OnePlus Nord 4: Metal Design, Six Years of Updates, and a Focus on Fluency

OnePlus, known for its bold design concepts, is returning to metal in phone design with the upcoming OnePlus Nord 4. Launching on July 16, the device promises a blend of nostalgia and innovation. In a conversation with OnePlus President and COO Kinder Liu, the focus was on the design’s inherent qualities and the company’s dedication to delivering what it calls ‘the best-ever fluency’ on its devices.

Metal phones, a dominant force in the latter half of the 2010s, were gradually replaced by glass and plastic. However, OnePlus believes metal offers distinct advantages. Liu highlighted the material’s durability, beauty, permanence, and strength. Metal’s resistance to drops and scratches, along with its ability to dissipate heat, makes it a desirable choice for phone design.

The shift away from metal was primarily driven by the rise of 5G networks, which require numerous antennas. Metal bodies interfered with these antennas, leading to signal issues. However, OnePlus has addressed this challenge with a combination of smaller antennas, strategic motherboard placement, and plastic inserts to reinforce signal strength. The result is a metal Nord 4 that doesn’t compromise on cellular reception.

The Nord 4 goes beyond just a metal design; it focuses on long-term software support. OnePlus promises four years of Android updates, starting with Android 14 and extending to Android 18, along with two more years of crucial feature updates and security patches. This six-year commitment surpasses previous OnePlus offerings and aligns with other mid-range devices like the Samsung Galaxy A55 and Google Pixel 8a, both of which offer five and seven years of software support respectively.

The Nord 4’s fluency is backed by extensive testing. In collaboration with TÜV SÜD, a German testing agency, OnePlus conducted a rigorous 72-month fluency test. This simulation involves tasks like copying and deleting gigabytes of data, installing and uninstalling hundreds of apps, and launching and closing numerous applications. The test verifies the phone’s performance remains consistent after six years of usage. The battery, too, has undergone extensive charging and draining cycles to ensure longevity, proving to be in excellent condition after 1,600 charges.

Liu emphasized the importance of these assurances, stating that a phone without them is like a house with weak foundations. It might appear good on the surface but lacks the stability for long-term use. The OnePlus Nord 4, with its metal design, six years of updates, and rigorous testing, aims to deliver a device that’s not only beautiful but also built for the long haul.

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