The OnePlus Nord was a bombastic return to the mid-range market for OnePlus in mid-2020 and it didn"t take long for the company to expand on the original"s formula. Now, it seems, one of the first members of the Nord"s 2021 family is on its way, in the Nord CE 5G.
The original Nord proved to be a formidable mid-range offering from OnePlus, cementing itself as our "Mid-range Phone of the Year" by 2020"s end. The company then proceeded to expand on the line to appeal to a broader range of consumers and enter into new markets; with the more affordable Nord N10 5G and the budget Nord N100.
The OnePlus Nord N10 5G
Tipster Max Jambor opened the can of worms on a potential follow-up in early February, when he offered up a name for the next entry in the Nord family, with the OnePlus Nord "N1 5G".
On the one hand, it was exciting to hear about a new Nord device so soon into 2021, on the other, the use of the "N1" naming convention, paired with the phone"s intended position as the N10"s follow-up raised some questions about how easy consumers would find following OnePlus" brand strategy with the Nord name.
To add to the confusion, on 16 May - contradicting his original leak - Jambor suggested that the device originally branded as the N1 5G might now be operating under the name "Nord CE 5G".
̷N̷o̷r̷d̷ ̷N̷1̷ ̷5̷G̷ pic.twitter.com/2dBSvv77G1
— Max Jambor (@MaxJmb)
May 16, 2021
Then, on 27 May, in an interview with TechRadar, OnePlus" CEO Pete Lau confirmed the existence and official name of the Nord CE 5G, explaining that "CE" stands for "Core Edition".
Expanding on what this new naming convention means, Lau stated, “we have distilled the original Nord down to its core elements, and added a few extra features to create a great everyday phone at an even more affordable price.”
We talk more about the latest developments on the Nord CE in our weekly podcast, Fast Charge:
How much will the OnePlus Nord CE 5G cost?
The Nord N10 5G touched down in late 2020 with an opening price of £329 in the UK and €349 in Europe (and later $299.99 in the US). OnePlus has since dropped the price of the N10 in the UK and Europe but if the Nord CE 5G is set to be the N10"s direct successor then there"s every chance it"ll cost around the same.
If, however, the CE is intended to slot in between the price points established by the N10 and the original Nord (now more likely based on Lau"s words) - then the phone could fall between £339 and £369 (approximately $470 to $510).
When does the OnePlus Nord CE 5G launch?
The original Nord made its debut on 21 July 2020 and became available for purchase in Europe on 4 August 2020, while the Nord N10 wasn"t unveiled until late October 2020 and went on sale in Europe on 27 November 2020.
According to Lau, the Nord CE 5G is coming to both Indian and European markets, starting 10 June. He also made mention of a US/Canada-exclusive device, called the "Nord N200 5G", but that"s not expected to arrive until later.
What features will the OnePlus Nord CE 5G have?
After the discovery of a new Nord device - codenamed "Ebba" - first emerged, it was OnLeaks that suggested it was a follow-up to the Nord N10, rather than a successor to the original Nord. Not only that, but he shared renders and a few key specs of the device via his Voice page.
While Lau has since confirmed the Nord CE 5G"s existence, he"s yet to supply any of the hardware details relating to the phone, leaving OnLeaks" (and other tipsters") content to fill in the gaps for the time being. He did, however, say that the “OnePlus Nord CE 5G delivers a fast and smooth experience and powerful core features all backed by the OnePlus quality users know and love.”
“Making the signature OnePlus experience more accessible is a balancing act, but there are certain classic flagship features which we have brought onto the OnePlus Nord series this year to ensure we are delivering that fast and smooth experience with the Nord series,” he added.
According to OnLeaks, the device sports a flat 6.49in panel with a punch-hole camera on the front and a triple camera on the rear. The phone is 8.4mm thick and includes a 3.5mm headphone jack. It will feature a metal frame with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, but the phone"s rear is "glossy plastic".
"Ebba" - thought to be the Nord CE 5G - has since been spotted on India"s IMDA certification too.
The name confirms that 5G is part of the equation, which may narrow down the potential chipsets it could leverage - likely from Qualcomm, OnePlus" long-term chip maker of choice - although the Nord 2 is reportedly switching to MediaTek"s Dimensity 1200, so non-Snapdragon internals aren"t completely out of the question on this device too.
As for everything else, beyond running the company"s skinned take on Android - Oxygen OS - there"s little else that we can say with certainty until more details emerge from the woodwork.
For reference, here"s the OnePlus Nord N10 5G"s spec sheet:
- 6.49in 20:9 Full HD+ 90Hz IPS LCD w/ Gorilla Glass 3
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 processor
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- microSD expandability up to 512GB
- Rear cameras:
- 64Mp main sensor
- 8Mp ultrawide w/ 119° FoV
- 2Mp macro sensor
- 2Mp monochrome sensor
- 16Mp front-facing hole-punch camera
- Android 10 w/ OxygenOS 10.5
- Rear fingerprint sensor
- Dual stereo speakers
- 4300mAh battery
- Warp Charge 30T (30W fast charging)
- Bluetooth 5.1
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- 163 x 74.7 x 8.95mm
- 190 grams
- Colours: Midnight Ice
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