Best answer: The OnePlus Nord is available in two variants: one sold in India (AC2001), and a model that's available in Europe (AC2003). The European model has global LTE bands, making it compatible for use on T-Mobile and AT&T in the U.S. That said, you miss out on 5G connectivity in the U.S.
- Mid-range marvel: OnePlus Nord (£379 at OnePlus)
The OnePlus Nord works on U.S. LTE networks, but there's a caveat
The OnePlus Nord isn't launching in the U.S., so if you're interested in getting your hands on OnePlus' latest phone, you will have to import it from other markets. The main issue in going down that path is compatibility; with the phone aimed at other countries, you need to make sure it has the correct LTE bands for use in the U.S.
So if you are looking to pick up the Nord in the U.S., you should get the European model. That particular variant has model number AC2003, and it comes with most of the requisite bands that you need to use the phone in the U.S. OnePlus also sells the Nord in India, but that variant (AC2001) has more limited bands, making it incompatible for use in the U.S.
These are the LTE bands that you get on the European model (AC2003) of the Nord: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/28/32/34/38/39/40/41/66. As a refresher, T-Mobile uses LTE bands 2/4/5/12/66/71 and AT&T relies on bands 2/4/5/12/17/29/30/66 to deliver LTE coverage. From a quick glance, the European model of the Nord has most of the requisite bands for use on U.S. LTE networks, so if you are eyeing the Nord, make sure you pick up the version with model number AC2003.
OnePlus Nord You'll miss out on 5G connectivity in the U.S.
The Nord is powered by the Snapdragon 765G chipset, and it has 5G connectivity. However, because the phone isn't launching in the U.S., it does not have the 5G bands that will make it compatible with T-Mobile or AT&T's 5G networks.
The European version of the Nord delivers 5G connectivity over bands n1/n3/n7/n28/n78, making it ineligible for use on U.S. 5G carriers. T-Mobile is rolling out service on bands n41/n71/n260/n261 and AT&T is relying on low-band coverage over n5 for its 5G network.
So while you'll still be able to use the Nord on U.S. LTE networks, you won't be able to access 5G networks in the country. That said, the OnePlus Nord still makes a fantastic case for itself in the sub-$500 segment, and the hardware on offer is unmatched right now.
A stellar deal
The most powerful mid-range phone
Featuring a stunning 90Hz AMOLED panel backed by robust hardware and all-day battery life with 30W charging, the Nord ticks all the right boxes. The 48MP camera at the back takes great photos, you get dual 32MP + 8MP cameras up front, the software is devoid of any bloat and you'll get timely updates. You cannot ask for much more from a phone that costs less than $500.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.