OnePlus has already staked its claim in the mid-range phone market with the excellent Nord, which we reviewed and awarded top marks.
But it seems that the company is not sitting on its laurels. Given that its motto is “Never Settle”, this is no surprise. The Nord line is expanding rapidly, with the even-cheaper Nord N10 5G and Nord N100 already on sale – but when will a proper Nord 2 arrive? And what about the rumoured Nord SE? Here’s what we know so far.
When is the OnePlus Nord 2 release date?
The original Nord launched in July 2020, before going on sale in August. That’s right in the middle of the company’s usual spring/autumn flagship cycle, so it would make sense to see the Nord 2 arrive in July 2021.
What about the Nord SE?
Predictions are complicated by the fact that rumours are also circulating regarding a device named the Nord SE – now believed to be a special edition of the original Nord phone, rather than a true follow-up.
Phone Arena cites an anonymous source in claiming that the SE is in fact a partnership with designer Joshua Vides, and that it will “primarily focus on aesthetic changes such as custom wallpapers and a specially designed rear panel.”
However, tipster Max Jambor has since reported that the Nord SE has been killed off and won’t see the light of day, though doesn’t have any insight into why the decision was made. If true, that at least clears the way for the Nord 2 to be the next device in the series.
What are the specs for the OnePlus Nord 2?
The expected existence of the Nord SE, Nord 2, and potential successors to the Nord N10 and N100 muddies the waters somewhat when it comes to spec predictions, so it’s not clear which phones the leaks relate to.
For example, along with word on the launch period, Android Central reported on some potential hardware highlights coming to a new Nord (codenamed ‘Ebba’) – one found on the original Nord and one trait currently unique to the company’s most recent flagship release – the OnePlus 8T.
The report states that the next Nord will once again boast an AMOLED display, as opposed to LCD as found on the newer, more affordable members of the Nord line, the N10 5G and the N100.
In addition, it’ll supposedly benefit from Warp Charge 65, which equates to rapid 65W fast charging, paired with a 4500mAh battery that’ll fully recharge in under 40 minutes.
On the other hand, OnLeaks has since claimed that the ‘Ebba’ codename refers not to a successor to the original Nord, but to the follow-up to the cheaper Nord N10. Not only that, but he shared renders and a few key specs of the Ebba on his Voice page.
According to OnLeaks, expect 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 include a metal frame with a side-mounter fingerprint sensor, but the phone’s rear is ‘glossy plastic’.
The Ebba has since been spotted on India’s IMDA certification, so whichever phone it is, we should at least find out soon.
Separately, sources have informed Android Central that the Nord 2 may be the first smartphone in the company’s history to deviate from a Qualcomm chipset and will instead opt for MediaTek’s newly-announced Dimensity 1200 SoC.
The 6nm chip supports 5G natively and features a 1 + 3 + 4 octa-core architecture that runs at a higher clock then the Snapdragon 765G inside the original Nord, pointing to improved performance (so long as it’s paired with enough LPDDR4 RAM and an optimised OS).
It’s the same chip that features in the Realme GT Neo, but the leak predicted that both devices would arrive in late March or early April. While the GT Neo did, there’s still no sign of the Nord 2, casting some doubt on the whole rumour.
Beyond these initial insights, and by studying the original Nord’s specs, we can piece together other potential improvements that OnePlus is likely to make.
Original OnePlus Nord specs:
6.44in Full HD+ 20:9 AMOLED 90Hz display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor
Front hole-punch cameras:
Sony IMX616 32Mp wide sensor w/ f/2.5 aperture, 80.4° FoV
8Mp ultra-wide sensor w/ f/2.2 aperture, 105° FoV
Sony IMX586 48Mp wide sensor w/ f/1.75 aperture, OIS, EIS
8Mp ultra-wide sensor w/ 119° FoV
5Mp depth sensor w/ f/2.4 aperture
2Mp macro sensor w/ f/2.4 aperture
‘Warp Charge 30T’ 30W fast charging
It would be great to see the display jump from 90Hz to 120Hz, as that super high refresh rate continues to filter down to cheaper phones – you can get 120Hz for as little as £199 in the Poco X3 for example – though admittedly that’s LCD, not OLED. A refresh rate jump seems more likely than a resolution boost, as OnePlus has so far limited Quad HD to its Pro series phones.
If the Dimensity 1200 is the Nord 2’s chip of choice, it’s also rated to support displays at up to 168Hz.
How much will the OnePlus Nord 2 cost?
The OnePlus Nord costs £379 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or £469 for the 12GB/256GB configuration, and we’d expect the Nord SE to cost similar; keeping it comfortably below the £549 starting price of the company’s flagship phones, and above the pricing of the even cheaper Nord N10 and Nord N100.
If you can’t wait for the next iteration of OnePlus devices, you can check out our round-up of the best mid-range phones to see what else is on offer.
Related stories for further reading