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OnePlus might spin off Nord with a 'budget flagship' Android phone and new UI

OnePlus Nord 2T
OnePlus Nord 2T (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • OnePlus is reportedly thinking about launching Nord as a separate brand.
  • The rumored spin-off will create a separate entity with more ecosystem products, such as smart TVs and wearables.
  • Future Nord phones may also feature a new interface on top of Oxygen OS.

Since introducing the Nord brand two years ago, OnePlus has never stopped populating the smartphone market with low-end and mid-range models. Nord's growing presence may soon usher in a new chapter for the brand.

A report from The Mobile Indian (opens in new tab) claims that OnePlus is considering spinning off Nord, similar to what Xiaomi did with POCO. The report suggests that Nord will run as an independent entity in the future, complete with its own team and a minor brand change. This means it will swap out its current trademark color for a lighter shade of blue.

Future Nord phones might also drop the OnePlus brand from their names as part of the supposed spin-off, according to the report. That said, the brand could still keep its parent firm's name in some cases by including the phrases “from OnePlus” or "a OnePlus brand" in its branding.

For consumers, this will result in a broader range of options. The spin-off will supposedly lead to the brand's expansion in the market for the best cheap Android phones. According to the report, Nord will specifically target the slightly higher and lower price segments, ranging between INR 15,000 (approximately $189) and INR 35,000 (roughly $441). The latter price point is supposedly for a "budget flagship" phone.

Beyond that, Nord could expand its offerings to include smart TVs, fitness bands, smartwatches, Bluetooth neckbands, power banks, and other accessories. OnePlus already sells a pair of earbuds called the Nord Buds, and we can expect the line to expand in the future.

As for its phones, the report claims that future Nord handsets will run a custom interface on top of Oxygen OS. The brand might also see a significant offline presence, if this pans out.

OnePlus' rumored plan reflects a growing penchant among Chinese phone makers to spin off their smartphone brands after a while. Aside from POCO, a number of brands come to mind, including iQOO from Vivo and Realme from Oppo, all of which fall under the BBK umbrella.

Android Central has reached out to OnePlus for comment and will share more details when we receive a response. For now, take this information with a grain of salt.

Jay Bonggolto
Jay Bonggolto

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.