The tech news has been awash with OnePlus Nord headlines for a few weeks now as the company has been drip-teasing its upcoming mid-range phone for a while now, and at this point we know plenty even ahead of its launch.
We know the chipset, we know it’s 5G-compatible, we know how many front and back cameras it has – we even know why it’s called the OnePlus Nord.
While it may feel like we know everything, there actually are a few things we haven’t heard about the OnePlus Nord. So while this may be shocking to hear… OnePlus does have more to announce at the July 21 launch event.
For the most part ,these aren’t the obvious things. We know the design, we know the price, we know its relation to OnePlus’ other phones – but they’re still things worth thinking about if you’re considering buying the OnePlus Nord when it goes on sale. Here are the seven key things we still need to find out about the OnePlus Nord.
OnePlus 7 (Image credit: TechRadar)1. The OnePlus Nord’s price
We’ve heard that the OnePlus Nord will cost less than $500 – that’s a pretty vague price as it is, but given the phone isn’t coming to the US at launch, a price in US dollars doesn’t help much.
If the OnePlus Nord ends up costing £200 or less (the phone is coming to the UK, Europe and India, so a British pound price is our best point of comparison), it would easily rank in our list of the best cheap phones, and it would compete with lots of phones that have issues in one way or another.
If the price ends up being closer to that $500 mark – let’s say £500, though that converts to higher than $500 – it’s competing with higher-tier devices like the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, iPhone SE (2020) and Google Pixel 4, the current prices of which you can see below.
Price is an important battleground with smartphones, and we’re only going to know what sort of strength the OnePlus Nord is fielding when we hear how much it actually costs.
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OnePlus 8 Pro (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)2. Will it come to the US?
The OnePlus Nord is apparently only being released in Europe and India. However, the company has hinted the phone could come to the US at some point too, if it’s successful in its core regions.
That could be big news for OnePlus, if true. While the Indian and European phones markets are cluttered with mid-ranged phones at exactly the same price we’re expecting the OnePlus Nord to come in at, the US has decidedly fewer such phones.
With far fewer competitors in the market, the OnePlus Nord could be hugely successful in the US, so we’d anticipate it would make its way there at some point, but there’s no way of knowing for sure.
OnePlus 8 Pro (Image credit: Future)3. What will the screen resolution be?
OnePlus often prides itself in having high-res screens, but the OnePlus Nord is set to be more affordable than the main phones. Does that mean the resolution will be lower than its flagships?
The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 1440 x 3168 resolution, so it’s pretty high-res, but the OnePlus 8 is 1080 x 2400 so it’s clear OnePlus isn’t married to one resolution.
It’s unlikely the OnePlus Nord will have a top-end display if the OnePlus 8 didn’t, but we don’t know if the phone will have a 1080p screen like the OnePlus 8 or perhaps sink even lower to HD like some other phones. It’s unlikely, given OnePlus is trying hard to make this device seem premium, but we’ll have to wait to be sure.
OnePlus 8 (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)4. Will the OnePlus Nord have a curved screen?
OnePlus phones since the OnePlus 7T have all had curved-edge screens, but that generally isn’t the case for cheaper phones, so we’ll have to see which way the company goes.
Curved-edge screens are more comfortable to hold, and feel more premium in the hand, but some users find they can accidentally hit the sides and trigger functions without meaning to, so some people looking for top-end phones still want totally-flat displays.
From the peeks we’ve seen of the OnePlus Nord, it doesn’t seem to have a screen that curves at the edges, but it could just have a really gentle taper like the Samsung Galaxy S20 that you can’t see too well from pictures.
OnePlus 8 (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)5. Where’s the front-facing camera?
We know the OnePlus Nord will have two front-facing cameras – that’s more than the OnePlus 8 phones – and that type of set-up obviously takes up more space than just one snapper. So where are they going to go?
The OnePlus 8 phones have punch-hole cut-out segments for the front-facing cameras, but if you’ve got multiple cameras these can take a lot of space. Will OnePlus use an old-fashioned notch instead? Some might find that antiquated, but it might take up less screen space.
Perhaps the OnePlus Nord will have a pop-up camera like the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro? For now, though, we can only guess.
OnePlus 8 Pro (Image credit: Future)6. What are the OnePlus Nord camera specs?
Perhaps the biggest thing we don’t know about the OnePlus Nord – other than price – is the camera specs it’ll have. We’ve heard various leaks, but nothing’s confirmed except for the number of cameras – four on the back and two on the front.
When affordable phones have plenty of cameras, it often feels more like an attempt to make the device look good on paper than take actual good pictures. It’s likely two of these snappers will be a depth-sensor and maybe a macro snapper that takes worse pictures than the main camera, if precedent from other companies (and older OnePlus phones) is to be believed.
We’d also expect there to be a main camera with a high-resolution sensor, and an ultra-wide lens on another sensor. Telephoto cameras rarely rear their head on affordable phones, so this might be out.
If the OnePlus Nord has an impressive array of cameras, instead of just some superfluous lenses chucked on to flesh out a spec sheet, it could be a great phone – but that’s a big ‘if’.
(Image credit: TechRadar)7. Will anyone buy the OnePlus Nord?
Our final question is something no-one knows right now – how will the OnePlus Nord be received by customers?
Years ago, OnePlus launched another affordable phone; the OnePlus X. That didn’t do well enough to deserve a sequel, so there’s no guarantee a phone will do well just because it was made by OnePlus.
But with the high prices of other OnePlus phones, it’s possible people will have a fiercer appetite now for a handset from the company that doesn’t cost the same as other flagship devices.
The only way we can find out if anyone chooses to buy the OnePlus Nord is to wait and see.
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