It’s been an interesting journey for dark horse smartphone maker OnePlus. Its first device, the OnePlus One, unleashed to the world in 2014, became a cult hit that ushered in a new era of devices with flagship-killing specs and a lower price than others in its class. Also, thanks to its early invitation-based purchase system, purportedly to “manage demand,” OnePlus succeeded in carving a niche amongst the bigwigs of the business—Apple, Samsung, Google, and more.
Truth be told, the smartphone industry has changed much over the course of half a decade. Flagship smartphones are no longer within the USD400-500 range. The USD299 flagship killer of yesteryears is no more. With each iteration, OnePlus has edged up the food chain and has become “mainstream” with mainstream flagship-level prices.
The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, for instance, cost upwards of USD699 and USD899, respectively. A far cry from its sub-USD300 days.
Has OnePlus forgotten how to make affordable flagship-killer phones?
Well, not exactly.
Never Settle–it still exists
Say hello to OnePlus Nord. A brand new product line that brings the OnePlus experience to the masses. Pete Lau, founder and CEO of OnePlus says OnePlus Nord marks “the beginning of an exciting new chapter for OnePlus.”
It’s a segment it has not competed in before; a segment that is both exciting and fiercely competitive (warning: can be cut-throat).
Can OnePlus disrupt the mid-range market as it has in the premium? We’ll see. On paper at least, things look competitive.
Here’s the gist of what the OnePlus Nord offers.
Aesthetically, it’s unremarkably familiar and generic although overall pleasing. What really matters is under the hood.
And that’s where it doesn’t disappoint. Powering the device is the 5G-enabled Qualcomm Snapdragon 756G mated to up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage.
It gets a 6.44-inch FHD+ Fluid AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, which is similar to what’s offered on the previous generation OnePlus 7T Pro.
In terms of optics, the OnePlus Nord packs a quad-camera rear setup comprising a 48MP f/1.75 main shooter with OIS, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle camera, a 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor, and a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens camera.
Over on the front, OnePlus has opted for a dual-selfie camera setup—a 32MP f/2.0 Sony IMX616 paired with an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera (105-degree FOV) housed in a punch-hole style implementation.
It gets a fairly large 4,100mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T. OnePlus claims this will take the phone from 0-70 per cent in just half an hour.
The OnePlus Nord runs OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10 out-of-the-box.
Pricing and availability
The OnePlus Nord is available in Gray Onyx and Blue Marble. Prices start from EUR399 (~MYR1,951).
OnePlus has also created several cool-looking lightweight cases for the Nord. Head over to nord.oneplus.com for more information.
In Malaysia, the OnePlus Nord will be sold via the new OnePlus Official Store on Shopee as well as via authorised resellers.
OnePlus’ online store is giving away prizes which include 10x limited edition t-shirts, 10x Nord Determined Tote Bgs, OnePlus smartphones, and more. Winners will be picked randomly once their Shopee stores hit 500, 1,000, and 3,000 follower milestones on 27 July, 10 August, and 24 August 2020.
On a separate note, reseller Gamers Hideout is offering pre-orders for the device at MYR1,799 and MYR2,099 for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 12GB RAM and 256GB storage models, respectively. It is unconfirmed if this is the official Malaysian pricing. Pre-orders are open now until 8 August 2020.
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