OnePlus Z price could be just $299 as co-founder’s tweet sets off firestorm

(Image credit: 91Mobiles and @OnLeaks)

The OnePlus Z is one of the most anticipated Android phones of 2020, and that’s because the company is reportedly returning to its value-priced roots after launching the more premium OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.

How cheap will the OnePlus Z (aka OnePlus Nord) be? A new tweet by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has set off speculation that the OnePlus Z could be as cheap as $299, which would undercut the Pixel 4a and the iPhone SE 2020. But lets look at the substance of the tweet before we get too ahead of ourselves.

The tweet from Carl Pei merely says that “It’s been a while” and embeds a link to the original OnePlus One, which launched in 2014. As Android Central reminds us, the OnePlus One started at $299 for the 16GB model.

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Is Pei just waxing nostalgic? Probably not. There's a reason he's tweeting about that older phone now. It likely means that OnePlus is getting closer to launching a OnePlus Z phone, and it’s release date could be imminent. But the co-founder does not specifically mention price.

But if the OnePlus Z is as cheap as $299, it would be $50 less than the rumored $349 price of the Google Pixel 4a — which is apparently delayed. And it would also undercut the iPhone SE by $100. 

In terms of what you should expect for your money, the OnePlus Z/OnePlus Nord will reportedly feature a 6.4-inch OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and possibly a Snapdragon 768G processor, which would also enable 5G connectivity. But we find it very hard to believe that OnePlus could offer a 5G phone for under $300.

Leakers seem to be divided around how many cameras the OnePlus Z could have, with one report saying it could be three lenses and another as many as four. Again, the latter scenario would not be happening if the OnePluz Z were that cheap.

We’ll have to wait and see just how affordable the OnePlus Z winds up being. So for now, color us intrigued but not convinced by this tease. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.