OnePlus Nord owners who are part of the company's open beta program should check their phones now: there's a new update headed down the pipe. It's not amazing in terms of content; the biggest practical addition is that the Android security patch is bumped up to August. But there's some big stuff in there if you really like the always-on display.
Remember when OnePlus devices were all about beating the competition in both price and performance? While plenty of the company's claims definitely fell into the category of "marketing speak," it's no secret that its latest flagship phones don't come cheap. Thankfully, the Nord series has picked up the mantle, offering premium features like high-refresh displays and 5G at affordable price points. If you've had your eye on the Nord N200 5G, you're in luck — it's down to $200 at Best Buy right now.
After all the usual leaks and rumors, the next entry to OnePlus' budget Nord line has been officially announced. As with the original Nord and the recent Nord CE, the Nord 2 5G won't be making its way to the US. But for those of you in Europe and elsewhere, it's an intriguing smartphone, the first by OnePlus to be powered by a MediaTek chipset, the exclusive Dimensity 1200-AI.
OnePlus recently lifted the veil on its latest Nord smartphones, but missing amongst those was the previously-leaked Nord 2. The company accidentally confirmed the phone's existence a few weeks ago but we didn't hear anything more about it as the Nord CE 5G and N200 were launched. The true successor to the original Nord is still on its way, though, and today we're getting our first picture of what it's going to look like.
I should clarify right from the off: the OnePlus Nord CE is not a bad phone. Far from it, in fact — it’s the best Nord phone since the original, especially after the other budget offerings came with too many compromises to be worth recommending in the face of stiff competition. The Nord CE is a solid performer in most areas.
However, as good as it is, it simply serves as further evidence that the OnePlus we used to treasure has veered so far from its original mission that it’s no longer recognizable. Recent news that the company is further integrating with Oppo isn’t at all surprising, but it’s been true for a while now that the flagship killing, "Never Settle" attitude is no longer at the heart of what OnePlus is all about.
OnePlus published Android 11 for the Nord at the beginning of March, but the rollout came to a grinding halt last week due to some bugs the company discovered in the process. It looks like whatever went wrong was easy to fix, as OnePlus is already rolling out a hotfix update (OxygenOS 126.96.36.199) to everyone that comes with the same changelog as the original version.
While many OnePlus flagship phones await their turn, the Nord got its stable Android 11 update last week after several beta rounds. The budget handset is now marching forward with another Open Beta that aims to fix a lot of lingering bugs and deliver last month’s security patch.
Less than two weeks after OnePlus rolled out OxygenOS 11 Open Beta 2 to the Nord, the company is already bringing the third pre-release software to the phone. In contrast to the second update, this roughly 200MB big firmware packs just a few tweaks and fixes.
OnePlus launched the first Android 11-based Open Beta for the Nord at the beginning of the year, and now the company is back with the second beta. It's bringing along a slew of welcome bug fixes and interface optimizations, but as far as we can tell, there weren't any deal-breaking issues in the first Open Beta that needed fixing. Here's to hoping it'll remain that way in the second release.