OnePlus Z leak gives it a big advantage over iPhone SE and Pixel 4a

OnePlus Z design
(Image credit: 91Mobiles and @OnLeaks)

The OnePlus Z's processor has been leaked. And while this budget-friendly phone is likely to face strong competition from the upcoming Google Pixel 4a and the new iPhone SE, OnePlus will have a big advantage over those two handsets.

Max J of All About Samsung (via 9to5Google) posted the below tweet with the news that the OnePlus Z will use a Snapdragon 765G CPU. This is Qualcomm's chip for mid-range Android phones, compared to the Snapdragon 865 found in many flagship phones. 

However, the 765 has an advantage in that it has 5G capabilities built-in, while the 865 requires a separate 5G modem which takes up more space inside a handset. You'll likely pay more for the OnePlus Z versus the iPhone SE and Pixel 4a, but this feature alone could be worth it.

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Earlier leaks had claimed the new cheaper OnePlus would feature a MediaTek Dimensity 1000 CPU, a cheaper but less powerful processor. However, the new leak seems to point to OnePlus changing its mind, and as Max J has leaked other OnePlus information before, he has a good track record for accuracy. 

Compared to the iPhone SE, the OnePlus Z's 765G system-on-a-chip is a mixed blessing. In terms of power, it's not going to match up to the A13 Bionic chip in the SE, which can soundly defeat even the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 in several tests. 

However, the 765 contains a 5G modem, meaning the OnePlus Z will be surprisingly future-proof for a mid-range device. While the iPhone SE will likely have a long life of operating system updates, based on the lengthy support Apple provides for its phones, it won't ever be able to access faster and more reliable 5G signals.

A more direct Android competitor is Google's Pixel 4a. The Pixel 4a is rumored to cost $399. However, Google's next mid-range phone is potentially using the non-5G Snapdragon 730 processor instead, making it less powerful and less future-proof than the OnePlus Z. The Pixel 5 has also been tipped to use the same Snapdragon 765 as the OnePlus phone, but will likely cost a lot more due to other features.

The OnePlus Z is tipped for a July release, likely costing between $550 and $650. Aside from the chipset, other rumored features include a 6.4-inch display, three rear cameras, a 4,000 mAh battery and the same 30W wired fast charging that OnePlus uses on its other recent handsets.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.