The next cheap OnePlus phone is borrowing the iPhone 13's worst feature

OnePlus Nord N10 5G
The OnePlus Nord N10 (Image credit: Truls Steinung)

After months of leaks the next OnePlus phone has been partly-revealed. It's the OnePlus Nord N20, the next cheap phone from the company, which we now know is coming very soon.

OnePlus has provided early information to PC Mag on the upcoming phone, including some renders that show... basically the same phone that leaked months ago.

The main piece of new information is the handset will be released by the end of April, which is good news for those who found the recent OnePlus 10 Pro too pricey. 

The early specs won't exactly light up your life - a 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED 60Hz display is good, but at most price points these days you can get a 90Hz display. 

There's still plenty of specs yet to be confirmed, and there may be more to like about the Nord N20 when everything is revealed.

Due to PC Mag referring to US availability, we imagine the OnePlus Nord N20 will go on sale in the States - that's not confirmed though, and the company has been rather sporadic with its releases in the US. 

Renders of the front and rear of the OnePlus Nord N20 5G against a neutral background

Your first official look at the OnePlus Nord N20 5G (Image credit: PC Mag / OnePlus)

Analysis: disappointing design feature

As we can see in the OnePlus images, the Nord N20 has a flat-edge display. This means that, unlike in most phones where the frame of the mobile is gently curved to sit snug in the hand, it's completely flat.

Apple revived the flat-edge design on its recent iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series, having previously ditched it after the iPhone SE (2016).

This resurgence may have been a catalyst for other brands recently embracing the design. In 2022 alone, we've seen the Vivo V23 and Redmi Note 11 among others, follow the same path. And now the OnePlus Nord N20 is joining the club.

If a flat-edged OnePlus smartphone sounds familiar, you're not wrong. Back in 2015, the slightly peculiar OnePlus X was launched with flatter edges and a more compact design. It didn't get follow up, and OnePlus has ignored the design feature until now.

This is a divisive change, particularly for this author. Flat edges sit against the screen and rear at a right angle, and this angular build can dig into the skin and make a phone uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. Plus, it makes the phone look really utilitarian and bland.

Some may be disappointed OnePlus is joining the flat-edge crowd, and hoping it won't catch on, but if Apple is trailblazing this latest stylistic change it could be here for a few years yet.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.