Tipster Max Jambor opened the can of worms on a potential follow-up in early February, when he offered up a name for the next entry in the Nord family, with the OnePlus Nord “N1 5G”.
On the one hand, it was exciting to hear about a new Nord device so soon into 2021, on the other, the use of the ‘N1′ naming convention, paired with the phone’s intended position as the N10’s follow-up raised some questions about how easy consumers would find following OnePlus’ brand strategy with the Nord name.
To add to the confusion, on 16 May – contradicting his original leak – Jambor suggested that the device originally branded as the N1 5G might now be operating under the name “Nord CE 5G”.
̷N̷o̷r̷d̷ ̷N̷1̷ ̷5̷G̷ pic.twitter.com/2dBSvv77G1
— Max Jambor (@MaxJmb) May 16, 2021
Then, on 27 May, in an interview with TechRadar, OnePlus’ CEO Pete Lau confirmed the existence and official name of the Nord CE 5G, explaining that ‘CE’ stands for ‘Core Edition’.
Expanding on what this new naming convention means, Lau stated, “we have distilled the original Nord down to its core elements, and added a few extra features to create a great everyday phone at an even more affordable price.”
We talk more about the latest developments on the Nord CE in our weekly podcast, Fast Charge:
When does the OnePlus Nord CE 5G launch?
The original Nord made its debut on 21 July 2020 and became available for purchase in Europe on 4 August 2020, while the Nord N10 wasn’t unveiled until late October 2020 and went on sale in Europe on 27 November 2020.
During his recent interview, Lau confirmed that the Nord CE 5G would be coming to both Indian and European markets, starting 10 June. He also made mention of a US/Canada-exclusive device, called the ‘Nord N200 5G’, but that’s not expected to arrive until later.
OnePlus has subsequently formally announced its forthcoming ‘Summer Launch Event‘, scheduled for 10 June, kicking off at 3pm BST/4pm CEST, but 30 minutes earlier in India, at 7pm IST.
The event page on OnePlus’ website is set up to tease various features of the device in the days leading up to the launch event, which started with the physical outline of the device being showcased on 31 May and the thickness (a svelte 7.9mm) being revealed on 2 June. More features are due to debut on 4 June and 8 June.
A look at OnePlus India’s events page also provides a timeline for the CE 5G’s rollout (alongside the OnePlus TV U Series U1S release), citing pre-order availability for Red Cable Club members (a virtual members club for regional OnePlus fans that includes special offers and early access) from 11 June and general availability of the CE 5G from 16 June. It’s unclear if these dates apply to other markets at this stage.
Fans eager to get hands on a Nord CE 5G actually have a chance ahead of the phone’s launch, with the OnePlus Summer Launch Lottery, which runs from 2 June to 9 June (in the UK – dates of the competition vary by region). After signing up, two participants each day are chosen at random to receive a voucher that will let them claim a free Nord CE 5G at launch.
How much will the OnePlus Nord CE 5G cost?
The Nord N10 5G touched down in late 2020 with an opening price of £329 in the UK and €349 in Europe (and later $299.99 in the US). OnePlus has since dropped the price of the N10 in the UK and Europe but if the Nord CE 5G is set to be the N10’s direct successor then there’s every chance it’ll cost around the same.
If, however, the CE is intended to slot in between the price points established by the N10 and the original Nord (now more likely based on Lau’s words) – then the phone could fall between £339 and £369 (approximately $470 to $510).
What features will the OnePlus Nord CE 5G have?
After the discovery of a new Nord device – codenamed ‘Ebba’ – first emerged, it was OnLeaks that suggested it was a follow-up to the Nord N10, rather than a successor to the original Nord. Not only that, but he shared renders and a few key specs of the device via his Voice page.
While Lau later confirmed the Nord CE 5G’s existence, he didn’t supply any hardware details relating to the phone, leaving OnLeaks’ (and other tipsters’) content to fill in the gaps. He did, however, say that the “OnePlus Nord CE 5G delivers a fast and smooth experience and powerful core features all backed by the OnePlus quality users know and love.”
“Making the signature OnePlus experience more accessible is a balancing act, but there are certain classic flagship features which we have brought onto the OnePlus Nord series this year to ensure we are delivering that fast and smooth experience with the Nord series,” he added.
According to OnLeaks, the device sports a flat 6.49in panel with a punch-hole camera on the front and a triple camera on the rear. The phone is 8.4mm thick and includes a 3.5mm headphone jack. It will feature a metal frame with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, but the phone’s rear is ‘glossy plastic’.
Core. And a little bit more.
That’s the #OnePlusNordCE5G for you.
See for yourself on Thursday, June 10, at 7pm IST
— OnePlus India (@OnePlus_IN) May 31, 2021
One design element that neither OnLeaks’ renders or OnePlus’ own teased silhouette features is any obvious presence of a physical alert slider, suggesting the brand’s signature hardware control will be sorely absent from the CE 5G, once it lands.
‘Ebba’ – thought to be the Nord CE 5G – has since been spotted on India’s IMDA certification too.
The name confirms that 5G is part of the equation, which may narrow down the potential chipsets it could leverage – likely from Qualcomm, OnePlus’ long-term chip maker of choice – although the Nord 2 is reportedly switching to MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200, so non-Snapdragon internals aren’t completely out of the question on this device too.
Android Central has subsequently chimed in, citing ‘insider sources’ which claim (contrary to OnLeaks) that the CE 5G will feature a 6.43in 90Hz AMOLED display. A 64Mp lead camera (with two additional sensors), along with a 16Mp front-facer are also said to feature, while the phone’s design is said to follow in the footsteps of the OnePlus 9 Series.
Most interestingly, on the subject of chipsets, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G is said to feature; the same chip powering devices like the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G to great effect.
As for everything else, beyond running the company’s skinned take on Android – Oxygen OS – there’s little else that we can say with certainty until more details emerge from the woodwork.
For reference, here’s the OnePlus Nord N10 5G’s spec sheet:
- 6.49in 20:9 Full HD+ 90Hz IPS LCD w/ Gorilla Glass 3
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 processor
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- microSD expandability up to 512GB
- Rear cameras:
- 64Mp main sensor
- 8Mp ultrawide w/ 119° FoV
- 2Mp macro sensor
- 2Mp monochrome sensor
- 16Mp front-facing hole-punch camera
- Android 10 w/ OxygenOS 10.5
- Rear fingerprint sensor
- Dual stereo speakers
- 4300mAh battery
- Warp Charge 30T (30W fast charging)
- Bluetooth 5.1
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- 163 x 74.7 x 8.95mm
- 190 grams
- Colours: Midnight Ice