Oneplus Nord – The Best Budget Phone You Will Never Buy

Oneplus is a big deal in most of the world, but especially where I am from, Sweden. Not only did one of the founders, Carl Pei, grow up there, but for almost 6 years, the company have produced the most bang-for-the-buck smartphones in the world.

Oneplus strategy was very simple: Create a phone that is almost as good as the best phones on the market for around 60% of the price. They did this by not spending any money on commercials and cutting out middlemen by only selling their phones through their own web shop. This strategy has been immensely successful, and the brand has gotten a cult following over the years.

However, over the last two years, Oneplus have started to raise their prices and last year their newest model, Oneplus 8 Pro, had a price-tag almost in line with the most expensive iPhones or Samsung phones.

Fans were furious and Oneplus’ sales started to go down. This is when Carl Pei came out on social media, confessing to the world that Oneplus has failed its fans. As a call for retribution, he said that Oneplus is working on a new phone called Oneplus Nord, which will have the same specs as the best phones out there, but cost less than half the price.

And so, yesterday Oneplus Nord was released with these specs:

ONEPLUS NORD SPECS (Price from €399 or ¥49,000):

  • Screen: 6.44-inch OLED, 2400 x 1080 resolution with a 20:9 aspect ratio
  • Rear cameras: wide-angle 48-megapixel, ultrawide 8-megapixel (119-degree) lens, 2-megapixel macro camera, 5-megapixel depth sensor
  • Selfie camera: wide-angle 32-megapixel, ultrawide 8-megapixel (105-degree) camera
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • Memory: 8GB or 12GB RAM
  • Storage: 128GB to 256GB
  • Battery: 4115mAh 
  • OS: Android 10 
  • Connectivity: 5G
  • Biometric authentication: fingerprint sensor
  • Fast charging: Warp Charge 30T (80% charge in less than 15 minutes)

This is by far the best phone you can get in this price range. However, there is one catch: Oneplus Nord, or any other Oneplus phone, is not sold in Japan. The only way to get your hands on one to import it, and while its still a viable option, you don’t get things like a Suica compatible NFC-chip or the mandatory loud shutter sound when taking pictures (if that’s something you want).

If you, like me, drools when you see the specs of this phone, I would advise you to go to the Oneplus Nord community forum and ask if they can start focusing on Japan. Only if they get enough attention from Japanese enthusiasts are they every likely to sell their phones here.

Until then, just know that next time you look at a new phone, there are better options than the ones that cost more than month’s salary…

FIXER Inc. Rei Samuelsson
  • FIXER Inc. Rei Samuelsson
  • In charge of obtaining and maintaining Microsoft's highest Azure-partner certification: The Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP).
    The Azure Expert MSP certification has only been rewarded to 32 IT-Service providers around the world and the requirements are the most stringent of any Microsoft program.