We may have just found out what the OnePlus Nord 2's chipset and release date are.
Leaker Chun (via T3) revealed in a new tweet that OnePlus is working on a phone with a Snapdragon 662 or Snapdragon 665 processor, which will be released in India at the end of September. They also mention that Oppo, OnePlus' stablemate at BBK Electronics, will be bringing out a similar phone for a similar price earlier in September.
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The 16,000 to 18,000 rupee price range is roughly equivalent to $215 - $250, which would be substantially cheaper than even the $500 OnePlus Nord - just note that's a rough conversion from the U.K. price of £379, as the OnePlus Nord hasn't made it over to the U.S. yet. It again points to OnePlus experimenting with a true budget handset, one which would take on the likes of the Moto G Power or the TCL 10L, which use Snapdragon 6-series chipsets.
OPPO in early September: release a phone using Snapdragon 662 priced under 20k in IndiaOnePlus at the end of September: release a phone using Snapdragon 662/665 priced around 16-18k in India pic.twitter.com/s26n3S27o2August 23, 2020
OnePlus has been trying out several new chipset configurations however. We've seen OnePlus test handsets with a Snapdragon 690 chip too, which would still be less powerful than the Nord, but would be more powerful than the 665 chip this new leak reveals.
The 690 chip also offers 5G connectivity, an increasingly important feature on new phones. Using the 4G-only 662/665 chips would make the phone cheaper, and more in line with its rivals, but at the expense of future proofing the phone, which the Nord takes care of with its 5G-capable Snapdragon 765 chip.
There's not a huge amount of definite information on OnePlus' next cheap phone, beyond the assumption it will carry on the design touches established on the Nord. While the phone may be simply named the Nord 2 or Nord Lite, there's also been rumblings of a device called the OnePlus Aurora, which would continue OnePlus' new polar/Nordic-inspired naming convention.
With Chun claiming the phone will launch at the end of September, we might reasonably assume that this will be when we will also see OnePlus' refreshed 8 series phones, the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro. These will be very similar to the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, but will offer some minor improvements, such as a new Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset.