OnePlus announces OnePlus Buds Z and OnePlus Nord Special Edition

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© OnePlus

OnePlus launched its new flagship OnePlus 8T on Wednesday, October 14. Alongside this announcement, the brand also launched a new pair of headphones and a new colour scheme for the OnePlus Nord.

The OnePlus 8T was obviously the highlight of the OnePlus keynote show. I had it in my hands and would love you to check out my hands-on if you want to have a first opinion on this high-end smartphone.

But the manufacturer also presented the OnePlus Buds Z, its new true wireless in-ear earphones, as well as a new very classy and extreme shade of matte - Grey Ash, for the OnePlus Nord. Here is a quick update on the manufacturer's announcements.

OnePlus Buds Z, true wireless earphones experience for €59 ($70)

The OnePlus Buds Z are OnePlus' newest true wireless in-ear earphones. The earphones feature 10mm dynamic drivers and OnePlus's bass boost technology.

Also included is the Dolby Atmos dynamic 3D stereo focus capability. The aim is to enable OnePlus Buds Z to deliver a more immersive sound stage via stereo sound. While they do not come with Active Noise Reduction (ANC), but their in-wall design should provide better passive isolation than the basic OnePlus Buds that came in an open-fit design.

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The OnePlus Buds Z is sold for less than €60 / © OnePlus

The OnePlus Buds Z have an advertised battery life of 4 hours per earphone, which will increase to 20 hours with the charging case that can hence carry out up to 4 complete charges before having to be plugged into the mains via a USB-C adapter.

The OnePlus Buds Z will arrive equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, but will only support basic codecs such as SBC and AAC. The brand talks about environmental noise reduction, but this only concerns voice pickup by microphones during calls. The earphones are also IP55-certified, which will help to isolate wind noise when in use, for instance.

When it comes to colour choices, there isn't much to pick from with the OnePlus Buds Z as it will only arrive in white and will be available on the official online store and Amazon on November 4 at €59 ($69) a pop. A collector's edition created by Steven Harrington will follow at the end of November, with a slightly increased price of €69 ($81). You can already pre-order them if you wish.

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OnePlus promises a battery life of 4 hours per earphone, up to 20 hours with the charging case / © OnePlus

OnePlus Nord in Grey Ash: A matte, classy colour

OnePlus also unveiled a new colour for its mid-range smartphone, the OnePlus Nord. Named Ash Grey, this matte grey coating, which supposedly evokes "a raw industrial ambience with an elegant texture" gives an even more premium visual touch to OnePlus Nord.

It's a much more serious shade of colour compared to the more youth-oriented Blue Marble that was available at the smartphone's release. On the other hand, only the OnePlus Nord in a 12GB / 256GB configuration will be available in Grey Ash, making it the most expensive configuration to date and will be sold at €499 ($586). This special version will be available from October 15th on the official online store and Amazon.

The Grey Ash colour gives the OnePlus Nord a much more serious look / © OnePlus

OxygenOS 11, based on Android 11

"The OnePlus 8T is not only the first OnePlus smartphone to come with the latest version of OnePlus' operating system, OxygenOS 11, pre-installed - it is also the first non-Google smartphone to be launched with Android 11 in the world," according to OnePlus.

With OxygenOS 11, Oneplus wanted to revamp its interface by making it more ergonomic and especially more suitable for one-handed use, while ensuring that the entire user experience ends up being more intuitive as well.

There is a bit of debate going on among fans concerning the overlay, where its new visual identity has seen most of the information and tactile controls reduced to one-handed operation, in a calculated move by OnePlus. 

Having said that, the user interface (UI) continues to remain very clean and introduces the Always-on display with an interesting feature known as AOD Insight. This feature provides you with an "insight", a preview of your screen time with a vertical bar that changes colour depending on the amount of time that you spend on your smartphone.

The AOD Insight feature also displays a screen unlock counter. In short, it's a digital wellness feature that's nice enough without being anxiety-provoking since it only displays AOD when the screen is off. I talked about it in greater detail concerning the benefits of OxygenOS 11 in my hands-on of the above-mentioned OnePlus 8T. Do look out for the full review of this recently announced flagship device soon!

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Antoine Engels

Antoine Engels
Senior Editor

Black belt in specs sheet analysis. OnePlus fanboy in (slow) remission. Average estimated reading time of my articles: 48 minutes. Tech deals fact-checker in my spare time. Hates talking about himself in the 3rd person. Dreams he was a gaming journalist in another life. Doesn't get the concept of irony. Head of editorial for NextPit France.

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