While the OnePlus Nord was very well-received from all quarters, especially with that more affordable price point, rumors of a Lite version have been swirling for some time – one that will actually go on sale in the US.
Now we have the OnePlus Nord Lite, only it's not called that, and there are two handsets rather than one. Say hello to the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the OnePlus Nord N100.
These two phones are available for even less of your hard-earned cash than the original OnePlus Nord, and are immediately worth a look if you're looking for a value-for-money smartphone running Android. In some ways it's a return to the low pricing of OnePlus phones of the past.
Here's everything you need to know about the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the OnePlus Nord N100, aka what we thought would be the OnePlus Nord Lite.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Even more affordable OnePlus smartphones
- When is it out? November 10 (Nord N100), sometime in November (Nord N10 5G)
- What will it cost? £179 (about $230, AU$330) for the Nord N100, £329 (about $430, AU$600) for the Nord N10 5G
OnePlus Nord Lite release date and price
After months of rumors, and plenty of hints from OnePlus itself, the Nord N10 5G and the Nord N100 finally saw the light of day on October 26. Previously, OnePlus did tease the existence of both phones in a recent tweet.
The official line is that the OnePlus Nord N100 will be available to buy in the UK from November 10, with the Nord N10 5G available to buy "later in November". OnePlus has promised availability details for the US "at a future date".
We know that the OnePlus Nord N10 5G will be the most expensive of the pair, coming in at £329 (about $430, AU$600) – that's almost as much as the original Nord. The OnePlus Nord N100 is the true budget phone, selling for £179 (about $230, AU$330).
OnePlus says the phones are definitely heading to the US as well as Europe and other markets, though as yet it hasn't confirmed the US pricing. Whatever the final figure, it's unlikely to be a straight currency conversion.
Design and display
The OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the OnePlus Nord N100 don't depart too much from the standard OnePlus design aesthetic: the rear camera panels are up in the top left-hand corner, with punch hole cameras on the front.
If you squint you might think you were looking at a OnePlus 8T, though the two new 'lite' phones have a fingerprint sensor on the back rather than one embedded in the front of the display.
The more expensive Nord N10 5G comes with a 6.49-inch FHD+ LCD display running at a 90 Hz refresh rate. The Nord N100, on the other hand, sports a 6.52-inch LCD HD+ panel but no speedy refresh rate.
It turns out that the leaked images we saw prior to the phones being revealed weren't too far off the mark – you can see the distinctive camera block shape in the tweet embedded below.
In terms of overall dimensions, the OnePlus Nord N100 is the bigger phone of the two, as you would expect with the bigger screen, although there are only a few millimeters in it.
There's just one color option in each case: Midnight Ice for the N10 5G and Midnight Frost for the N100.
📷 / 🔵 pic.twitter.com/RnFOB239y8October 21, 2020
The finished products match up pretty well with earlier rumors of a 6.52-inch 720 x 1560 IPS LCD display for the Nord Lite. We heard that spec several times in relation mention to the OnePlus Nord N100, while the OnePlus Nord N10 was tipped to have a 6.49-inch FHD+ screen with a 90Hz refresh rate.
Indeed, OnePlus has mentioned that all of its phones from now on will have a high refresh rate, but it would appear that the OnePlus Nord N100 is the exception that proves the rule, to get it to a cheap price point.
The Nord N10 5G comes running a Snapdragon 690 chipset, which is paired with a 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which you can expand if you need to. That's a slightly less powerful setup than the one that powers the OnePlus Nord.
As for the Nord N100, that comes carrying a Snapdragon 460 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (again you have the option of expanding it with a memory card if you need to). That's a pretty low spec – but you're paying a pretty low price).
5G is only available on the Nord N10 5G model, as its name suggests. Neither of these phones will let you down in terms of performance, though the Nord N100 might struggle with more demanding games and apps.
As with the design, the rumor mill was close to the mark in predicting the internal components that these phones would come with, although the waters were slightly muddied due to us only expecting one 'lite' handset to begin with.
Camera and battery
The OnePlus Nord has a whole lot of cameras, with four on the back and two on the front, and the two new phones do their best to keep up.
The OnePlus N10 5G comes with four cameras on the back: a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP monochrome lens. Around the front of the phone you've got a 16MP selfie camera.
With the OnePlus N100, there are three rear cameras: a 13MP main camera, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP bokeh lens. The selfie camera on the front of the phone is an 8MP affair. Those camera specs are just about the best you could expect from the price.
When it comes to battery power, we're looking at a 4,300 mAh capacity battery on the Nord N10 5G, with Warp Charge 30T fast charging. The Nord N100 carries a 5,000mAh battery, though the charging is limited to 18W.
The leaks prior to the launch of the phones were pretty much on the money in most cases, though again there was some confusion over which rumor matched up to which phone. Right up until the official launch, we were seeing accurate leaks.
OnePlus Nord Lite: what we wanted to see
Now that the new OnePlus Nords are official, here's what was on our wishlist before the phones were announced.
1. A super low starting price
With a starting price of £379 (around $480, AU$680) the OnePlus Nord is already fairly affordable, but that's undoubtedly a mid-range price. For the OnePlus Nord Lite we want the price to be significantly lower still, so it can compete with the likes of the Moto G range.
2. A high refresh rate display
OnePlus has always been about the experience as much as raw specifications. So to keep up the feeling of smoothness that the brand's phones are known for, we hope that the OnePlus Nord Lite has a 90Hz display, even if that means switching to an LCD panel.
3. Versatile cameras
When it comes to cameras, the Nord has a whole lot of competition. From the simplicity of the Google Pixel 4a's capable single-lens snapper to the high-resolution quad-camera setups from brands like Redmi and Realme, there are a lot of affordable options for photography fans.
So for the OnePlus Nord Lite, we hope the camera experience isn't diluted too much from the full fat Nord. If OnePlus can deliver lots of cameras at a low price on the Nord Lite, then it could have a seriously tempting phone on its hands.
4. Fast charging
All currently available OnePlus phones charge fast and we don't want that to change for the OnePlus Nord Lite.
Sadly, there's evidence that it might only have 18W charging, rather than the 30W of the Nord, but even that would be reasonable if the price is right.
5. Wide availability
The OnePlus Nord is only available in select parts of the world, and notably isn't available in the US or Australia. For the OnePlus Nord Lite we'd like to see wider availability, with those regions covered as well as the UK - so buyers there have a choice of which Nord to opt for.
- Check out the best OnePlus phones