Exclusive: OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G design confirmed, and this is its new flagship color

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is officially landing later this week, but the company has now provided TechRadar with exclusive images of the upcoming phone so you can see the design for the very first time.

The Nord CE 2 5G is expected to be an affordable alternative to the company's flagship phone range. The previous OnePlus Nord CE phone from 2021 cost £299 (around $420, AU$550), so we'd expect around a similar price for this model.

OnePlus has kept a similar look to the first-gen handset, but there are some differences, such as a new camera design on the rear of the phone. The new camera module looks to have rounded corners in a similar style to the Oppo Find X3 Pro from the company's sister brand.

OnePlus Nord CE 2

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G (Image credit: OnePlus)

Oliver Zhang, Head of Product at OnePlus, told TechRadar, "Using a one-piece molding process, the crystal-clear camera module rises naturally from the back of the phone in an elegant curve. 

"Our designers also added a CD ring with a metal-like texture on the main and ultra-wide camera to enhance the futuristic impression of the camera module."

This design is less distinctive than the company's new OnePlus 10 Pro that features a much larger camera module that connects to the left hand edge of the phone. It also looks quite different to the company's existing OnePlus 9 range.

There's a new blue shade

The handset you've seen above is a new color for OnePlus phones, although it remains a variation of the blue theme that has become known as the flagship shade for the company's Nord handsets.

Zhang said, "When designing colors for the OnePlus Nord CE 2, the product team wanted to evolve its blue colorway and did this by adopting a brighter and bolder blue than the original OnePlus Nord CE’s Blue Void. 

"The OnePlus Nord CE 2’s Bahama Blue colorway exhibits a multi-directional gradient of blue and yellow that blend together beautifully."

Zhang also confirmed that the company would be offering a second color for the handset, which is called Gray Mirror. It's currently unclear what that will look like, but we believe it'll be a silver variant similar to the original phone's Silver Ray.

Expect a similar shiny design to the company's flagship OnePlus 9 Pro, as well. Zhang confirmed that each model in the Nord CE 2 line undergoes "a low-diffusion cosmetic process" which is designed to "deliver a translucent visual effect on its rear cover."

What else do we know so far?

Zhang also confirmed to TechRadar some of the specs we can expect, including the fact it'll feature a 4,500mAh battery. That supports up to 65W fast-charging, which uses SuperVOOC branded technology that we've previously seen on Oppo products.

The company says this phone will charge twice as fast as the original Nord CE, and it'll provide "up to one day's power in just 15 minutes". We don't expect that means the phone will be fully charged in 15 minutes, so you'll likely want to spend longer to ensure a full day of use.

OnePlus has previously confirmed that microSD support would be coming to the OnePlus Nord CE 2, but we now know it'll be able to support cards up to 1TB in size.

Zhang said, "To add more versatility to the OnePlus Nord CE 2, we added space for a microSD card slot in its design that enables users to expand the device’s storage up to 1TB."

OnePlus has yet to confirm the internal storage sizes for the handset, but leaks suggest you'll have the option of either 128GB or 256GB of space.

We don't yet know when the OnePlus Nord CE 2 release date will be, and it's currently unclear where the phone will be available. The last-gen model was on sale in Europe (including the UK) and India, so this may not be a handset you can buy in the US or Australia.

There's a lot left to learn about this upcoming phone, and the company is hosting a launch event on February 17 where we expect to get those details. It starts at 8:30am ET / 5:30am PT or 1:30pm GMT (that's 12:30am AEDT on February 18).

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