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OnePlus 12R review back straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Information on the OnePlus’ upcoming mid-ranger, the Nord 5, has recently surfaced giving us a look at what may be a significant performance upgrade.

Details on the smartphone originate from two separate leaks by industry insiders Digital Chat Station on Weibo and Shishir on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter). They claim the Nord 5 will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3 SoC (system on a chip), 16GB of RAM, and a 5500mAh battery. On the front will be a sizable 6.74-inch OLED display pumping out a 1.5K resolution image with a refresh rate of 120Hz. If this sounds familiar, that’s because the OnePlus 12R has a similar screen. The main difference between the two is the Nord 5 won’t have the LTPO panel so it won’t be as bright.

Shishir in his post states it’ll have the same rear camera array as the 12R which is both good and bad. Assuming the leak is true, this also would mean the Nord 5 will come equipped with the 12R’s substandard ultra-wide and macro cameras. They will, however, be led by the more robust 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX 890 sensor, enabling high-quality photography.

Analysis: A phone made for me

I am a big fan of the Nord series. The line consistently offers a great mobile experience at an affordable price and that’s exactly what I see in the leak. It checks off a lot of the things I look for in a smartphone.

I am particularly excited about the chipset. Back in November 2023, Qualcomm announced the base Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3 SoC for mid-range smartphones. The hardware is said to deliver “60 percent better [performance] than… the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1”. Additionally, it has access to a Qualcomm Hexagon NPU to push its capabilities even further. The Nord 5 is getting the upgraded version. We don’t know when the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3 will roll out. The last news about the chipset came out back in January. Since then, it’s been largely radio silence.

Going back to display, there’s a tidbit I neglected to mention. It’ll have “razor-thin bezels” allowing future owners to enjoy everything the display has to offer. Combine this design flourish with the 120Hz refresh rate with the powerful hardware, and you’re looking at a next-level mobile gaming experience. As a giant nerd/mobile gamer, I would love to own a Nord model that can better handle those tougher workloads. I own a Nord N20 myself. As much as I like it, the N20 struggles a lot with gaming.

One wish

I do have one feature that I would love to see on the Nord 5: a headphone jack.

I prefer using wired headphones over wireless ones. Mainly out of personal preference, but also because, they have superior audio quality – at least in my experience. However, if the Nord 5 is anything like the Nord 3, it’ll probably ditch the audio jack. Fortunately, there are plenty of great wireless earbuds out there so it’s not all bad. Take this leak with a grain of salt. Things can always change at the last minute. Hopefully, it comes out in the United States; fingers crossed. US fans like myself have slim pickings when it comes to the Nord line. 

Neither leak had an image of the Nord 5, although considering its many similarities, it’ll probably look like the OnePlus 12R complete with the round camera array.

While we have you, check out TechRadar’s list of the best OnePlus phones for 2024 if you want recommendations.

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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity. 

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The post The OnePlus Nord 5 has leaked – and as a Nord fan, it ticks most of my wishlist first appeared on www.techradar.com

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