OnePlus is set to follow up the OnePlus Nord with a 2021 sequel set to launch sometime in the spring. A rumor report quoting a reliable source indicates the new phone is going to be a definitive upgrade over its predecessor in at least one way — the processor. The new Nord, apparently set to be named the Nord 2, may come with MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 SoC, a flagship-class chip that’s more powerful than the midrange Snapdragon 765 found in the first Nord.
Here’s why this is a big deal for MediaTek especially. Most high-end Android phones sold across the world use chips from Qualcomm. A more “mainstream” brand like OnePlus will give MediaTek more credibility in the high-end market, especially internationally, and it’ll also provide some much-needed competition to Qualcomm. It has been MediaTek’s intention to fight for inclusion in high-end phones since it launched its 5G endeavors, and a OnePlus deal would be a significant step forward for the company.
The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 is an impressive chip. Here’s a quote from our earlier coverage: “Built using a 6nm process, the octa-core Dimensity 1200 uses an ultra-core Arm Cortex A78, three super-core Arm Cortex A78, and four Arm Cortex A55 cores, with a Sub-6 5G modem built-in, a nine-core GPU, and an updated six-core APU for artificial intelligence duties, which provides a 10% performance upgrade over previous versions.”
The Dimensity 1200 supports cameras up to 200-megapixels with 4K HDR video recording. It can power FHD+ displays with a refresh rate up to 168Hz. It also offers Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity options. OnePlus made its name in building affordable flagship phones, and the Nord was a return to this after prices of its other phones crept up. The reasonably priced, yet powerful Dimensity 1200 fits in with the Nord brand, and with OnePlus’s own ethos.
Don’t expect the OnePlus Nord 2 to be a specced-out beast with a 200-megapixel camera or a 144Hz display, especially if OnePlus plans to keep it affordable, but what the Dimensity 1200 does offer is flexibility. OnePlus can prioritize what matters most, and that may lead to a more interesting phone than the original Nord.
OnePlus is likely still shipping the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, but the Nord 2 will be an option for those who want a powerful smartphone without having to pay flagship prices, and that’s also exactly what MediaTek wants to be known for.