OnePlus Nord 3: Everything We Know So Far
Flashback to 2020. The original OnePlus Nord phone came out with a fantastic experience all around. It was right alongside the Pixel 4A in value and experience. It beat the 4A in performance and speed thanks to the 765G chip and a 90Hz refresh rate.
Pixel 4A was still recommendable for better cameras and software update policies. The successor to the OnePlus Nord didn’t have such a fantastic reputation. Specifications on paper were acceptable, with a 90Hz 1080P OLED screen and the Dimensity 1200 SOC.
The primary IMX766 sensor with OIS wasn’t bad either. However, the Nord didn’t have stereo speakers and didn’t have a great camera system for the price. The Nord 2 came out with improvements to all the essential aspects.
The new Dimensity 1200 SOC improved the performance, and a sony IMX766 sensor put the cameras in premium midrange territory. This phone had unfortunate explosion problems, and the Nord 2T had thermal refinements to solve that.
The Nord lineup looks extremely convoluted since they launched a bunch of phones that range between 18,000 and 25,000 INR. The Nord CE and CE2 Lite further diversify the portfolio to give people more options.
While most 2022 and 2021 OnePlus phones weren’t good, the OnePlus 11R and OnePlus 11 look like solid, reliable, all-around options. Assuming these rumours are true, the Nord 3 will compete well in the 500$ segment.
The category between 30,000 and 55,000 INR in India is a massive blank with few good options.
The Nord 3 will succeed the Nord 2T, but it’ll reportedly ship with a lot of significant upgrades to the hardware. This article has compiled everything we know about the upcoming OnePlus Nord 3.
OnePlus Nord 3 Expected Specifications
The current Nord 2T has a 90Hz 1080P AMOLED screen and runs on the Dimensity 1300 SOC. The 6nm Dimensity 1300 is barely any different from the Dimensity 1200. It’s a slightly worse performer against the 778G+.
The primary sensor is the Sony IMX766, and it has OIS on the main lens. The other two cameras are 8MP for the Ultra Wide and a useless 2MP depth sensor. The rest of the specifications were identical to the Nord 2.
It came with a 4500 mAh battery and 80W fast wired charging. The phone didn’t have too many compromises. The Nord 3 will take that even further.
We’ve already seen rumours of this phone floating around in China as the OnePlus Ace 2V. A lot of the specifications will remain similar to that since this is essentially a rebranded product.
We expect to finally see a bump in refresh rate from 90 to 120Hz, and it’ll mostly have the same 1080P resolution with fairly healthy pixels per inch. There are some rumours of a 1240P or 1.5K screen for the Nord, but we can’t tell for sure.
We can’t comment much on peak brightness, but it’ll possibly beat the Nord 2T. The renders and leaks show a centre punch hole and fairly slim bezels.
All the leaks mention a triple-camera setup, but reports about the primary sensor OnePlus will use are conflicting. Some sources mention an unnamed 64MP primary sensor; others say it’s a 50MP sensor.
If it’s a 64MP sensor, it’ll be something from Omnivision that’s not as good as the IMX766.
If it’s a 50MP sensor, that’s probably the IMX766 or IMX890. The 890 is a slightly improved 766 with Digital overlaps, High Dynamic Range and better video recording.
The IMX890 is an excellent flagship-level 1/1.56″ sensor that is easy to tune on expensive phones like the OnePlus 11. Oppo is also planning to use it as an Ultra Wide for the Find X6 Pro.
There’s little chance OnePlus will do much to the other two cameras. Even the OnePlus 11R, which costs 40,000 INR, has a sub-par 8MP Ultra Wide angle camera and a useless 2MP depth sensor.
We can’t really expect much better from a cheaper OnePlus Nord 3. We’ll see a 50MP/ 64MP sensor with the typical 8MP+ 2MP setup.
We’ll probably see a 32 or 16MP front camera, which still can’t do 4K or 1440P high-frame-rate recording in 2023. OnePlus doesn’t pay much attention to the front camera, even on their flagship 11, so we don’t expect them to do much here.
3. Battery and Charging
The existing battery on the Nord 2T isn’t bad, but there are reports of a bump in capacity to 5000 mAh. The 4500 mAh battery on the Nord 2T performs decently, but a 5000 mAh battery will do better.
The charging speed will mostly stay at 80W since even the more expensive OnePlus 11R has barely faster 100W charging.
The Mediatek Dimensity 1300 is an 8-core 3000 Mhz chip which uses TSMC’s (N6) 6nm fabrication process. That’s fairly efficient, and the Mali-G77 GPU performs adequately in games.
The Dimensity 1300 pulls in nearly 680,000 points on Antutu and uses one Cortex-A78 for its main performance core. The configuration was decent for a midrange chip.
Now, the OnePlus Nord 3 will have the Dimensity 9000 SOC, which is an excellent flagship SOC. Earlier leaks suggested the Dimensity 8100 or 8200, similar to the iQOO Neo 7, but the 9000 is much more powerful.
This will improve the performance of the phone tenfolds, and this flagship chip is a gamer’s delight.
The Dimensity 9000 uses TSMC’s hyper-efficient and performance-centric 4P (4nm) node, which destroys the competition. It’ll rip through demanding games, multiple layers of RAW or high-quality photos, and even smartphone-level video editing.
The Dimensity 9000 will make the Nord 3 a desirable phone for the price. It’s an octa-core chip with the flagship Cortex-X2 core at 3050 MHz.
The chip pulls in over a million points on Antutu, and the overall performance is comparable to a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. MediaTek’s chips are usually cheaper, so that helps keep costs low for manufacturers.
It scores over 1200 points on Geekbench 5’s single-core run and breaks 4300 on the multi-core test. That’s a flagship-level score, and it’s quite good. It has 90% stability with an average of 48FPS on 3D Mark’s Extreme WildLife Stress Test.
Since the chip uses a hyper-efficient 4nm node and has a larger battery, this phone is set to dethrone some of the best phones on the market now in terms of battery life.
We expect the phone to have an alert slider. Mockups of the OnePlus Ace 2V show a similar design to last year.
Two camera rings to the left, with the OnePlus logo in the middle. There are also two flashes, for some reason, one next to each camera ring.
There are probably aluminium sides too, but OnePlus could easily replace that with a plastic frame to save costs. There’s the punch hole in the middle and pretty thin bezels.
The phone does not look like it’ll have a curved back that’s easier to hold but a more grippy, flat back with squared-off edges. Right now, there are two colours going around online. Glossy green, and a black colour option.
6. What we’d like to see
Display brightness was a problem with the Nord 2T; many people requested a brighter screen. Even bumping the refresh rate to 120Hz is a welcome change. Adding O-Haptics to this phone will make it a compelling buy, and we need better processing for the primary camera.
When can we expect OnePlus Nord 3 to be released?
- The OnePlus Nord 3 will likely be released in July 2023.
In China, the Ace 2V will probably come out on 7th March. Pre-reservations might go live on 28th February. Globally, however, we won’t see it for months. We’ll mostly have to wait until July 2023 to see this phone as the Nord 3 in global markets.
OnePlus Nord 3 Expected Price
We can’t say much about the price due to a lack of credible sources, but we can estimate it to hit 35,000 INR or 500 USD. Since the OnePlus 11R sells for 39,999 INR, Nord 3 will probably cost between INR 29,999 and 34,999.
We expect UFS 3.1 storage, Android 13 out of the box, LPDDR 5 or LPDDR 5X RAM, and two storage options, one with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage and another with 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage.
It doesn’t make much sense to have 16GB RAM on a Nord 3 since that’ll jack up the price.
Note: We’ll update this live article with the latest news.