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The new OnePlus Nord is expected to cost at least US$200 less than the cheapest phone in this year’s OnePlus 8 flagship series. (Picture: Handout)

Cheaper OnePlus Nord smartphone will cost less than US$500

  • OnePlus confirms the name of its new affordable handset
  • The budget-friendly phone will initially launch in India and Europe

OnePlus Nord is arriving soon.

That’s the name OnePlus gave its new, cheaper smartphone. Full details aren’t available yet, but the price will be under US$500, CEO Pete Lau said in the first part of a documentary released on an Instagram account dedicated to the Nord phone.
A limited stock of 100 phones  went up for pre-order on Wednesday in Europe, selling out almost immediately according to the website. The company is expected to unveil the new handset at a product event in India on July 10.
In other parts of Asia, though, fans may have to wait longer. Lau said in a forum post last week that the phone will initially launch only in India and Europe. He added that the company is also looking to bring more affordable phones to North America in “the near future.”
OnePlus is one of a handful of Chinese tech brands that have made a mark in the West and the rest of the world. Since launching its first phone in 2014, it has built a reputation for making solid devices at affordable prices. It has also built up a fan base in India, where recent border tensions with China have led to calls to boycott Chinese products.

OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone startup that made a mark in the West

The latest OnePlus phones have become increasingly expensive, though. This year’s OnePlus 8 starts at US$699 in the United States. That’s US$170 pricier than the cheapest OnePlus 6 two years ago. The flagship OnePlus 8 Pro starts at US$899, putting it in the same territory as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Apple’s iPhone 11.

While not much is known about the OnePlus Nord yet, the company hinted in a tweet that the new budget phone would be available in a teal color. Earlier leaks suggested that it could sport Qualcomm’s 5G-enabled, mid-range Snapdragon 765 processor and a 90Hz AMOLED screen -- on par with the display used on the OnePlus 8.