The pieces seem to be falling into place for the soon-to-launch OnePlus Z — including an official name for the new low-cost handset from OnePlus.
In a blink-and-you-missed-it development, OnePlus has been posting photos to its coyly named OnePlusZLiteThing Instagram account that seemingly tease the upcoming phone. According to 9to5Google, one of the photos on the account featured what appeared to be an invitation with the the word "Nord" prominently displayed.
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The photo's since been removed from OnePlus' Instagram, but some thoughtful Twitter users posted screen-caps of the shot to record it for posterity.
So OnePlus posted a bunch of images on Instagram and then deleted em, but yeah, there's Nord for you 😀#oneplus #OnePlusNord #newbeginnings pic.twitter.com/P1jdOinbkTJune 24, 2020
The OnePlus Nord name shouldn't come as much of a surprise if you've been following along with the saga of OnePlus' efforts to roll out a cheaper version of its phones that retain some premium features. Earlier this month, leaker Max J. took to Twitter to suggest that the phone would be called the OnePlus Nord, after previous rumors had listed it as either the OnePlus 8 Lite or OnePlus Z.
This news of the OnePlus Nord's final name comes at a time that other details about the phone's launch are starting to emerge. That same Instagram account includes a photo of a teaser in Morse code. The coded message spells out "July," seemingly confirming the rumored launch window for the OnePlus budget phone. Before that, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that a low-cost OnePlus phone was in the pipeline.
The OnePlus Nord — or OnePlus Z, if you're not ready to give up on that older code name — is expected to feature a 6.4-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate and multiple rear cameras. While the phone won't be powered by the same top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 silicon found in the OnePlus 8 line, it is expected to turn to a Snapdragon 765G chipset that includes 5G connectivity.
Rumored prices for the Nord range from $499 to $649, though some rumor mongers are holding out hope that the price could be even lower in the wake of a nostalgic tweet by OnePlus founder Carl Pei regarding the $299 OnePlus One from 2015.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.