OnePlus is poised to launch an all-new smartphone, believed to be branded OnePlus Z or OnePlus Nord, which will see the Shenzhen-based company return to the more affordable handsets that helped OnePlus make its name a short five years ago when it launched.
The company will kickstart a new documentary series, known as New Beginnings, that offers a deep-dive into the process of creating the new device. The first episode of the series premieres today, Tuesday June 30, at 1pm BST (8am EST and 1pm BST), and while we don’t expect to see everything about the OnePlus Z revealed – it seems pretty likely that we’ll leave the episode with more of an idea about what to expect.
If you want to be one of the first to get a glimpse of the new smartphone, you’ll need to head over to the Instagram account @OnePlusLiteZThing, where the docu-series will be shown. Clearly, the name of the Instagram account suggests that OnePlus is well aware of the rumours swirling around its next announcement. It also seemingly confirms that OnePlus Z or OnePlus Lite won’t be the final names used for the device.
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Elsewhere, rumours suggest the more affordable OnePlus Z will keep a number of the top-tier features seen on the pricier OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 8 series, including the high refresh-rate display. According to whispers, OnePlus Z will ship in a single size – a 6.4-inch OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Other staples of OnePlus smartphones, like an embedded fingerprint scanner under the screen and a large fast-charging battery, are also expected to make an appearance.
In terms of design, OnePlus is expected to keep things similar to the rest of its current line-up. Renown tipster @OnLeaks has teamed-up with blog 91Mobiles to reveal a glimpse of the design based on leaked CAD models, which are used during the manufacturing process to allow case manufacturers to prepare accessories to hit store shelves with the new handset.
On the back of the handset, OnePlus is slated to include triple rear-cameras to bring a number of photography tricks, such as ultra-wide shots and portrait mode. Powering all of these camera goodies will be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, which won’t provide the same blisteringly-fast speeds found on the OnePlus 8 Pro (the performance of this chip is much closer to the flagship Snapdragon 855 chip from last year found in the OnePlus 7 Pro), but will include support for 5G networks.
So, while you won’t get the latest speeds when it comes to mobile gaming or crunching through 4K video edits, you will be able to access next-generation mobile speeds – which offer downloads some three to four times faster than the average UK broadband speed.
Compared to other popular handsets within its price range, including the recently-launched iPhone SE and Google Pixel 3a from last year, that’s a major boost. Of course, there are some mid-range 5G handsets, but nothing from brands with quite the same cachet as OnePlus.
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And what is that price range? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some rumours point towards a price between $499 (£400) to $649 (£530). That means it’ll stand face-to-face with the likes of the iPhone SE. However, some sources claim that OnePlus is aiming to make the iPhone SE and co. look positively pricey by selling OnePlus Z for as little as $299 (£230).
With any luck, some of these rumours will be put to bed in a few hours when the first episode around the making of the OnePlus Z is broadcast on the Instagram account. A release date is tipped to be planned for July 2020.
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