OnePlus Nord could be the OnePlus Z's name

The rise in prices of premium smartphones may have been put on hold as the world's economy comes to grips with the "new normal". As Samsung found out the hard way, luxurious prices have truly become a luxury that few can afford. That may have helped OnePlus make its decision to return to its roots and launch a more affordable phone once again. This time, though, it might be taking a break from its usual naming convention and call what was believed to be the OnePlus Z by a completely different name.

The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro may be the company's best phones yet, but they are also its most expensive. While still significantly less expensive than equivalent Samsung or Huawei phones, OnePlus still received no small amount of criticism over its change of course from its initial "Never Settle" philosophy. CEO Pete Lau recently confirmed they are working on going back to that kind of product but has stopped short of explaining what he means.

Thanks to a leaked photo, however, we may now at least have an idea on what it would be called. Initially expected to be dubbed the OnePlus Z, after the mid-range OnePlus X from years past, OnePlus accidentally let it be known that the phone could be called the OnePlus Nord instead. Of course, nothing's final until the phone is actually launched but it's quite a peculiar name nonetheless and almost uncharacteristic of OnePlus' conventions.

A OnePlus Z or Nord by any other name, however, would still have the same specs. Or at least rumored specs that include a Snapdragon 765 CPU to offer an affordable 5G phone, a 90 Hz screen, and four cameras on its back. In other words, just the right ingredients for an affordable but solid smartphone that Lau alluded to.

It could definitely be a well-timed change in course given how mid-range phones are becoming more popular these days thanks to a combination of better specs and more accessible prices. Samsung's Galaxy A phones have even overtaken the Galaxy S20 for those same reasons, making the mid-tier smartphone market ripe for the picking.