What you need to know
- The next phone in the Nord series is called the Nord 2, and it will launch be unveiled in Q2 2021.
- The Nord 2 is getting a big hardware upgrade in the form of a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset.
- The Dimensity 1200 chipset is built on a 6nm node and features Cortex A78 and A55 cores.
The OnePlus 9 is on the horizon, with the series set to make its debut sometime later this month. If the numerous leaks are anything to go by, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro should offer much better cameras than their predecessors. But the numbered flagship series isn't the only lineup OnePlus has to care about these days; the introduction of the Nord last year has allowed the Chinese manufacturer to make decent inroads into the mid-range segment.
OnePlus Nord 2 is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 1200
The OnePlus Nord continues to be one of the best-selling mid-range phones in markets like India, and we now have details regarding its 2021 successor. Based on information from reliable insider sources, I can reveal that the upcoming Nord will be called the Nord 2, and that it will be powered by MediaTek's Dimensity 1200 chipset.
That's a big change for OnePlus, which has exclusively used Qualcomm chipsets in all of its phones to date. In fact, the Nord was the first OnePlus phone to feature a chipset outside of the flagship Snapdragon 800 series, but over the course of the last year the company leveraged designs in the Snapdragon 600 and 400 series for the Nord N10 5G and N100.
The Dimensity 1200 was unveiled earlier this year, and the platform is built on a 6nm node. It has a prime Cortex A78 core that goes up to 3.0GHz, three additional A78 cores at up to 2.6GHz, and four Cortex A55 cores that can go up to 2.0GHz for energy-efficient tasks. It also has a Mali-G77 GPU with nine cores and comes with global 5G connectivity along with 5G dual SIM dual standby — a feature that Qualcomm is yet to adopt in 2021.
This is a huge win for MediaTek, which has struggled to meet Qualcomm's offerings in the past, particularly in the mid-range and high-end categories. However, that has changed following the introduction of the Dimensity series, with MediaTek able to secure design wins from OPPO, Xiaomi, Vivo, LG, and now OnePlus.
One of the key selling points of last year's Nord was the affordable pricing, with the phone retailing at just ₹24,999 ($340) in India — becoming one of the best cheap Android phones. The Dimensity 1200 is a considerable hardware upgrade from the Snapdragon 765G, so it will be interesting to see where OnePlus will position the Nord 2 in relation to the OnePlus 9 series. I should have more details around the rest of the hardware in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more on the Nord 2.
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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.