OnePlus made its name with cheap phones, but its most recent OnePlus 8 series has reached the stratospheric heights of other flagship devices. However, the company isn’t done with budget phones. The OnePlus Nord was unveiled recently, offering almost-flagship specs for a low price. Initially, OnePlus only confirmed availability in Europe and India, but now we know a version of the Nord will come to the US. Don’t expect it to be the same Nord, though.
The OnePlus Nord gives you a lot for £379 including a 5G-enabled Snapdragon 765G, 8GB of RAM, a 6.4-inch 90Hz OLED, 30W fast charging, and more. You might want to buy one in the US, but the cellular bands will make that a poor experience. The good news is that OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has said that a “Nord” phone will launch in the US. The Nord has so far received positive reviews, citing the performance, build quality, and overall good value. Complaints include the lack of a telephoto zoom camera (also a problem on the OnePlus 8) and no water-resistance certification.
Pei did not go into detail about the phone, except to say that it will launch in 2020. We’re now over halfway through the year, and no mysterious unnamed OnePlus phones have appeared online. That suggests this US-destined Nord is not completely distinct from the international Nord. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense to design an entirely new smartphone when the cellular bands are the only thing keeping the Nord from working properly in the US.
It is, however, possible OnePlus will change the specs in some way to position the phone for the US market. That might mean changes to the storage, RAM, or battery, all of which are relatively easy alterations to make. OnePlus’ carrier partners in the US might also pose a problem. Verizon is still focusing all its 5G efforts on millimeter wave, which the Nord does not support. OnePlus created a custom version of the OnePlus 8 (which also lacked mmWave) for Verizon. We might be looking at a similar situation with the Nord.
The price might also be different when the Nord arrives — don’t expect a direct conversion from the international pricing. That would be about $490.
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