The OnePlus Nord 2 is set to launch in the second quarter of 2021, but with significant changes. Reports suggest OnePlus is abandoning Qualcomm, and switching over to MediaTek for its global 5G compatibility.
Plucked from relative obscurity, the original OnePlus Nord debuted in 2020, boasting buckets of value and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G processing power to boot.
If the OnePlus Nord 2 launches within the second quarter of 2021, it’ll make the device one of the first handsets to use the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset, sitting at the top end of MediaTek’s SoCs. For comparison, it’s in the same processor league as the ultra-powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset.
While Qualcomm has been busy dealing with possible lawsuits over compensation owed to mobile customers, and trying to respond to rampant demand for its chipsets that have affected supply lines of the Xbox Series X, PS5, and now threatening Android phones, MediaTek has been running riot in the sector with OnePlus set to be the latest customer making the switch.
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Looking to capitalize on the unprecedented demand for SoCs, MediaTek has pushed out a number of upper mid-range to premium SoCs for smartphones, as it looks to dethrone Qualcomm, which plays the starring role on the global silicon stage.
What does this mean for the OnePlus Nord 2? First, it’s groundbreaking because it would be OnePlus’ first device in history to use a MediaTek chip; second, despite the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888’s specs pipping the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chip to the post on paper, MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 chipset offers global 5G compatibility. This feature isn’t something Qualcomm yet offers, giving the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chip an edge in this area.
It comes with a nine-core Arm Mali-G77 GPU and six-core MediaTek APU 3.0: this supports 5G standalone and non-standalone architectures with True Dual SIM 5G, which is longhand for saying that the chip allows the use of two 5G SIMs in the same handset, permitting a user to tap into two different 5G networks – all of this without swapping SIM cards.
Of course. OnePlus has been making serious strides with its range of mobile devices for some time. The OnePlus Nord takes its rightful place on T3's best smartphones list and is one of the best Android phones you can buy at the moment.
If speculation holds to be true, the OnePlus Nord 2 will launch around the same time as its predecessor, potentially sometime in July or August, and containing the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC. Having launched at £379 (around $480, AU$680), the OnePlus Nord offered the stunningly good value that its follow-up simply won't be able to offer with the premium MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset onboard.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out and how Qualcomm will respond. With the OnePlus Nord undergoing heavy price cuts, it brings excellent bang for your buck, and you'll struggle to discern any major performance differences between it and the Samsung Galaxy S21 across day-to-day usage. It's well worth grabbing if you're looking for a new phone.