OnePlus Z launch date all but confirmed for July

OnePlus Z
(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

OnePlus has teased another detail about the OnePlus Z (or OnePlus Nord, or whatever it ends up being named): a release window for sometime in July.

A new post on an official OnePlus Instagram account ‘OnePlusLiteZThing’ (named such to poke fun at all the rumored names for the new phone) showed a series of dots and dashes, which fans swiftly corresponded with Morse Code and translated into four letters: J U L Y.

Sadly, there wasn’t anything else in the post pointing to a more specific release date, which we presume they’ll leak – perhaps tucked within another code – in the near future. 

A (non-officially leaked) rumor appearing earlier in June suggested that the release date in India could be July 10. That fits the official window, though we aren’t sure whether that will be a universal release date for the regions that OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed in an official forum post will be getting the phone: India and Europe

Sadly, it doesn’t seem it will launch in the US: in the same post, Lau only stated that its unnamed ‘affordable smartphone product line’ (aka the OnePlus Z) would start in Europe and India, though a successor may end up in the US. "But don’t worry, we’re also looking to bring more affordable smartphones to North America in the near future as well,” the post read.

OnePlus Z – a new affordable phone?

Both Lau and OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei have both tweeted hints at an upcoming phone, and while they could be referring to a different device, all the rumors have pointed to a singular upcoming handset that we’ve come to refer to as the OnePlus Z. (Or the OnePlus Nord, or OnePlus Lite, whatever it may be named.) 

While rumors initially suggested this will be a more affordable device than the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, which have crept up in price to rival flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S20 line, that might not be the case – in fact, it may just be relatively more affordable than the OnePlus 8 rather than a return to the powerful-yet-cheap days of OnePlus phones prior, according to Lau himself.

“To be clear, this is not a reactionary attempt to ‘go back to our roots,’ as some people have speculated,” Lau said in a statement sent to media. 

The aforementioned early June leak stated the phone would be getting decidedly mid-range specs, including a Snapdragon 765 chipset (with 5G), 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with OnePlus’ signature 90Hz refresh rate. If true, it could justify a lower price with specs comparable to what we’re expecting in the Google Pixel 4a – not quite flagship, but definitely better than budget quality. 

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.