OnePlus Nord key specs revealed right before launch

OnePlus Nord
(Image credit: MKBHD)

OnePlus has revealed the specs the OnePlus Nord's display and rear cameras, teasing a phone that could put the iPhone SE 2020 on the ropes. 

A post on the official OnePlus forum by Imaging Director Simon Liu breaks down the design process for the Nord's cameras and the tech that went into bringing them to life. And that gives us a good look at the specification of the cameras and the display on which you'll be able to admire your smartphone photography skills. 

"After months of product planning, internal discussions, and testing, we decided that Nord should have six cameras – four on the rear, and two on the front," the forum post reads. Two of those rear cameras will actively capture photos with the other two acting as sensors. 

OnePlus Nord rumored specs

Release date: July 21
Price: Under $500
Display: 6.4-inch 90Hz AMOLED (2400x1080; 90Hz)
CPU: Snapdragon 765G
Storage: 128GB, 256GB
Rear camera: 48MP wide (ƒ/1.75); 8MP ultrawide; 5MP macro (ƒ/2.4); 2MP portrait (ƒ/2.4)
Front camera: 32MP (ƒ/2.45) and 8MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.45) Battery: 4,115 mAh with 30W charging
Security: In-display fingerprint, 2D face unlock
Colors: Blue Marble, Gray Onyx, Gray Ash

This setup includes a 48MP IMX586 main camera, 8MP ultrawide camera, a 5MP depth sensor, and a macro sensor. The front features a 32MP main selfie camera as well as an additional ultra-wide camera, with an as-yet-undisclosed resolution. Interestingly enough, Liu points out that the Nord will be the first OnePlus phone with dual selfie (front) cameras. 

Just a day prior to these camera spec reveals, Shawn L, Head of Product for Nord, confirmed a few details in the same forum. These were details we had already suspected about the device's display. The Nord will feature a 6.4-inch 90Hz display, which was implemented to fit within the OnePlus "Fast and Smooth" parameters. The team has been "working relentlessly" to optimize the technology, which it first implemented with the OnePlus 7 Pro in 2019. 

In addition to working with the display since last year, OnePlus says its also been perfecting "the littlest details," such as the device's lock screen animations. The forum post describes them as lasting "three seconds" in total, but they're critical to delivering the "Fast and Smooth experience across the board," as are software optimizations. 

The post detailed some of the device's hardware that we already knew about, such as the Snapdragon 7656G chip that comes paired with 12GB of RAM. While the chipset isn't a high-end Snapdragon 8-series one we've come to expect from OnePlus phones, and features in the OnePlus 8 Pro., when combined with that large amount of RAM it promises to be a rather fast phone. 

The OnePlus Nord isn't likely to beat the iPhone SE in performance, as Apple's cheapest smartphone has the A13 Bionic chip, the same one found in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max. But with a 4.7-inch display and a single rear camera, the iPhone SE can't match the OnePlus Nord.

However, those are on-paper specs. The real winner will be decided through our own testing and various head-to-head comparisons. We will bring you more once we've put the Nord through its paces. 

So far, all signs point to the Nord being a fantastic budget phone. And it looks like there could still be a chance for it to come to the US. 

Tuomas Lampen, OnePlus's head of European Strategy, said in a Tom’s Guide interview that Europe and India will be used as a test area to gauge sales performance in those areas. If the Nord appears to be in demand, it could end up making its way westward. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the coming days leading up to the OnePlus Nord’s July 21 unveiling.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.