OnePlus has long been rumored to be working on a ‘Lite’ smartphone with slightly watered-down specs compared to its vanilla ‘flagship killers’, but those rumors have been proven wrong year after year. Instead of launching a ‘Lite’ device, OnePlus’ budget smartphone ambitions gained fruition in the form of the OnePlus Nord family. But as per a new report, OnePlus might finally jump the ‘Lite’ bandwagon next year by launching the OnePlus 9 Lite. OnePlus 9 series is expected to break cover in March, so we’ll likely come across more details in the day leading up to the launch event.
Expect some cutbacks in camera capability and build quality
As per Android Central, the OnePlus 9 Lite will debut alongside the OnePlus 9 and its more powerful Pro sibling. This marks the second major shift in OnePlus’ core smartphone strategy. The company switched to a two-product scheme in 2019 when it launched the OnePlus 7 Pro alongside the OnePlus 7, and is apparently forking the approach into a three-phones-at-once strategy. Unfortunately, details about the OnePlus 9 Lite’s internal hardware or design attributes are still under the wraps, save for the SoC powering it.
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According to the report, the OnePlus 9 Lite will come armed with the Snapdragon 865 SoC that can be found inside a majority of 2020 Android flagships. Now, the aforementioned SoC might be a year old in the face of Qualcomm’s latest flagship – the Snapdragon 888 – but it can still handle any task you throw at it with ease and will continue to do so for at least another year. The choice of SoC is not surprising, as OnePlus will be cutting some corners to bring down the costs of making the OnePlus 9T.
We can expect the OnePlus 9 Lite to pack at least three rear cameras or even four, if the budget-centric OnePlus Nord is anything to go by. Another key area where OnePlus will likely make a few concessions is by using less premium build material and eschewing a few other reserved-for-high-end-smartphone tricks such as wireless charging. Any information about pricing is also non-existent at the moment, but OnePlus will likely position the OnePlus 9T in the same price bracket where the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and Google Pixel 5 have been garnering some laurels.