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[Update: Beta now open] OnePlus confirms its new smartphone will be called ‘OnePlus Nord,’ coming to US in ‘limited beta’

While we still don’t have an official launch date, pricing, or even confirmed specifications, OnePlus has now confirmed that its upcoming smartphone will indeed be called the OnePlus Nord.

[Update 7/21]: The limited beta has now officially opened for US-based OnePlus fans that want to (potentially) test out the brand new affordable Android phone. An announcement over on the official OnePlus Forums confirmed the move but we have some bad news, it will be limited to only 50 eventual applicants.

At OnePlus, we’re dedicated to bringing flagship experiences to all our devices. Our history has shown that focusing on just a few markets first and then expanding has worked well. While this new smartphone product line will initially be available in Europe and India, we look forward to bringing more affordable smartphones to North America in the future.

But we’ve got good news for 50 of you.

Introducing the OnePlus Nord Beta Program. We’re giving 50people in the United States and Canada the chance to put Nord through its paces.

There are two parts to the OnePlus Nord Beta Program:

  1. Feedback form
    We’ll be providing you with a feedback form to give you a chance to communicate directly with the OnePlus product team – we hope this will fuel a constructive dialogue about where we can take the product line in the future. In this form, we want to hear what you think of Nord – straight up.
  2. Device review
    We’d also like to see original, creative, and unbiased reviews that really testNord – we’re talking benchmark scores, sample shots, performance comparisons, the lot.

Oh, and some of you will also get to keep the device after you’ve published your review. Don’t worry, we’ll be in touch to let you know whether you can keep your Nord, or if you’ll need to return it.

There are some other caveats too. As US beta testers of the OnePlus Nord may also have to return the devices once the program finishes — although this is yet to be decided.

All OnePlus and non-OnePlus users, community and non-community members based in the United States and Canada can submit applications tothe OnePlus Nord Beta Program. Users outside of the United States and Canada are not eligible to take part.

Applications have opened today and will run until July 28, 2020. 50 reviewers will be announced on August 4, 2020 and reviews will go live by August 31, 2020. There are plenty of other notables including limited band availability and compatibility in the US. Because they will be European units, reviewers won’t be able to use certain AT&T and T-Mobile bands.

If you are in Canada or the US, you can apply to join the OnePlus Nord limited beta right here.

You’re probably wondering why they even needed to confirm this, and you’d be right. We’re not sure why they are doing so now. Either way, the upcoming affordable Android phone is expected to pack the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G-enabled chipset, at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, plus a quad-camera setup at the rear, alongside a dual front-facing camera setup at the front.

All of this has been speculated for some time but as the official launch nears, the firm has teased yet more tidbits on the official OnePlus Nord Instagram account. Over there, the firm has released the first episode in a mini-documentary series called New Beginnings. The almost 10-minute episode even gives us a glimpse of some prototype OnePlus Nord devices — although it’s not clear if they represent the official design.

Of course, the firm let slip the name “Nord” earlier last week with a now-removed Instagram post, but as is customary, confirmation has now been forthcoming. Pete Lau, founder and CEO of OnePlus said:

Launching the OnePlus Nord product line marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for OnePlus. The ‘Never Settle’ spirit is centered around sharing the best technology and products with the world, but it is also about challenging ourselves and going beyond our comfort zone. We are immensely proud of our flagship products and will continue to create more tech-leading flagships for our users. Now we are excited to share the OnePlus experience with even more users around the world through this new product line.

With the Google Pixel 4a launch date slipping back, and still unknown, with the right pricing in selected regions OnePlus Nord could be the go-to Android device for many people out there. Rumors suggest a sub-$400 price when exchange rates are taken into account. That would really tackle the dominance of brands such as Xiaomi and Realme in regions such as India and the Asian subcontinent.

OnePlus has also confirmed that the first OnePlus Nord device will officially come to the US in a “highly limited beta program” shortly after launch. Hopefully, that could be a small soak test before a full launch later in the year. Expect more details to emerge over the coming days.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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