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OnePlus launches a Pac-Man edition of its Nord 2 smartphone

OnePlus is known for its special edition phones, and now it’s creating another for its latest Nord 2 5G smartphone — but this time, it’s moving from iconic cars to iconic video games. The company has unveiled the OnePlus Nord 2 x Pac-Man edition with custom covers, themed wallpapers and even a Lego-like smartphone holder. 

The back of the phone has a film with a small Pac-Man logo, and it even glows in the dark to reveal a maze. There’s also a translucent themed case featuring Pac-Man and his enemies Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. once its turned on, you get one of eight Pac-Man-themed wallpapers, along with a Pac-Man-themed charging animation, redesigned retro icons/notification sounds and more. The box is also Pac-Man themed.

OnePlus launches a Pac-Man addition of its Nord 2 smartphone

OnePlus

If also comes with a Lego-like Pac-Man stand you build yourself, provided you order it directly from OnePlus. Finally, it includes a pre-installed version of the 2015 (free-to-play) game Pac-Man 256. 

Otherwise, it’s the same OnePlus Nord 2 we recently tried, complete with a 6.43-inch 1080 90Hz OLED display, MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI processor and 4,500mAh, 65W fast-charging battery. On the back, you’ll find a triple-camera setup with a 50-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel monochrome camera. It goes on sale tomorrow for £499/€529/₹37,999 in the UK, Europe and India respectively, and as with the regular Nord 2, isn’t available in the US. 

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OnePlus Nord CE 5G teasers and leaks spill all the beans

OnePlus already confirmed the existence of its next mid-range phone, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G. Since then, a lot of rumors and leaks have sprung up but, in typical OnePlus fashion, it isn’t letting others drive the narrative. Instead, it is doing its own bit of teasing of the features that its fans can expect and, to be fair, it definitely bodes well, despite some of the things that the OnePlus Nord CE 5G will be leaving cutting out.

With a name like “Core Edition”, OnePlus already let it be known that the Nord CE 5G will offer “distilled essentials”. What that means in practice is still unknown but some have already leaked the use of an older Snapdragon 750G, which isn’t confirmed yet. What is more or less confirmed, however, is the single front-facing camera down from the OnePlus Nord’s two.

That confirmation comes from OnePlus itself while teasing the phone’s 64MP camera. The short clip, along with other official teasers, also confirms the phone’s design. Contrary to rumors, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G will still have the same camera design as its predecessor, though the LED flash may have been moved down just a bit.

OnePlus also confirms one very important good news for Nord hopefuls. Despite boasted to be thinner, the phone still has room for a 3.5mm headphone jack, a feature that was missing from the original OnePlus Nord. This will definitely be welcome in target markets where wired earphones are still the norm.

Pricebaba provides the revised render pictured above that looks eerily similar to the first OnePlus Nord in most ways. Other leaks also hint at a 90Hz 6.43-inch screen, also similar to the OG Nord, and other features that make it seem few things have changed. We will get the final details in a few days on June 10 so it won’t be a long wait for those interested in what the next-gen OnePlus Nord will bring to the already congested mid-range phone market.

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OnePlus Nord CE 5G specs leak has everything you want to know

Last year, OnePlus embarked on a new journey towards the mid-tier smartphone market with its new Nord series, and, at least according to the company, they are hot-selling items in markets where they launched. It’s a bit curious, then, that the next OnePlus Nord that the company will launch might actually be a slight downgrade from the first one. Regardless, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is coming next week and this latest leak leaves no stone unturned.

Granted, the switch from a Snapdragon 765G in the OnePlus Nord to the Snapdragon 750G rumored for the OnePlus Nord CE 5G isn’t as big a step down as it may sound. Dropping from two to a single 16MP front-facing camera, on the other hand, may disappoint some but is probably negligible. There is also one less camera on its back but the main camera does get upgraded to 64MP.

In other aspects, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G does have some upgrades but a lot is also the same, at least according to MySmartPrice’s report. The battery is larger at 4,500 mAh but the memory and storage selections are the same as last year’s model, which means 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 64 or 128 GB of storage. There’s also an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is also present last year.

All in all, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G seems to live up to its name of being a “Core Edition”, which means a distilled OnePlus Nord experience. Whether or not it will live up to expectations as a successor of the first OnePlus Nord remains to be seen when the company unveils it on June 10.

According to the leak, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will cost around 25,000 INR, roughly $340. Of course, OnePlus already announced that it will launch first in India and European markets and North American customers will have to wait for a much more “distilled” OnePlus Nord N200 5G later this year.

