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OnePlus Nord hands-on: An affordable 5G phone that packs a hell of a punch – CNET

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A OnePlus phone with 5G, high-end specs and an affordable price tag? Say hello to the OnePlus Nord. OnePlus has always been known for doing more affordable handsets, but its phones have been getting increasingly expensive, with the top-end OnePlus 8 Pro ($999 at OnePlus) sitting almost exactly at that $1,000 threshold. The company’s new phone, called the Nord, aims to change that. 

Read more: OnePlus Nord’s YouTube docuseries is really weird, but I can’t stop watching it

OnePlus Nord price and availability

OnePlus hasn’t given exact pricing details at the time of writing, but it has said that the Nord will cost under 500 euros. That converts to about $570, £450 or AU$820, so this is a much more affordable device than its top-end 8 Pro sibling. It’ll go on sale in the UK and wider Europe later this month, although the company has said that it won’t be available in the US.

Whether the company decides to give the phone a US launch — or creates a variant of it for US customers — remains to be seen.

A beautiful blue design

Despite that lower price tag, the Nord still packs a hell of a punch. I love its bold blue color with the metallic edging and its screen that stretches all the way to the edges. The display measures 6.4-inches which for me felt comfortable to use in one hand. There’s a fingerprint scanner built into the display too, so there’s been no need to take up space with a dedicated scanner somewhere else. 

What you don’t get is any IP rating for waterproofing, which means it’s probably best if you don’t intentionally drop your phone down the toilet. But then, I can’t think of a phone I’d want to intentionally drop down the toilet. It’s a shame, as the OnePlus 8 ($699 at Amazon) has IP68 waterproofing which helps keep it safe from spilled drinks, but that waterproofing is likely one of the compromises OnePlus had to make to keep the cost down.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The screen’s 2,400×1,080-pixel resolution is lower than the 8 Pro’s, but it still looked perfectly crisp and clear in my hands on time, so I don’t think you’ll notice much difference. Even when watching high-definition videos on YouTube, I didn’t think for even a moment that this thing was lacking detail. 

Under the hood is Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon 765G processor, which brings 5G connectivity to the Nord and actually makes it among the most affordable 5G phones around. Of course you’ll need to be on a service plan that supports 5G and you’ll need to be in an area where 5G is available. 5G is in its infancy so coverage is still quite patchy in many areas of the US and the UK, but it’s smart to buy a 5G phone now so you’ll be ready to take advantage of those speeds when they’re more easily accessible.

The processor itself has eight cores and it’s backed up by either 8 or 12GB of RAM, depending on the variant you go for. Either option should be powerful enough for anything you’re likely to throw at it, while the various tweaks OnePlus has made to its Android 10-based Oxygen software, has resulted in a smooth and lag-free experience.

I really like OnePlus’s software actually. It’s neat and simple and there’s no unnecessary clutter or preinstalled bloatware which just makes it a much more pleasant experience in use.

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

OnePlus Nord cameras

There are three main lenses on the back. There’s the standard zoom camera, which is a 48-megapixel Sony sensor — the same one found on the OnePlus 8 in fact. That’s joined by a 12-megapixel super-wide angle lens and a 2-megapixel macro camera that lets you focus close-up on tiny details. 

I’ve only done some quick tests with the camera but the results look decent, especially considering the more affordable price of the thing. Shots look well-exposed, nice and sharp and with vibrant, accurate colors. 

There’s also a portrait mode which uses the 5-megapixel depth sensor to give some attractive out-of-focus backgrounds to your portrait shots as well as other features like 4K video, slow motion and a night mode for capturing brighter shots in low light. 

On the front is the first dual-lens selfie camera we’ve seen from OnePlus. The main front lens offers a huge 32-megapixel resolution, to let you see every excruciating detail on your face, while the other is a wide-angle lens, which OnePlus says is designed to let you fit more of your friends into the scene. Or if social distancing has left you all alone, you can take a big wide lonely selfie and then badly Photoshop some new friends in. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There’s a 4,115-mAh battery inside the Nord which should be able to provide enough juice to keep you going for a whole day. As always, that’ll depend on how you use it — if you spend all morning streaming videos then you’ll probably need to give the Nord a boost in the afternoon. 

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the name “Nord” — sadly it has nothing to do with the race of people in the Elder Scrolls games. It’s so named because “Nord” means “North” in some European languages. OnePlus says that North on a compass “points towards growth and success,” which it doesn’t; it’s just a direction. But who am I to argue? 

Misunderstanding of compasses aside though, I’m impressed with this phone so far. It looks great, has solid specs, 5G and it’s certainly more affordable then the rest of the OnePlus range. 

OnePlus Nord specs comparison

OnePlus Nord OnePlus 8 OnePlus 8 Pro Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Display size, resolution 6.44-inch; 2,400×1,080-pixels 6.55-inch AMOLED; 1,080×2,400 pixels 6.78-inch AMOLED; 1,440×3,168 pixels 4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels
Pixel density 408ppi 402ppi 513ppi 326ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.23×2.88×0.32 in 6.3×2.8×0.31 in 6.51×2.93×0.35 in 5.45×2.65×0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.3×73.3×8.2 mm 160×72.9×8.0 mm 165×74.4×8.5 mm 138.4×67.3×7.3 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.49 oz; 184g 180g 199g 5.22 oz; 148g
Mobile software Android 10 Android 10 Android 10 iOS 13
Camera 48-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth-sensing) 48-megapixel main, 2-megapixel macro lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide 48-megapixel main, 8-megapixel telephoto, 48-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel ‘colour filter’ 12-megapixel
Front-facing camera 32-megapixel, 8-megapixel (wide-angle) 16-megapixel 16-megapixel 7-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Apple A13 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256B 128GB, 256B 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
RAM 8GB, 12GB 8GB, 12GB 8GB, 12GB Not disclosed
Expandable storage No None None No
Battery 4,115 mAh 4,300 mAh 4,300 mAh Not disclosed, but Apple claims it has the same battery life as iPhone 8
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen In-screen Home button
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Special features 5G-enabled, 90Hz refresh rate, 30w fast-charging 5G enabled, Fast-charging, 90Hz display 5G enabled, Fast-charging, fast wireless charging, 120Hz display, IP68 water resistance Water resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD) $570 (converted from 500 euros) $699 $899 $399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)
Price (GBP) £450 (converted from 500 euros) £599 £799 £419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)
Price (AUD) AU$820 (converted from 500 euros) TBA TBA AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

