Not only to OnePlus but also to fans this ‘affordable’ OnePlus Nord There are a lot of expectations with this and we are also looking forward to reviewing this phone. So let’s see how well the OnePlus Nord lives up to our expectations? Can it really offer the same experience as its more expensive sibling? let’s find out.
OnePlus Nord: design and display
OnePlus has kept its design separate to make Nord stand out from the OnePlus 8 series smartphones. The design style of OnePlus Nord is somewhat similar to that of Oppo and Realme phones and we are not surprised as all these brands are part of the same family. However, the inclusion of the alert slider and the same old style of buttons and ports gives us a feel for it to be a OnePlus phone.
The quality can be called good for a phone made of polycarbonate. Gorilla Glass 5 protection is available at the front and back. We really liked the blue marble color on the Nord unit, which is also the color of our review unit. Apart from this, the phone has also been introduced in Gray Onyx color.
Like other OnePlus phones, there is no option to expand the storage on the OnePlus Nord, as the SIM tray supports only two nano-SIM cards. It also comes in 128 GB and 256 GB variants, in which you may not miss the storage.
OnePlus smartphones are known for their AMOLED displays and I am glad to see that OnePlus has not compromised on this low-end smartphone. Its display panel is also AMOLED. The sides of the display are not curved like on the OnePlus 8, but instead of one, it has a cutout for two selfie cameras. The display size is 6.44 inches and comes with full-HD+ resolution (1080×2400) with 90Hz refresh rate. The phone comes with HDR10+. It’s a good panel overall, with black levels looking decent and colors showing up in plenty. However, there is some difference in the color tone on the white background and it did not fix even after a few updates. However, it is noticed only after looking very carefully.
With the OnePlus Nord, you get a silicone bumper case, Type-C cable, fast charger and stickers.
OnePlus Nord: specifications
OnePlus Nord comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset in India. Qualcomm X52 5G modem is available in this chipset and it is built on 7nm process. It promises better processing capabilities and up to 30 percent faster graphics rendering when compared to the Snapdragon 730G.
In India, three variants of OnePlus Nord have been introduced. 6GB RAM and 64GB storage, which will only be available on Amazon from September. Its price is Rs 24,999. Apart from this, 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant, which costs Rs 27,999 and 12 GB RAM variant with 256 GB storage, which costs Rs 29,999.
The thickness of the OnePlus Nord is 8.2 mm and it weighs 184 grams. You get support for navigation systems including NFC, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1, and navigation. The phone has a single speaker, in-display fingerprint sensor and face unlock feature. Nord has no official IP certification, so you have to be a little careful with the water. You get a 4,115mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T fast charging technology.
The OnePlus experience would not be complete without OxygenOS. At the time of review, the phone was running software version 10.5.2 with the July security patch. Its interface and features are similar to the flagship OnePlus phone. There are also options to customize Zen Mode, built-in screen recorder and ambient display, fingerprint animation, etc. OnePlus has also promised two years of software updates and three years of security updates for Nord.
There have been some software changes in OnePlus Nord as compared to other OnePlus phones. The biggest one is the addition of Google’s stock dialer and messages application. No clear reason was shared for removing the Oxygen OS’s dialer and Messages app, but simply stated that based on its research, the company felt that mid-range smartphone buyers would be better off with Google’s app. You can get experience. We haven’t had a problem with Google’s stock apps, but it’s disappointing that Nord users won’t get to experience the India-specific features that OnePlus has added to its dialer and Messages apps over the years.
The second change has been made in the camera app. In this, you will be able to share your Akari photo very easily from the app itself. For this, you have to keep tapping on the preview and you will get the option to choose the apps directly.
OnePlus Nord: performance
According to OnePlus, Nord users will get the same smooth and fast performance as the flagship phone and we have to say that it does a great job. With regular usage, we didn’t really notice much difference between the OnePlus Nord and the flagship phones from OnePlus. The interface was very smooth and fast, apps were quick to load and close, and switching between apps was easy. The in-display fingerprint sensor works very well. Face unlock is also very fast and accurate.
Videos on the OnePlus display look great, especially when streaming HDR videos on YouTube and Netflix. Dirac’s software enhancements on Nord make for a louder sound experience even on a single speaker.
We used the OnePlus Nord for a week and its battery life was pretty solid. We easily got a day and a half backup on a single charge. It managed to take a full day even after playing a lot of games and using the camera. In our video loop test, the OnePlus Nord lasted around 14.5 hours, which is a pretty decent amount of time. With the charger that comes with it, the phone got charged up to 93 percent in an hour, which is quite fast.
OnePlus Nord: cameras
The OnePlus Nord has a total of six cameras – four at the back and two at the front. The main rear camera is exactly what you will get with the OnePlus 8. The company has also kept optical stabilization, which is good to see. The other three cameras are an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, you get a 32-megapixel primary Sony IMX616 lens and an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens.
The camera app is similar to that of the OnePlus 8-series phones and does the job in a similar way. In broad daylight, the main rear camera on the OnePlus Nord captures decent pictures. We found that the details in the shots were generally good, the colors were good and the HDR worked well. There was a slight decrease in dynamic range compared to the OnePlus 8. The main camera shoots photos at 12-megapixels by default, but you can choose to shoot at full resolution as well.
The wide-angle camera captured comparatively weak detail, but it did a good job with colors and HDR. There’s no optical zoom on the Nord. Instead, you can digitally zoom up to 10x using the main camera, but the quality is compromised. Close-ups looked good in broad daylight, got good detail, but sometimes the colors add up. The autofocus system was quite fast.
Portrait shots Using the primary camera, the background is well blurred, although the level of blur cannot be set. The macro camera did its job, but it wasn’t great, and was useful only when there was good lighting around our subject.
Low-light photos came out decent and in very dark scenes, I had to use Nightscape. The problem with Night Mode on the Nord is that even though it can be quite effective at brightening up a picture, it leaves textures flat and shadows light, which I didn’t like. The wide-angle camera doesn’t really take usable shots in low light, unless you use Nightscape.
Talking about the selfie camera, the primary selfie camera captured good details in daylight, skin tone looked good and HDR was handled well. In low light, the details fell short and the overall quality was also average.
Selfies are captured at full 32-megapixel resolution by default, although if you switch to portrait mode, the phone takes 8-megapixel shots. The wide-angle front camera is a nice addition, but we wish OnePlus could improve its color profile a bit. Despite the lack of detail, photos usually showed a slight red tint. In low-light shots, colors generally look flat, but the camera managed to capture bright shots.
OnePlus seems to be going back to its roots with its ‘affordable’ OnePlus Nord. It’s not a ‘flagship killer’ like the original OnePlus One, but it doesn’t have to be, as OnePlus itself has a new line of premium flagships. Nord could have simply been called the OnePlus Lite or the OnePlus 8 Lite, but doing so may not have made that much of an impact in the name of the new product line. The OnePlus Nord seems like an old start and if we’re lucky, we might see a lot more in the series, possibly targeting the lower tiers of the smartphone market. If you currently have OnePlus 6 As with older OnePlus smartphones, Nord should be a good upgrade.
We don’t think many people will miss out on Qualcomm’s 800-series processor in the OnePlus Nord, as it performs well in day-to-day usage. OnePlus Nord is currently the cheapest 5G smartphone in the Indian market, which gives it a unique advantage. Although the competition is strong, Redmi K20 Pro And Realme X3 Phones like the series come with more powerful processors equipped with 4G and in some cases come equipped with similar features if not better. OnePlus Nord may not compete with these smartphones in terms of specifications, but when you keep the software in mind and promise timely updates, it becomes an attractive deal for you.