OnePlus is reviving its infamous “Flagship Killer” tagline for the newly-announced OnePlus Nord 2 5G, a device optimized for photography and gaming. This is the first time that OnePlus has christened a product with the “Flagship Killer” title since 2018, but early details on the Nord 2 5G and its custom MediaTek processor have failed to inspire OnePlus fans.
The whole point behind this “Flagship Killer” tagline is that OnePlus phones, more specifically the devices released in the company’s first few years, were a competitively-priced alternative to flagship phones from big brands. So, reusing this catchphrase for phones within OnePlus’s budget Nord catalog makes sense, and we shouldn’t expect these cheaper devices to run on expensive state-of-the-art chips.
But this is the first OnePlus device to run on a MediaTek processor, and because of MediaTek’s poor GPU performance (compared to Snapdragon), some people are skeptical of the “Flagship Killer” tagline. That may be why OnePlus and MediaTek collaborated to build a custom Dimensity 1200-AI processor, which is really just an upgraded version of the Dimensity 1200.
We’ve worked with MediaTek to build an exclusive AI-enhanced experience that takes photography, display tech and gaming to a new dimension. And everything’s just better and smarter over there. 👾
Nord 2 5G, the Flagship Killer. Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI. pic.twitter.com/Oci97kkUAi
— OnePlus UK (@OnePlus_UK) July 7, 2021
MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 chip is comparable to the Snapdragon 865 or 870, though with worse graphics performance and better power efficiency. According to OnePlus, the custom Dimensity 1200-AI improves computational photography, allowing cameras to recognize 22 distinct “scenes” and record HDR video. The company also claims that display enhancements, such as an automatic Resolution Boost feature, will make an appearance.
OnePlus also mentions gaming in its announcements but doesn’t exactly specify how the Dimensity 1200-AI chip improves in this area. For now, we’re stuck with vague language like “low lag.”
So, why is OnePlus suddenly working with MediaTek? It may have something to do with the global semiconductor shortage, which is forcing manufacturers to find alternatives to their preferred processors. Of course, it may also be a cost-cutting measure, as MediaTek chips tend to cost less than Snapdragon processors.
Leaks suggest that the OnePlus Nord 2 5G will launch in India in late July—these leaks also predicted the MediaTek chip, so they may be accurate. The OnePlus website indicates an imminent U.S. release, though it isn’t clear when the phone will arrive stateside. Pricing for the phone is still a mystery, though it will probably sell for under $600, given the “Flagship Killer” tagline.