In 2014, a relatively unknown brand called OnePlus took the market by storm when it debuted a smartphone that could rival flagships models but sold at a much accessible price range. This earned it a reputation as a "flagship-killer" which continued for the next succeeding releases. Due to the loyal following it has earned over the years, pricing started to grow as well. In fact, its latest – the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro – now retails for $699 and $899, respectively. The Nord series marks the return to being more affordable.
In 2018, a sub-brand by Xioami was dubbed the new "flagship killer" when the Pocophone F1 was launched. Its entry-level variant sold for approximately $300 but was equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. At the time, the chipset was the range-topping option only found on expensive Android handsets from high-profile brands. Meanwhile, OnePlus is now considered a premium option for consumers.
As reported by The Verge, the OnePlus Nord catalogue hopes to offer a "premium OnePlus experience accessible to more users." Company CEO Pete Lau stated: "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."
OnePlus is yet to reveal more details about its upcoming Nord lineup, but sources claim it will initially launch in Europe and India. As for other territories, those in North America will receive "a highly limited beta program" that will follow shortly after the official launch. Earlier this month, leaks pointed to a mobile phone labelled as the OnePlus Z. Many noted that it might be the rumoured OnePlus 8 Lite, but it could be the for OnePlus Nord device to debut this week.
Based on the leak specifications, the handset will sport a 6.55-inch OLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate. It appears to be 5G-ready courtesy of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chipset which is paired to 6 GB of RAM and a 128 GB internal storage. There is no word if the Nord will be the first OnePlus model to ship with a microSD expansion slot. As for the imaging, consumers can expect a 48-megapixel main and a 16-megapixel wide-angle.