When it launched the OnPlus Nord 2, OnePlus boldly claimed it was “pretty much everything you could ask for” considering its £399 price. That’s about $433 with tax taken off, though it sadly didn’t get an American release to know for sure where OnePlus would have positioned it in the U.S. market.
Now the Chinese company is set to return to the drawing board with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 — a cut-back version of the excellent midranger that “takes the best parts of Nord 2 and puts it into an even more affordable package.”
How it will be cut back isn’t clear at the moment, with OnePlus promising to reveal more details in its community forum and Instagram accounts between now and its launch in a week’s time on February 17.
That said, we do know a few features that will be present, as the announcement email specifically cites support for up to 1TB of microSD expandable storage, an added 3.5mm headphone jack and support for 65W SUPERVOOC wired charging.
We may be able to glean a few more clues by looking at the history book, as we’ve seen a CE — or “Core Edition” — branded mobile before on the original OnePlus Nord CE. Following 11 months on from the OnePlus Nord, the CE dropped the 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G in favor of a 8nm Snapdragon 750G chip, abandoned the macro camera sensor altogether and reduced the megapixel count of the selfie camera from 32 to 16. The glass back was also subbed out for plastic.
On the flipside, there were upgrades to be found. The main camera went from 48 to 64 megapixels, and the battery grew from 4,115mAh to 4,500mAh. It also introduced a headphone jack, just as OnePlus has promised once again here.
Considering the CE went for £80 (~$109) less than the original OnePlus Nord, most people would probably consider the changes sensible, so here’s hoping that OnePlus has similar plans — and a similar price point — in mind for the OnePlus Nord CE 2 which is already one of our favorite mid-range options (especially the limited edition Pac-Man version).
“The parts that make up the Nord 2 are more than you'd expect for its price, with some components lifted straight from the flagship OnePlus 9 series,” wrote Richard Priday in our OnePlus Nord 2 review. “Even the places where OnePlus has made big changes — the cameras and the processor on the OnePlus Nord 2 — have paid off, with the quality matching the rest of the phone.”
We’ll find out soon if OnePlus can repeat the feat in a week’s time, even if once again American shoppers are likely to miss out.