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OnePlus Nord OxygenOS 11 update paused due to bug complaints

OnePlus has always been proud of how quickly it is able to turn its ship, especially when it comes to implementing new software features or putting out updates. It’s not really out of the ordinary that, just like any other smartphone maker, it would sometimes fail to catch bugs before they reach users but it seems that OxygenOS 11 has been quite problematic for it more than previous updates. No OnePlus phone series seems to have unaffected, including the OnePlus Nord that just got the update last week before being paused suddenly.

After more than two months in the making, owners of the first OnePlus Nord may have been delighted to finally receive the stable OxygenOS 11 update last Monday. Not only did it bring Android 11 with it, it also promised an upgraded experience, mostly thanks to its new user experiences and UI. Their rejoicing may have been premature, unfortunately, as some OnePlus Nord users discovered to their dismay.

A OnePlus staff member in the community forums announced that they have temporarily paused rolling out the OxygenOS 11 update for the OnePlus Nord. This is blamed on bugs that were detected (read: reported) after the update has already been installed on users’ devices. Unfortunately, there seems to be no fix for those already affected by these issues other than to wait for a later update to fix them.

The post doesn’t actually mention which bugs afflicted users but there have been a growing number of complaints that seem to cover all corners of performance. Those range from battery drain and charging issues to misbehaving apps to, perhaps more worryingly, being locked out of the secure App Locker space.

It is definitely disheartening to hear of another problematic OxygenOS 11 rollout, especially considering how the entire release seems to have been controversial for one reason or another. Aside from bugs in both beta and stable releases, OnePlus’ decision to move away from the fan-favorite stock Android experience just didn’t sit well with some users. It is unknown whether these big changes are, in fact, also to blame for the buggy release.

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OnePlus Nord 2 leak might sound disappointing to some

Although it doesn’t reach the top 5 in terms of numbers, OnePlus is arguably one of the more well-known brands in the smartphone market, particularly among Android phones. Its mix of specs and price continues to enchant some consumers, even though those prices continue to climb every year. It launched the OnePlus Nord to balance the scales and the mid-range phone received the same warm welcome in markets where it was made available. Its successor, however, might give some fans pause as it switches out the most important component from Qualcomm to MediaTek.

You could almost say that OnePlus has been, so far, a Qualcomm shop, with all its phones powered by one Snapdragon or another. That’s true even for the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and OnePlus Nord N100, budget phones that, in another time or place, would have used a MediaTek processor known for being more affordable than Qualcomm’s equivalent. That chain might finally be broken if Android Central’s insider tip comes to pass.

The OnePlus Nord 2 will allegedly use a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 instead of whatever Snapdragon 7-series Qualcomm will have this year. On paper, this is quite an upgrade from the first OnePlus Nord’s Snapdragon 765G as the Dimensity 1200 is the company’s top-tier 5G processor. On paper, it would be racing against a Snapdragon 8-series instead.

In practice, it remains to be seen how well the Dimensity 1200 will perform. MediaTek hasn’t exactly been known for its raw performance and more for its balance of price and power. That said, offering 5G at higher clock speeds will benefit buyers’ pockets as well.

The bigger winner here is perhaps MediaTek, who is able to bag yet another big player in the smartphone market. While Qualcomm retains its grip on the high-end premium market as always, MediaTek’s 5G Dimensity chips are slowly gnawing away at its share, even with 5G-capable Snapdragon 6-series processors available.

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OnePlus Nord finally gets OxygenOS 11 with Android 11

Although not really its flagship brand, the OnePlus Nord was definitely one of the company’s highlights last year. It came at an opportune time when people were looking towards mid-range phones due to a pandemic and a global economic crisis. The phone also came just months before Google rolled out Android 11 to the masses, which meant that owners of OnePlus’ first new mid-range line would have to wait to get their turn. That time has finally come and, after two months cooking in beta, OxygenOS 11 is ready to be served with Android 11 on the side.

The biggest change in OxygenOS 11 is, of course, the fact that Android 11 is part of the package. That, ironically, might also be the last thing that users will actually notice. They will first notice the user-visible changes that the update brings and not all of them have sat well with OnePlus users.

OxygenOS 11 is the first time that OnePlus diverged greatly from the stock Android UI, offering that the company argues is a more comfortable experience that takes into account the taller phones we have today. This style of UI has easily been compared with Samsung’s new One UI, which is as non-stock Android as it gets. Ironically, it seems that stock Android itself might be taking a few steps in that direction as well.

That new user experience might be the highlight but it is far from the only new treat coming to OnePlus Nord owners. Other notable changes the company highlighted include new ways to manually or automatically toggle Dark Mode as well as new features for Ambient Display, a.k.a. Always-on-Display. Under the hood, Android 11 itself brings a new power button menu with shortcuts for smart home controls as well as official chat bubbles.

