When the OnePlus Nord launched last year, it got positive reviews from us at BGR India and proved that you don’t need a Snapdragon 800 series chipset to get a premium experience. The starting price of Rs 24,999 for a smartphone relying on Snapdragon 765G chip and a 90Hz AMOLED display seemed like a good deal for gamers and performance enthusiasts. Even though it is the cheapest OnePlus device, it’s in line for an Android 11 update shortly.
However, fast forward to 2021 and you need some luck in finding a OnePlus Nord. The offline channels often state unavailability of stocks whereas online channels only have the high-end 12GB RAM variant to sell. BGR India has been tracking the availability of the Nord for a while and it seems that the two accessible variants won’t be visiting the shelves anytime soon.
Is the OnePlus Nord done? Will OnePlus replace it with a newer model? Read on.
No new stocks of OnePlus Nord
At the time of writing this, both Amazon and OnePlus websites have no new stocks for the entry-level variants of the Nord. The base 6GB RAM variant was a limited-run model during October while the 8GB RAM variant has been out of stock for a while. Only the top-end variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is available for purchase
This seems to hint at two things: either OnePlus is struggling with the Nord’s manufacturing line, or it has no plans to sell it anymore. The company currently seems to be in a stock-clearance mode and will wait until the top-end variant sells out. Since OnePlus has a short shelf-life for its products, there’s a high chance it has stopped manufacturing the Nord in India.
OnePlus 9E leaks suggest a Nord successor
On the other hand, the recent bunch of leaks has revealed a lot about the upcoming OnePlus 9E. Initially expected to be a watered-down version of last year’s OnePlus 8T, the OnePlus 9E now seems to be a budget-friendly smartphone succeeding in the footsteps of the Nord.
Let’s take a quick look at the OnePlus 9E leaked specifications:
-A 6.5-inch 1080p display with 90Hz refresh rate.
-A Snapdragon 690 5G chipset.
-A 64-megapixel primary camera sensor along with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera.
-A 5000mAh battery keeping the lights ON.
While it is too early to believe the leaks, it seems that OnePlus could be using the 9E as its entry-level model in several markets. The use of a Snapdragon 690 hints at OnePlus targeting the extreme low-end of the market. This is weird, given that last year’s Nord was using the more capable Snapdragon 765G chip.
We still feel the OnePlus 9E leaked details are fake and would like to wait for information from renowned tipsters. However, it does hint at a possibility of the OnePlus Nord getting replaced by a newer model.
Going back to the previous speculations, OnePlus could figure out a way to make the OnePlus 9E a flagship killer device. Xiaomi and Motorola have used the Snapdragon 870 chip for their Redmi K40 and Edge S phones respectively. We don’t see any reason as to why OnePlus won’t do the same for the 9E.
With the Snapdragon 870, manufacturers could bring down the prices much lower than that of a Snapdragon 865-powered smartphone. Hence, a OnePlus 9E with a Snapdragon 870 chip, a 90Hz AMOLED display, dual rear cameras, and the old battery setup from the OnePlus 8 could sell at prices closer to the Rs 30,000-mark. OnePlus can afford to sell such a phone at a relatively accessible price
If this ends up being true, the OnePlus 9E would render the Nord pointless. It rests upon OnePlus to either make the Nord lineup more accessible with models similar to Nord N10 and Nord N100. This would also allow the company to make ingress into India’s affordable smartphone segment – a space that’s dominated by Xiaomi, Samsung, and Realme.
What to do if you want to buy the Nord?
Unless you are willing to spend Rs 30,000 on the 12GB RAM variant of the Nord, we suggest you should look at similarly priced yet better equipped alternatives. The Realme X7 Pro with its Dimensity 1000 Plus chip is a better option for mobile gamers. The Pixel 4a at Rs 31,999 with its single rear camera is the best choice for photographers. The iPhone SE and Xiaomi Mi 10T are two more worthy alternatives to consider at this price.