What you need to know
- OnePlus is working on an entry-level phone codenamed Clover with a 6.52-inch HD+ display.
- The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 460 and has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
- It has three cameras at the back, with a 13MP primary camera joined by two 2MP lenses.
- The phone will release in global markets — including the U.S. — later this year and will be available in the vicinity of $200.
OnePlus' strategy so far has involved launching a few phones a year powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 800 series. That has worked well for the company over the years, but with the OnePlus 8 series aimed at the high-end segment, the company didn't have a phone for under $500. So it introduced the Snapdragon 765G-powered Nord as the mid-range option in key markets like India.
We can now reveal that OnePlus is working on an entry-level phone that is powered by the Snapdragon 460 chipset. An insider source has confirmed that the phone is set to launch imminently, and that the device will be available in global markets — including the U.S. Given the source's track record, I'm highly confident in the legitimacy of this information.
The as-yet-unnamed phone is codenamed Clover and will have a 6.52-inch 720p (1560 x 720) IPS LCD display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with a MicroSD slot, capacitive fingerprint sensor at the back, and Wi-Fi ac connectivity.
Interestingly, the phone will have three cameras at the back, with a 13MP primary camera joined by two 2MP lenses. But the standout feature is the 6000mAh battery with 18W fast charging. Combine that with the hardware and the 720p display and we're looking at a phone that is designed to deliver two-day battery life. Oh, and Clover has a 3.5mm jack.
Here's what we know so far on the hardware side of things:
OnePlus Clover specs
|Display||6.52-inch HD+ IPS LCD (1560 x 720)|
4 x 1.8GHz Cortex A73
4 x 1.8GHz Cortex A53
|Rear Camera 1||13MP f/2.2|
|Rear Camera 2||2MP f/2.4|
|Rear Camera 3||2MP f/2.4|
|Security||Rear fingerprint sensor|
|Connectivity||4G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0|
The Snapdragon 460 debuted earlier this year, with the highlight being the introduction of the Cortex A73 cores — a first in this category. The Cortex A73 cores deliver significantly better performance over the Snapdragon 450, and the chipset also has four energy-efficient A53 cores. Similarly, the Adreno 610 GPU is touted to deliver 60% better performance over the Snapdragon 450.
OnePlus Clover is slated to launch later this year, and OnePlus will position it in the vicinity of $200. That's in line with the hardware on offer, and it's clear that OnePlus is looking to target Xiaomi and Realme with its entry-level phone. In fact, the phone has a lot of similarities to the Realme C15 and the OPPO A53. With the Nord sharing most parts with the Realme X50 series, it makes sense that OnePlus is doing the same with Clover. After all, OnePlus is owned by BBK — the same Chinese conglomerate that also owns OPPO, Vivo, and Realme.
OnePlus was restrained when it comes to diluting its portfolio — limiting itself to the mid-tier and high-end segments — so it is interesting to see the Chinese manufacturer target the entry-level category with its upcoming phone. OnePlus built up a lot of cachet as a premium manufacturer in markets like India, so the shift to the entry-level segment doesn't fit with the company's overall strategy.
That said, the fact that Clover will be going on sale in the U.S. is a big deal as it allows OnePlus the ability to gain some ground in the country. OnePlus didn't release the Nord in the U.S. — instead stating that it will launch another variant later in the year — and it is possible that Clover is the device the company was alluding to. We will know more about Clover in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
The OnePlus Nord offers the latest flagship-tier features at a more accessible price point. You get a 90Hz AMOLED screen, 30W fast charging, 48MP camera at the back, and reliable hardware. The software is fluid, you get timely updates, and for what you're paying, you're getting incredible value.
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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.