Last year, OnePlus returned to the business of making cheaper phones, with the launch of OnePlus Nord. Rumors promise that more Nord is coming, but another new cheaper device is on the way: OnePlus 9 Lite.
This phone will be introduced along with the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, and should come with the Snapdragon 865 chipset. This is instead of the flagship Snapdragon 888 we expect in the other two, as well as upcoming Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21.
This news comes from Android Central a source, who claims that the typical launch of two OnePlus phones will now include a third. Although phones are cheaper, some things will have to be sacrificed to save money, hence the Snapdragon 865.
While OnePlus has pushed more into creating a budget for mid-range phones, and not just for the pursuit devices they’re familiar with, choosing the Snapdragon 865 doesn’t mean the OnePlus 9 Lite will be a budget phone.
The Snapdragon 865 has appeared in a number of flagship phones from the 2020s and is still a very powerful chip, although it has been replaced by the Snapdragon 888. As such, the OnePlus 9 Lite is likely to be a slightly cheaper OnePlus 9 model, offering much of its features with a few cuts. angles, say one camera lens more or less RAM. We’ve seen a situation like this with the $ 699 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE – the premium mid-level Galaxy S20 – so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the OnePlus trying to do so with the 9 Lite.
This segment of the smartphone market has really picked up this year, as not only is the Galaxy S20 FE leading the way, but there are also the Google Pixel 5 and iPhone 12, all of which cost $ 699. At $ 749, the OnePlus 8T could be considered a competitor in that arena, but its higher price puts it at a disadvantage. So there’s a possibility that OnePlus is using a ‘Lite’ phone that ships a premium mid-range phone that could undercut rivals for Samsung, Google and Apple.
What will also be interesting to see is how the OnePlus distinguishes the 9 Lite from its predecessors, as it is set to use the same chipset. But by using a slightly older chip, the company is ready to save money on phone development; savings that could then be passed on to customers.
We don’t know much more about the OnePlus 9 Lite, but we can expect the rest of its specs to be pretty similar to the standard OnePlus 9. The OnePlus 9 is also expected to have an FHD + 6.55 inches with a 120 Hz refresh rate, a 4,500 battery mAh, three rear cameras and one variant with at least 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.
The OnePlus 9 Lite could share a lot of these specs, but potentially should use a smaller screen, less memory, and one smaller rear camera; those are all speculations, however.
The OnePlus 9 range was launched in mid-March 2021, so we should expect to hear more about the OnePlus 9 Lite in the coming weeks, as we move into 2021.