OnePlus Nord launches at augmented reality event
Any company that has held an event in these pandemic times has resorted to a show broadcast on YouTube or a briefing on Google Meet or Teams. OnePlus decided to go a step further and make it a first-of-a-kind experience by launching its new smartphone, the OnePlus Nord, in augmented reality via a special app. Using this, the audience could see the phone as if it were in front of them, being rotated in every direction. Media and fans who had the physical invite could also manipulate the phone in AR. To begin with Nord is really North in several European languages. It could be understood as OnePlus stating this new product is headed in the right direction — that of growth and success. In fact, the company says it’s only now that components have reached a level that can help deliver the signature speed and smoothness without being unaffordable. Gamers’ processorThe Nord looks instantly recognisable as a OnePlus phone, using a familiar vertical camera setup and other design elements that leave no doubt that it belongs to the OnePlus family. The device comes six years after the first OnePlus, which began with a pledge never to settle for the tall claims of companies that sold wildly expensive smartphones without necessarily giving the customer their money’s worth. OnePlus’ anti-establishment message appealed to the young and tech savvy and the initial OnePlus phones became known as flagship killers. That is until they become expensive enough themselves to be known as flagships. In the pursuit of speed and power, the company had little recourse but to use the topmost and newest hardware specifications. The current OnePlus 8 series uses the Snapdragon 865 and is packed with the maximum possible available tech. The new OnePlus Nord uses the Snapdragon 765G as an alternative, pairing it with 6GB, 8GB or 12GB RAM and 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage. The base variant is an India-only option. The 765G is a gamer’s processor and powerful in its own right with fast graphics and rendering. It is also a 5G processor, ready for when it comes into force. Six-camera systemOneplus took care not to compromise on the cameras while making the phone affordable. The Nord has four rear cameras. The primary is a 48MP Sony IMX 586 with an accompanying 8MP ultra-wide lens, a macro lens and a depth sensor. On the front, the Nord has two selfie lenses, one being a 32MP and the other an accompanying ultra-wide lens. These sit in a dual punch hole on the top left of the screen. Both front and back cameras include a night mode. The display is a 6.44-inch 90Hz AMOLED (1080 x 2400) with the refresh rate droppable to 60Hz when required. The high refresh rate recently became popular with OnePlus using it on the OnePlus 7 series phones and is a feature that makes the screen responsive and fluid. Nord’s display has 2,048 levels of auto brightness for smoother transitions and greater eye comfort. It also includes various screen-viewing modes that filter out blue light or remove colours or make them more vivid.The Nord works on Android 10 and OnePlus’ popular OxygenOS, version 10.5. The company says there are some 300 customisation options in the interface while still keeping it simple and close to Android. OnePlus has also partnered with Google to use Google’s Phone, messaging and Duo apps as native on the Nord.The phone retains the OnePlus signature Alert Slider. It does not come with a 3.5mm headphone jack but uses the USB-C port for audio connection. A 4,100mAh battery powers the Nord, with 30W Warp charging, which means it’s 70 per cent done in half an hour. The Nord is to be available in a striking blue called Marble Blue and in Onyx Grey. OnePlus also launched the OnePlus Buds, they say, on user demand. This is their true wireless product. Ten minutes of charge gives 10 hours of play time on these earphones. There are three microphones on each bud to cancel out noise which interrupts conversation. They are IPX4 water resistant. In India, the Nord starts at a price of ₹24,999.