The OnePlus Nord OxygenOS 11 update comes at a massive 2.77GB and the company strongly advises that users keep the phone’s battery above 30% while updating. With the OnePlus Nord now updated, owners of the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and OnePlus Nord N100 will probably start wondering when they will get the same treatment this year if at all.

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OnePlus Nord N1 5G could be the company’s next mid-range phone

One upon a time, OnePlus’ product line was predictable. In order to diversify its portfolio and cater to an underserved market, the company that tried to Never Settle opened up a new series of phones under its Nord brand. That’s when the naming gets a bit confusing with the OnePlus Nord, OnePlus Nord N10, and OnePlus Nord N100. And since that’s not confusing enough, it seems that the next one in the line is the OnePlus Nord N1 5G.

To be fair, the lines that delineate the first three OnePlus Nord phones are a bit clear, at least for now. The first OnePlus Nord, which was not made available in the US, occupied a higher mid-range tier that ran on a Snapdragon 765G. The OnePlus Nord N100 sat on the opposite end of the spectrum, being the brand’s entry-level option and the only one of the three without 5G capabilities.

The OnePlus Nord N10 5G is squarely in the middle, bearing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 series with 5G capability. Now according to tipster Max Jambor, this is the model that will actually have a successor and it will be called, not the Nord N11 but the OnePlus Nord N1 5G. This arguably throws any theory about the OnePlus Nord naming scheme out the window.

Other than the name, however, nothing else about this new mid-range phone is known at this point. It will have 5G support, as indicated in the name. Presuming the OnePlus Nord without the “N” will still have a successor, this will most likely be delivered by the Snapdragon 690 or whatever new silicon Qualcomm launches later this year.

When that will happen is also still unknown, though the OnePlus Nord N10 was launched back in October last year. In the meantime, however, OnePlus has yet to launch the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro along with a rumored “lite” OnePlus 9E model in a few months.

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It sure sounds like OnePlus’s affordable and attractive 5G Nord will never come to the U.S.

If you’re waiting for OnePlus’s U.S. website to update with ordering information for the new 5G Nord, we’ve got some bad news. It’s not happening. Not later today or probably ever.

The announcement of the long-rumored and oddly named Nord represents a return to OnePlus’s mid-range mindset, but it’s only launching in Europe and India. And while sales of the OnePlus 8 Pro are reportedly not great, the company isn’t looking to bring the Nord to the States: “Our history has shown that focusing on just a few markets first and then expanding has worked well. While this new smartphone product line will initially be available in Europe and India, we look forward to bringing more affordable smartphones to North America in the future.”

The phrasing might leave the door open to a possible launch, but the statement doesn’t sound like the Nord is ever coming to the U.S. That’s a shame. Even without the latest processor or display tech, the Nord is an extremely attractive 5G phone that brings flagship style and performance at an excellent price:

  • Dimensions: 73.3 x 158.3 x 8.2 mm
  • Display: 6.44-inch OLED, Full HD (2400 x 1080), 90Hz
  • Processor: Snapdragon 765 5G
  • RAM: 8GB/12GB
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB
  • Front camera: 32MP Wide + 8MP Ultra-wide (105 degrees)
  • Rear camera: 48MP Wide + 8MP Ultra-wide (119 degrees) + 2MP Macro+ 5MP Depth
  • Battery: 4,115mAh

The OnePlus Nord may cost hundreds less—399 Euros, which works out to around $450 with current conversion rates—but it includes many of the flagship features from the $699 OnePlus 8 and $899 OnePlus 8 Pro. It’s got a 90Hz display for smooth scrolling, 30T Warp Charge for super-fast charging, and of course, 5G. It also includes the company’s first dual-selfie cam as well as the same 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor as the OnePlus 8. Of note, it also forgoes OnePlus’s own message and phone apps for Google’s stock Android apps, also a first.

Following the thousand-dollar OnePlus 8 Plus, the Nord’s price and philosophy is a refreshing return to the Never Settle motto. Unless, of course, you bought a OnePlus 8 and feel a little cheated. Or was thinking of buying the OnePlus 8 Pro and are now wondering why it’s so expensive. In a sea of extremely high priced 5G phones, the Nord could have been a hit for the OnePlus in the U.S., but alas, the only place to get one will likely be eBay.

Whether the Nord is a sign of things to come for future OnePlus handsets remains to be seen, but for now, U.S. fans likely have a long wait ahead of them.

Update 7/21: Added details about the Nord’s pricing.

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