Other new phones coming soon
The original Nord was OnePlus’ return to the ‘flagship-killer’ market segment that made the company popular in the first place, and we’re hoping the Nord 2 is a refinement of the original.
We later found out the phone was the first of a new line from OnePlus, and the Nord N10 5G and Nord N100 followed later in 2020, with more members of the line confirmed for this year. The OnePlus Nord 2 itself hasn’t been intentionally confirmed yet, but a mention on a OnePlus Stadia page basically revealed its existence.
Rumors about the OnePlus Nord 2 are also starting to roll in, all of which you’ll find below, and as soon as we learn anything else about the OnePlus Nord 2 we’ll add it to this article.
We’ve also come up with a wish-list for what we want to see from the phone – you’ll find that further down.
In a press release regarding the MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI chipset, OnePlus confirmed the ‘Nord 2 5G’ name for its next smartphone – thereby confirming it as the next product from the company.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next main Nord phone from OnePlus
- When is it out? Possibly mid-2021
- How much will it cost? Around £379 / €399 (around $480, AU$680)
OnePlus Nord 2 release date and price
What do we know about the OnePlus Nord 2’s availability? Not much. The only real rumor so far comes from Android Central, which claims the phone will launch in Q2 (meaning sometime between April and June).
Beyond that all we have to go on is precedent, which is a shaky thing to base judgement on since it’s a new phone line.
The OnePlus Nord launched in August 2020, so an August 2021 launch is certainly possible for the Nord 2, but the company might not opt to wait that long. The phone cost £379 / €399 (around $480, AU$680), so we could possibly see a similar price for the successor.
That said, a leak suggests a price of CNY 2,000, which is roughly $310 / £220 / AU$400, so while those conversions won’t be accurate the Nord 2 might be slightly cheaper than the original Nord.
Design and display
OnLeaks (a leaker with a good track record) has shared renders supposedly showing the OnePlus Nord 2, some of which you can see below.
They show a phone that looks a lot like the OnePlus 9 Pro, with a similar camera design on the rear (albeit without Hasselblad branding), and an all-screen look on the front, with a punch-hole camera in the top left corner.
You can also see that the alert slider the brand is known for is intact, and apparently the phone will measure around 160 x 73.8 x 8.1mm.
OnLeaks also claimed that the OnePlus Nord 2 will have a 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and an in-screen fingerprint scanner.
That said, we’ve elsewhere heard that the Nord 2 could have a a 6.55-inch Super AMOLED screen, so there’s slight disagreement there. The source of this leak adds that the screen is apparently flat, and that the phone apparently has a glass back and a metal frame.
Camera and battery
A leaker claims that the OnePlus Nord 2 will have a triple-lens camera, with a 50MP main snapper (using the same sensor as the OnePlus 9 Pro‘s ultra-wide), along with an 8MP secondary camera and a 2MP tertiary one. If we had to guess, we’d assume the 8MP is either an ultra-wide or a telephoto, and the 2MP is a depth sensor, black and white, or macro snapper.
Another source meanwhile has pointed to a 50MP main camera, a 16MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP black and white one, so there are some slight differences there.
That’s one less camera than the original Nord has on the back, but the quality may well be improved. It also sounds like there might be one less camera on the front, with just a single 32MP one mentioned in these leaks. The renders we’ve seen (above) also match up with these camera numbers.
As for the battery, we’ve heard that it might be 4,500mAh, which would make it bigger than the 4,115mAh battery in the original Nord, while another source has echoed that and said that it can charge at 65W.
Specs and features
OnePlus itself has confirmed the Nord 2 5G will use the MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI chipset, a 5G chipset that’s exclusive to the company and should provide some AI benefits.
Rumors suggested the Dimensity 1200 would be used – by that we mean, a version without AI tweaks that a few phones use, and it was listed alongside other possible specs obtained by OnLeaks, including a choice of 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage or 12GB of RAM with 256GB of storage.
Another rumor mentioned the Dimensity 1200 chipset, saying that this and a flat screen are the only differences between the OnePlus Nord 2 and the Realme X9 Pro (another rumored handset).
What we want to see
Here’s what we want to see in the OnePlus Nord 2, both in terms of new features and tweaks to the original.
1. Wider availability
The OnePlus Nord was somewhat of a test run for OnePlus’ new phone range, and it was only released in certain regions. Notably, the US was absent.
Subsequent members of the Nord line have seen US releases though, so it’s possible the Nord 2 will as well. We’d hope so, so more people can get their hands on the affordable phone.
2. An IP68 rating
IP ratings for phones tell you how well protected they are from dust and water, so you can know if your handset can survive an accidental submersion or lots of stray particles.
The OnePlus Nord didn’t have such an IP rating – that doesn’t mean they’re not protected against outside some elements, just that the phone isn’t officially certified. That does mean you can’t be too sure how hardy the handset is though, and if you don’t know how well-protected a valuable smartphone is, you might treat it like it’s not protected at all.
We’d like to see the OnePlus Nord get an IP rating, and if possible an IP68 – that means it’s fully protected from dust, and can survive being underwater at depths of 2 meters for up to 30 minutes.
3. Improved battery life
Our biggest issue with the OnePlus Nord was its battery life, as while it generally lasted a day of use, we never found it to exceed that. We felt that power users might not get that whole day of use too.
We’d like to see a longevity boost for the OnePlus Nord 2, whether that’s from a larger battery cell, or more software optimizations to stop the phone draining battery as fast.
4. Smaller front cameras
The OnePlus Nord was one of a few affordable phones in 2020 to come with multiple front-facing cameras, and we found the phone took good selfies as a result.
However, two lenses takes up space, and these dual snappers resulted in a chunk being taken out of the display for them. As a result, there wasn’t much space for notification icons and the like.
If the OnePlus Nord 2 has dual-selfie snappers, we’d like to see them use smaller lenses, or be positioned better to take up less display space. OnePlus has toyed with pop-up cameras before, and if there are two front-facing cameras, that seems a great solution, though there are others.