As we near the close of 2020, we can start to look at all of the fun things that happen in the beginning of the year. Starting in Q1, we're going to see next year's round of flagship devices, and that includes the OnePlus 9 series. As usual, we'll see the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro, and there was previously a rumor of a OnePlus 9E.
It would seem that the third device in question is the OnePlus 9 Lite, according to a report from Android Central. The report also says that rather than the Snapdragon 888 that will be in the higher-end models, the OnePlus 9 Lite will be powered by a Snapdragon 865 chipset, just like the OnePlus 8 and 8T series.
While that's all that we know about the OnePlus 9 Lite, a good guess would probably be that it will be heavy on new features, while using the older chipset. For example, we may see new display, camera, or Warp Charge capabilities in the OnePlus 9, and those could come to the OnePlus 9 Lite but without the speed of the Snapdragon 888.
OnePlus has historically focused on speed, something that's changed over the last year. In its premium flagships, it still uses the fastest chipsets, the most RAM, and the fastest storage, but the company has been focusing more and more on budget options. The Nord was the first device the firm ever made that didn't have a Snapdragon 8 series chipset. It went even lower end with the Snapdragon 690-powered Nord N10 5G and the Snapdragon 460-powered Nord N100.
It would seem that OnePlus - once known for its Flagship Killer smartphones - is now going a more similar route to Samsung, making devices for every person at every price point. The OnePlus 9 series is expected to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2021, so we'll find out more then.