset will be priced "below $500", although we don't have exact tags for specific countries yet and the earliest adopters won't know precisely how much they need to spend for a couple more weeks.
Specs and features - the sure things and the question marks
and seeing how the company has chosen to build buzz in recent weeks, we can expect the key selling points of the upcoming upper mid-end device to be officially revealed in a gradual fashion soon. For now, the use of a growingly popular Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor is etched in stone
, alongside 5G support and a vague focus on camera performance
The latter could mean the OnePlus Nord 5G will feature a quad rear-facing shooter system, in line with the most recent rumors
, possibly consisting of a 48MP primary cam, 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens, 2MP macro sensor, and a mysterious fourth snapper.
Leaked renders of a presumably cancelled OnePlus 8 Lite prototype
Unlike the "OnePlus 8 Lite" prototype leaked all the way back in December
, which was purportedly scrapped, the final Nord device is tipped to sport a wide hole punch housing not one but two front-facing cameras
. The screen is still expected to measure around 6.4 inches in diagonal and lose the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro's curves while unsurprisingly retaining the "invisible" fingerprint reader.
Under the hood, the OnePlus Nord 5G could combine the respectable Snapdragon 765G SoC with up to 12, yes, 12 gigs of RAM
, while the 4,000mAh or so battery sounds more than capable of keeping up with the energy needs of that upper mid-range processor and a smooth 90Hz AMOLED display.
All in all, this bad boy sounds like it might have everything it needs to undercut and eclipse the Samsung Galaxy A71
, LG Velvet
, and Motorola Edge
, which is why we're still terribly disappointed to hear official US availability is not on the cards.