Exclusive: OnePlus Nord N20 brings AMOLED to budget phones

When it comes to US shelves later this month, the OnePlus Nord N20 will feature a 6.43-inch FHD+, 60Hz AMOLED display with a fingerprint scanner, the company tells us.

OnePlus has also sent out the first official image of the new phone, which features an eye-catching flat back and two primary camera lenses.

The OnePlus Nord line has been a bestseller on T-Mobile and MetroPCS since the Nord N10 and Nord N100 hit shelves in February 2021. OnePlus sold more than 2.5 million Nord phones in the US last year, the company tells us.

“The success of the OnePlus Nord series has exceeded our highest expectations,” says Kinder Liu, OnePlus COO.

OnePlus’ official image and specs confirm some online rumors about the upcoming N20 5G, but they contradict some other rumors. GSMArena got the screen size right but got the refresh rate wrong, for example. The screen works at 60 Hz versus 90 Hz from the Nord N10. When I asked Leo why, it was a little elliptical but he strongly indicated that it was a choice between 60Hz AMOLED and 90Hz LCD at this price point.

“Our 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display offers lower power consumption as well as better contrast, brighter colors, and a wider color gamut than is currently offered in the North American affordable market,” says Liu.

The Nord N10 5G launched at $299, and at that price, it basically edged up against Motorola, Samsung, and TCL in the US mid-market. The global version of the Samsung Galaxy A33 has a 90Hz AMOLED display, but the futuristic yet-to-be-announced US model of the A33 may not be. Motorola’s current budget line doesn’t have OLED, and neither does TCL. Samsung or Motorola phones don’t charge as fast as OnePlus phones in general.

Other features that OnePlus rumored not to confirm to us include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor; 48MP main camera with 8MP ultrawide camera; 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage; And OxygenOS 11, not 12. That’s not a bad thing; I like the smooth and sleek OxygenOS 11 better than the heavier OxygenOS 12.

Besides the display and in-display fingerprint scanner, Liu says the N20 will feature SuperVooc fast charging. In the Nord 2 global network, this means that 65W charging can fill the phone’s 4,500mAh battery within 30 minutes, but this battery specification may vary in a US phone. GSMArena says the Nord N20 may have 30W charging, which is still faster than other budget phones in the US.

The American Nord N20 doesn’t look quite like the Global Nord 2 nor does the Nord N10 look exactly like the original Nord. The Nord 2 has a noticeably different rear design, and although it also has a 6.43-inch AMOLED display, it works at a frequency of 90Hz.

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“Our OnePlus Nord devices for North America, Europe and India offer a premium software experience, great performance, and more at their respective price points. We are confident that all devices in our OnePlus Nord series are competitive in their respective markets at their respective price points,” he says. Leo.

With the OnePlus 10 Pro receiving a mixed reception in reviews due to OnePlus’ consistent suck on Oppo, the price/performance balance in the Nord line could generate the next generation of OnePlus fans. Liu says Nord users are “totally overwhelmed[ing]themselves in the OnePlus community by joining things like the Red Cable Club loyalty program and online forums.

“The OnePlus Nord series has had an incredibly positive impact on the OnePlus community — it spurred more discussions on the OnePlus Community Forum, and resulted in more people participating in the Open Ears forums, and attending offline events,” he says.

We’ll hear more about the Nord N20 when it launches later this month.

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