OnePlus is gearing up to launch the flagship OnePlus 9 series later this month, and unsurprisingly, a ton of leaks have already made their way online. While the upcoming high-end devices will certainly hog the limelight, it appears that the budget-centric Nord phones will also make some splash this year. As per a report from Android Central that cites insider sources, the OnePlus Nord 2 will reportedly make its debut in Q2 2021.
Goodbye mid-range Qualcomm SoC. Welcome, flagship MediaTek silicon!
More importantly, the OnePlus Nord 2 is said to employ the flagship MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC. Now, this is a major strategy shift for both OnePlus, and the Nord family as a whole. From a brand perspective, this would mark the first time that OnePlus is looking elsewhere other than Qualcomm, and also the first time that it is sourcing MediaTek chips for a smartphone.
The other, and arguably the more important change that will likely alter the whole perception of the series is because of the processor that OnePlus Nord 2 is going to use – the Dimensity 1200 SoC. The Nord smartphones have so far used a low-end Qualcomm processor, and the furthest it has gone was the mid-tier Snapdragon 765G SoC inside the vanilla OnePlus Nord. As for the Dimensity 1200, it is currently the top-of-the-line processor in MediaTek’s 5G portfolio.
Dimensity 1200 brings OnePlus Nord 2 closer to flagships, but the price might surge too
While this is a welcome change, as it means offering more raw power in the hands of budget smartphone buyers, it would also mean that the price of OnePlus Nord 2 might be significantly higher compared to the OnePlus Nord. And mind you, an aggressive asking price is what made the OnePlus Nord such a big hit in the first place. MediaTek, on the other hand, will score a lot of reputation points after pocketing an esteemed client like OnePlus.
As for the MediaTek silicon rumored to power the OnePlus Nord 2, the Dimensity 1200 is based on the 6nm process and has an octa-core architecture with 1+3+4 core design. It offers an Arm Cortex-A78 prime core clocked up to 3GHz for demanding tasks, sitting alongside three Cortex-A78 cores, and four ARM Cortex-A55 cores. It also offers a host of other high-end bells and whistles such as support for up to 168Hz refresh rate panels, 200MP still photography, 4K HDR video capture, and even ray-tracing support in mobile games.