For a long time, the OnePlus brand and lineup of smartphones had a rather simple offering for its fan base. It came in the form of one device that was the market leader in technologies no matter what other flagship manufacturers had to offer, but at a fraction of the cost of their best phones.
The first OnePlus device we ever got, which was released in 2014, had a similar set of specifications to the critically acclaimed Samsung Galaxy S5, but it cost around $300 less. For this price, you could get another mid-tier phone for another member of your family, buy a pair of quality headphones and still have money left, or afford something quite useful for your home.
That all changed this year though. First of all, OnePlus now offers more than one phone in their top-tier selection. With their latest iteration, they have two versions of the flagship OnePlus 8 device. Apart from the actual flagship model, the company also launched a mid-range handset aimed at the Indian and European markets.
Released with the slogan “pretty much everything you could ask for”, this new handset runs a slightly less powerful processor but retains a powerful, feature-rich camera, 5G capability, and a great screen with high resolution.
Furthermore, there are now rumors that the company might also be ready to treat the users with another release. Apparently, it is getting ready to launch the OnePlus Clover, which would be an even less powerful, entry-level model aimed at those on a budget. The phone would have limited features and would prove the best option for those in need of basic smartphone use, like younger children do with their first phones, or elderly people do to stay in touch with their loved ones.
With so many different OnePlus phones to choose from, which one should you as a user aim for?
If price is your main deciding factor, then the OnePlus Clover may be the best option for you. It is rumoured to be released with a price tag of only $200, making it the cheapest phone the company has ever released. It is more than three times cheaper than the OnePlus 8, but it will likely come without 5G support and a much slower processor. The overall performance will also be much worse than the flagship phone.
If you do not plan on using your phone for any complicated and prolonged activities like photo and video editing, heavy internet surfing and downloading, as well as gaming, then the Clover will likely be the right one for you. Otherwise, a more expensive version from the three choices may be in order.
OnePlus phones have always handled gaming pretty well and are some of the mobile gamers’ favorite choices. The company even has a relationship with FNATIC, the famous and successful global eSports brand. One example of their partnership is the fact that the Android gaming mode was renamed to FNATIC mode in the OxygenOS.
The type of games you want to play will be the biggest deciding factor of which OnePlus model you should buy.
The rumored Clover phone will handle most of the average demanding games without too many issues. It may not run some bigger titles as easy as the higher-end models do, but you should still be able to enjoy them in shorter sessions and at lower settings.
The Nord will handle everything you throw at it, from PokerStars to Fortnite without a single performance-related glitch, with bigger games able to run on the highest of the graphics settings. The main drawback is that it may not be as future-proof as the OnePlus 8 however, so it may not perform as well with games that are released in the next two or three years. This is why the flagship phone is always the best choice if you are want a long-lasting device that stands the test of time.
If having 5G is something that is important to you, then the OnePlus Clover likely will not be suitable at all. It is rumored to be using the Qualcomm SM4250 Snapdragon 460 chipset, which does not support 5G as the highest it can run is 4G LTE.
The OnePlus Nord is one of the cheapest 5G-ready smartphones on the market and offers most of the features and performance of the OnePlus 8 when this network system is related.
Where You Live
The OnePlus Nord is only available in India and Europe, while the OnePlus 8 is available worldwide.
The company does not appear to have any plans to release the phone in North America, or at least not beyond a few limited-edition models. You cannot even import one, as the phone will not be compatible with the either of the phone networks in the United States.
So far, the OnePlus Clover is expected to be available in more regions. If this is the case, then you will have a choice of either the entry-level Clover or the premium 8 or 8 Pro.
If you like to take great photos with your phone, then the OnePlus Clover is not going to cut it. The three rear lenses will produce images with 13 MP, 2 MP and 2 MP respectively.
On the other hand, the OnePlus 8 and the Nord have some of the best cameras on the market. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as saying that the 8 has the best with because the Nord is so close behind.
Both have a 48 MP wide lens, but the 8 has a 16 MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2 MP macro lens. The 8 Pro, which has similar specs to the 8 in most other areas has a 48 MP ultra-wide lens and an additional 8 MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, the only OnePlus with this feature.
The Nord has the same 2 MP lens and a downgraded ultra-wide lens with just 8 MP, but it also has a 5 MP depth lens.
Therefore, similarly to choosing a DSLR, if you are choosing a phone based on its camera you may need to consider the type of photographs you take, rather than just comparing the numbers.