OnePlus Nord revealed as Android alternative to the iPhone SE

The OnePlus Nord is the company’s new affordable smartphone (OnePlus)

OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone brand with a legion of loyal followers, has released a new mid-tier smartphone to rival the iPhone SE.

The OnePlus Nord is step away from the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro flagships revealed earlier this year into more ‘affordable’ territory.

As such, the 6.44-inch smartphone arrives with a starting price tag of £379 and will be available from August 4 in the UK. That price gets you 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. Alternatively, you can opt for a slightly pricier model (£469) which bags you 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Both versions have pretty impressive specs for a so-called ‘mid-tier’ phone. The screen is an AMOLED display with a 2,400 x 1,080 pixel resolution and forged from tough Gorilla Glass 5.

Perhaps most importantly, it has a 90Hz refresh rate, making it particularly smooth when navigating between homescreens and through menus. Power comes courtesy of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 processor.

Like OnePlus’ other phones this year, the Nord supports 5G connectivity. And unlike fellow Chinese tech brand Huawei, OnePlus hasn’t been touched by the US trade ban so comes equipped with Google’s full range of apps and services.

The phone has a number of the bells and whistles we’d expect to see on more expensive models: an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a wide-angle front-facing camera with a 105-degree field of view and that aforementioned 90Hz screen.

The OnePlus Nord comes in a striking blue shade (OnePlus)
The camera lenses run vertically down the phone (OnePlus)
The screen has a 90Hz refresh rate (OnePlus)
Your choice of blue or black (OnePlus)

Battery life should be pretty decent as well. OnePlus has packed the Nord with a hefty 4,100mAh battery that can be charged up to 70% in half an hour using the bundled Warp Charge 30T charging brick. All that battery adds up to a phone weight of 184g.

And, because no self-respecting phone should be without them, OnePlus also announced a pair of truly wireless earphones to go alongside the Nord. Called the OnePlus Buds, they look pretty darn similar to Apple’s AirPods and function in almost the exact same way.

The OnePlus Buds take their cue from the Apple AirPods (OnePlus)

The case doubles as a charger and OnePlus says the £79 Buds will deliver 30 hours of audio and pair seamlessly with the phone. In terms of fit, the company says the Buds have ‘an ergonomic, half-in-ear design ensures a snug fit for extended periods, while the textured case provides a soft outer lining.’

Both the Buds and the OnePus Nord charge via USB-C although neither has the option of wireless charging. The Buds come in three colours: White, Gray and Nord Blue while the Nord comes in two colours: Black Marble and Gray Onyx.

OnePlus has a large fanbase, but the company’s phones have been getting progressively more expensive in recent years. The OnePlus Nord is clearly an attempt to stake a claim in the mid-range market. If anyone is looking for an Android rival to the iPhone SE, this could be it.


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