OnePlus NordSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Leading up to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro launch, the rumor mill was strongly suggesting that the two phones would be joined by a budget-focused OnePlus 8 Lite. The phone has finally arrived, and it goes by the name of "OnePlus Nord."

Nord marks the start of a brand new product line for OnePlus, with the company getting back to its roots of creating truly affordable smartphones that deliver quality user experiences for as little money as possible — something it's shifted away from with devices like the OnePlus 8 Pro.

OnePlus Nord stands to be one of the most enticing phones from OnePlus we've seen in a while, and if you're eager to learn all about it, you've come to the right place. From official specs, pricing, and our impressions of the phone, here's everything you need to know about OnePlus Nord!

Nice balance

OnePlus 8

Right in the middle

If the OnePlus Nord is the most affordable new OnePlus phone for 2020, the regular OnePlus 8 sits right in the middle between it and the OnePlus 8 Pro. This is a device that boasts a 90Hz AMOLED display, three rear cameras, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 processor. It's also available for purchase in the U.S., which is something you can't say about the Nord.

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How much does the OnePlus Nord cost?

OnePlus NordSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

First thing's first, let's talk about the elephant in the room — price. The big draw to the OnePlus Nord is that it marks OnePlus's return to truly affordable smartphones, and that's clearly evident by how much OnePlus is asking for the phone.

If you live in the UK or Europe, the OnePlus Nord costs £379 (around $480 USD) and €399 ($450), respectively. Indian customers, however, are able to buy the phone for even less at just ₹24,999 ($335).

India has one of the most competitive smartphone markets on the planet, especially when it comes to getting a good deal. So many companies do what they can to deliver excellent phones at low prices in the country, and this is something OnePlus knocked out of the park with the Nord. Combine that with excellent specs, a great design, and clean software with timely updates, and the OnePlus Nord stands out as a clear winner in the Indian market.

Here's why the OnePlus Nord is now the phone to beat in India

When and where can I buy the OnePlus Nord?

OnePlus Nord packagingSource: OnePlus

The OnePlus Nord officially goes on sale from August 4, and it's launching in 31 countries across the globe. That's an impressive launch for the company and should result in the Nord becoming immensely popular, but there is one market that's missing out on it — the United States.

OnePlus is focusing on European countries and India with the Nord, which is where it expects the phone to sell the best. A few lucky OnePlus fans will get a chance to use the Nord in the U.S., but a full-on launch isn't happening any time soon. Per OnePlus CEO Pete Lau:

A select number of users in North America will also get a chance to experience the new device through a highly limited beta program after launch.

That's certainly a bummer if you live in the U.S. and were hoping to buy the Nord as your next smartphone, so here's to hoping the eventual Nord 2 gets a wider release.

Have we reviewed the OnePlus Nord?

While we aren't quite ready to give the OnePlus Nord the full review treatment, we have gone hands-on with the phone and made some early impressions about it.

It's been a long time since OnePlus released a phone that was considered to be genuinely affordable, and the Nord brings the company back to those roots with flying colors. This isn't the most technically-impressive OnePlus phone we've ever seen, but it offers a downright incredible user experience at a price tag that's impossible to argue with.

OnePlus packed the Nord with top-notch specs, a great design, and its consistently great software experience while shaving off hundreds of dollars compared to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. It's a recipe for success if we've ever seen one, and based on the time we've had with the Nord so far, it's one that a lot of people are going to like.

OnePlus Nord hands-on: Flagship hardware at a mid-range price

What does the OnePlus Nord look like?

OnePlus NordSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The front of the OnePlus Nord is home to a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, slim bezels, and a hole-punch cutout in the top-left. The display also isn't curved at all, which is something you do get on the 8 and 8 Pro. You'll also notice that the Nord has two cameras on the front, which is a first for any OnePlus phone.

Gorilla Glass 5 covers the front and back of the OnePlus Nord, giving it a very premium in-hand feel despite its low price. The glossy finish for the glass is different from the matte one on the OnePlus 8 series, but even so, it still looks excellent (especially in that Blue Marble color). The mid-frame is made out of plastic, and you get metal buttons for the volume rocker, power/lock button, and alert slider.

Around back, the Nord opts for a left-mounted rear camera bump, an LED flash, and a couple of OnePlus logos. On the bottom frame, you're treated to a USB-C port and speaker grille. There isn't a 3.5mm headphone jack, which isn't all that surprising seeing as how the last OnePlus phone to offer it was the OnePlus 6 from 2018.

All-in-all, the OnePlus Nord has a pretty excellent design. You could argue that it's not as eye-catching as something like the OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro, but given just how cheap the phone is, we're more than happy with what OnePlus was able to achieve.

What specs does the OnePlus Nord have?

OnePlus NordSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

OnePlus phones are known for delivering flagship specs at lower prices than the competition. The OnePlus Nord is a little bit different in these regards as its the first OnePlus phone to ship without a Snapdragon 800-series chipset, but that doesn't mean its specs are bad. In fact, these are some of the best specs you'll find for a sub-$500 smartphone.

