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OnePlus Nord 2 specs leak reveals a big surprise

OnePlus Nord review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The OnePlus Nord range has been quiet for a few months, but rumors about the OnePlus Nord 2 are starting to pick up, this time seemingly confirming that there’s going to be a brand new chip.

Weibo user Digital Chat Station has reiterated past rumors that the OnePlus Nord 2 will come with a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset instead of a traditional Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

We first heard this rumor back in March, with sources saying that the OnePlus Nord 2 would not feature a mid-range Snapdragon 7-series chipset. The original OnePlus Nord did, while the cheaper OnePlus Nord N100 and OnePlus Nord N10 5G were both powered by the Snapdragon 690 and 460 chipsets, respectively.

At the time we pointed out that MediaTek’s chips are a lot more affordable than Qualcomm’s. That’s partly down to the fact that they aren’t as popular, and also means those chips are typically found in a lot of cheap phones. Phones like, potentially, the OnePlus Nord series.

Digital Chat Station’s post corroborates that old rumor, and confirms that OnePlus is working with the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 (MT6893), even if they didn’t mention the OnePlus Nord 2 by name. That chip is designed to go up against Qualcomm’s flagship 8-series chips, so it should offer a big upgrade from the mid-range 7-series chips we’ve had before.

The Dimensity 1200 packs in eight cores including a 3GHz Cortex A78 prime core, three 2.6GHz A78 cores, and four 2.0GHz efficiency cores. It also supports refresh rates up to 168Hz, offers ray tracing support, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, 5G and 5G dual SIM support, 200MP photos, and 4K HDR video recording.

That’s not confirming that the OnePlus Nord 2 would have all of those features. But having the Dimensity 1200 means it could, if OnePlus wanted, and for a lower pricetag than Qualcomm has to offer.

We probably shouldn't expect the Dimensity 1200 to be able to go head to head with the Snapdragon 888, however. After all the Nord is not the OnePlus 9, and MediaTek’s chips have a history of being underpowered. So we’ll likely see it lag behind top-tier phones. 

But, of course, the OnePlus Nord 2 isn’t built to offer the best of the best of the best. It's predecessor has a lot of flagship features for an affordable price, but to get that affordable price some compromises have to be made. SO for the OnePlus Nord 2, one compromise could be overall chip power; time will tell if that is indeed the case. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.