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Apple's 512GB M1 Mac Mini falls back to $799 at Amazon – Yahoo News Canada

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If you’ve been eyeing Apple’s latest Mac Mini as your next desktop, now is the time to act. You can currently get the 512GB model for $799 at Amazon, or $100 off the normal $899 price. The deal brings the desktop down to just below the record low we saw in March and April. It also means you’re only paying $100 more for double the storage of the $699 base model.

Buy Mac Mini M1 (512GB) at Amazon – $799

That should come in handy if you plan to take full advantage of the Mac Mini’s M1 chip. As we’ve previously noted, Apple’s in-house silicon is a powerhouse that makes quick work of most tasks, be it browsing bloated websites or opening creative editing software. Inside the desktop, you’ll find an 8-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores and a 16-core Neural Engine. Unlike with the iMac, you’ll also need your own display and peripherals like a keyboard and mouse. 

There are a few caveats, however. The Mac Mini’s RAM and storage aren’t upgradeable and the two rear Thunderbolt ports won’t please those who need extra monitors and faster connectivity. Apple also offers 16GB unified memory, up to 2TB SSD storage and 10 Gigabit Ethernet support at a cost. In fact, the true top-of-the line Mac Mini will set you back $1,799. Saying that, the specs available on this deal model should please most casual users.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

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Apex Legends' Emergence battle pass trailer teases emotes, new skins for Volt, 30-30, Flatline, and more – Dot Esports

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Apex Legends: Emergence launches tomorrow with a new battle pass, which was revealed in a trailer this morning.

This season’s max tier rewards are reactive skins for the Volt, “Symbiotic Relationship” at tier 100 and “Fatal Injection” at tier 110. There’s plenty else to grind for throughout the season, though, including looks for Valkyrie and Horizon, among others.

Seer’s “Winged Sun” 30-30 Repeater skin is just one of the other weapon skins in the battle pass, which also includes Valkyrie’s “Temporal Scale” Flatline. There’s also several new emotes, Seer-themed loading screens, music packs, banners, and weapon charms, as players have come to expect.

The updated World’s Edge will be the main stomping grounds for the new season and has received several updates to the landscape and numerous points of interest. A lot of the changes were also focused on quality of life, like adding different flanking routes and pathways that weren’t there before.

Along with Seer and World’s Edge, the third big addition of the season will be the Rampage LMG. The weapon, invented by Rampart, is unique in that it uses thermal grenades as its source of ammunition, so be sure to pick them up while running through the battle royale.

Apex Legends: Emergence begins tomorrow, Aug. 3.

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Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro mark new smartphone era for Google – CTV News

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Google on Monday kicked off smartphone season by previewing its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones. But it also signaled a new era for the Pixel, shifting it away from a mid-tier line with a niche user base to premium status, in a move that could position it to better take on Apple and Samsung.

In a series of tweets and a video posted to its website, the company teased a colorful assortment of feature-packed smartphones with the first-ever Google-made processor specifically designed for the Pixel. The company said a Tensor chip, which Google has used before in existing AI hardware, will allow the Pixel to be faster, more customizable and have “the most layers of hardware security in any phone.”

Google, which previously worked with chip maker Qualcomm for its Pixel phones, is the latest smartphone maker to build its own chip instead of relying on third-party suppliers. Last year, Apple moved away from an Intel processor for its Mac computers in favor of its own M1 chipset, a move that has won rave reviews from users for the added speed and extended battery life.

It’ll also drive speech recognition, its advanced camera features and the massive Android redesign announced in May at Google’s annual developer conference.

At the event, the company announced an interface concept called “Material You” that’s more personalized and “fluid” based on a user’s style. It features bigger buttons, a large clock on the homescreen that changes in size depending on how many notifications appear and color themes created from wallpaper. It also promises more responsiveness with better battery life and less strain on processors.

Moving beyond mediocre screens, design and cameras, the Pixel 6 features a 6.4-inch flat display with wide and ultra-wide cameras on the back and a 90 Hz refresh rate display, according to the company. The Pixel 6 Pro, with a 6.7-inch, slightly curved display and a 120 Hz refresh rate, comes with similar specs but also a telephoto lens.

There’s no word on pricing at this time, but if the intention is to compete at the high end of the market, the price is likely to hover around $1,000. For comparison, the Pixel 5 starts at $699 and the Pixel 4a 5G starts at $499.

The design is eye-catching, too. The Pixel phones have more space above the camera bar, allowing three color combinations for each device.

Google said it’ll give more details about the devices in the fall, but the unusual move to drop so many specs ahead of a formal launch may be a way to encourage consumers who may be looking to upgrade their device to sit tight. Samsung will host its annual Unpacked event for its flagship Galaxy smartphones next week. Apple typically launches new iPhones in September.

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