Category Features
Operating System OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10
Display 6.44-inch 90Hz Fluid AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 5
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
1 x 2.4GHz Cortex A76
1 x 2.2GHz Cortex A76
6 x 1.8GHz Cortex A55
GPU Adreno 620
Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB
Rear Camera 1 48MP, f/1.75 (Sony IMX586)
0.8μm, OIS, EIS
4K at 30fps
Rear Camera 2 8MP wide-angle, f/2.25
119-degree field-of-view
Rear Camera 3 2MP macro, f/2.4
Rear Camera 4 5MP portrait lens, f/2.4
Front Camera 1 32MP, f/2.45 (Sony IMX616)
0.8μm, EIS, fixed focus
Front Camera 2 8MP, f/2.45
105-degree field-of-view
Battery 4115mAh non-removable
Charging USB-C 2.0
30W Warp Charge 30T
Security In-display fingerprint sensor (optical)
Dimensions 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm
Weight 184g
Colors Blue Marble, Grey Onyx

The Snapdragon 765 powering the Nord has proven to be a big talking point for 2020. It's a chip that allows for fast performance and 5G connectivity without the insane cost of the 865, and we've already seen it in the LG Velvet along with rumors that it'll power the Pixel 5.

OnePlus offers plenty of RAM and storage options for the Nord, and even the baseline offering of 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is pretty great for a phone in this price bracket. We're also happy to see that large 4,115 mAh battery, which is of course backed by OnePlus's Warp Charge 30T wired charging.

Add that together with an impressive array of cameras, a 90Hz OLED display, and you're looking at one beast of a phone.

OnePlus Nord specs: 48MP quad camera, 90Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 765G

Is the OnePlus Nord part of a new product line?

OnePlus NordSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Back when the OnePlus Nord was thought to be the "OnePlus 8 Lite," we were expecting it to be a typical release for the company. It would obviously target a lower price than we'd seen from past OnePlus phones, but at the end of the day, that's all it would be — another OnePlus phone. Now, we know that it's a much bigger deal.

On June 23, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau shared a post on the OnePlus forums to announce the creation of a new "affordable smartphone product line."

As we have always done when we try something new, we are going to start relatively small with this new product line by first introducing it in Europe and India. But don't worry, we're also looking to bring more affordable smartphones to North America in the near future as well.

This new product team is led by Paul Yu, who has headed product hardware development for many of our previous flagship devices over the past 5 years. We've also assembled a team of young, creative and enthusiastic OnePlus staff from all over the world, who have been working tirelessly over the past few months to bring this product line to life.

Shortly after that on June 30, OnePlus made the name official via a video on its OnePlus Nord Instagram page. In the video, OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau says:

Launching the OnePlus Nord product line marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for OnePlus. The 'Never Settle' spirit is centered around sharing the best technology and products with the world, but it is also about challenging ourselves and going beyond our comfort zone. We are immensely proud of our flagship products and will continue to create more tech-leading flagships for our users. Now we are excited to share the OnePlus experience with even more users around the world through this new product line.

All of this is to say that OnePlus Nord is the start of a new beginning for OnePlus. It's been exciting to watch the company compete more and more closely with the likes of Samsung and Apple with each new release, but more premium phones has also resulted in considerably higher prices.

With the launch of Nord, OnePlus can continue focusing on its higher-end handsets while also offering a robust budget option. That's a win-win scenario if we've ever heard one, and we can't wait to see how Nord continues to grow and evolve over the coming years.

Exclusive: Carl Pei on OnePlus' new beginnings with the OnePlus Nord

Is the OnePlus Nord a successor to the OnePlus X?

OnePlus XSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

Unless you've been following OnePlus from the very beginning, there's a good chance you don't remember the OnePlus X. Honestly, we don't blame you.

The OnePlus X was released in October 2015, just a few months after the OnePlus 2 hit the scene. The idea behind the OnePlus X was to deliver the OnePlus experience at the lowest price possible, resulting in a $249 phone that offered a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 13MP rear camera. At the time, those were great specs for a phone so cheap.

Unfortunately for OnePlus, the phone was plagued by poor camera performance, weak battery life, and just never captivated a similar audience that its other phones had.

The OnePlus X remains as the cheapest handset OnePlus has ever sold, but the OnePlus Nord gets awfully close to it with a price of around $335 in India.

Should I just get the OnePlus 8 instead?

OnePlus 8Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

There's no denying that the OnePlus Nord is an exciting phone, but the fact of the matter is that it's not available for purchase in the United States. If you live in the U.S. and want a OnePlus phone, check out the OnePlus 8.

It is a lot more expensive than what the OnePlus Nord costs, but it's still a pretty good price considering everything it brings to the table. Some highlights for the phone include a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 865 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 4,300 mAh battery.

The OnePlus 8 isn't the absolute best value we've ever seen from the company, but if you're shopping for a new Android handset, it's definitely one of the top ones you should consider.

Nice balance

OnePlus 8

Right in the middle

If the OnePlus Nord is the most affordable new OnePlus phone for 2020, the regular OnePlus 8 sits right in the middle between it and the OnePlus 8 Pro. This is a device that boasts a 90Hz AMOLED display, three rear cameras, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 processor. It's also available for purchase in the U.S., which is something you can't say about the Nord.

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