When rumors of the OnePlus Nord first started circulating, I couldn't help but get excited. The idea of a OnePlus phone that delivered capable specs and features at a much lower price than we'd seen in a while was obviously one I could get behind.
The Nord ended up being a smash hit, but as we all know by now, it never ended up coming to the U.S. That means we were left to look longingly at the Nord and be envious of our friends in markets where it did actually launch, which wasn't nearly as much fun as being able to buy the phone ourselves. Thankfully, that looks to finally be changing.
Last week, we shared exclusive details about a new upcoming phone from OnePlus, currently referred to as the "OnePlus Nord N10 5G." It's not the same exact phone as the regular Nord that's been available for a few months, but based on what we know so far, it's shaping up to be one of my most-anticipated phones for the second half of the year.
Looking at the specs we've confirmed so far, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G should have more than capable specs for the price tag it's targeting. There's a 6.49-inch 90Hz display with a Full HD+ resolution, Snapdragon 690 processor with 5G connectivity, and a 64MP primary camera (a first for OnePlus), 8MP ultra-wide, and 2MP "auxiliary sensors."
The price? We're expecting it to sell for under $400, making it a clear competitor to the Pixel 4a and upcoming Pixel 4a 5G.
The Pixel 4a is outstanding, but the Nord N10 should offer a few key advantages at a similar price.
I've been rocking the Pixel 4a as my daily Android phone since late-August, and I've honestly found myself choosing to use it over devices like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Its software is excellent, the camera is great, and the compact size has been a breath of fresh air. It's also become the phone that I've started to recommend to just about anyone that's in the market for a new Android handset. The $349 price is so hard to argue with, and when you consider all of the specs and features you're getting, it's a near-perfect mix of everything.
The Pixel 4a has made me pretty content with the fact that the Nord never came to the U.S., but now that it looks like the Nord N10 5G should be arriving in the not-too-distant future, I can't help but get excited about getting a chance to use the phone. Let's say it costs $399, just a dollar shy of the "under $400" marker OnePlus is reportedly targeting. If you're getting a 90Hz screen, perfectly fast Qualcomm processor, 5G support, and top-notch OxygenOS software for that price, we suddenly have a new contender for the best Android value of the year.
I think it's safe to say that the Pixel 4a will still have the Nord N10 beat when it comes to cameras and long-term software support, but there's also a lot you'll be getting with the Nord that's just not offered on the 4a. The 90Hz refresh rate is a huge perk, the larger screen will lend itself better to media consumption, OxygenOS has quite a few useful features that just aren't present on a Pixel, and 5G connectivity ensures you're future-proofed as carriers continue building out their networks.
All of this is obviously subject to change until OnePlus confirms everything itself, but assuming this is the direction the OnePlus Nord N10 5G is headed, I think we're going to be in for a real treat. I could care less about the OnePlus Clover that's also in the works, but this Nord N10 sounds like it could be the perfect mix of everything.
Even if you aren't personally excited for the Nord N10, it's nothing but good news for the budget smartphone space. The Pixel 4a is basically eating up the current competition it's faced with, and as much as I love the phone, I'm thrilled to know it'll soon be faced with something that could give it a legit run for its money. Competition is good thing, and if the Nord N10 is able to push the needle forward while also being a darn good phone, we end up winning both ways.
The current best deal in the U.S.
While we wait for the Nord N10 to come out, Google's Pixel 4a continues to be the best smartphone value you can get in the United States. It takes incredible pictures, has reliable performance and battery life, and ships with clean software that's backed by three years of updates. Even when the new Nord comes out, it'll be worth keeping an eye on.
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