We are here to review one of the most talked-about phones in the mid-range section which has created lots of buzz from the day company launched its teaser. OnePlus has surely emerged as one of the premium phone makers which has impressed its users from powerful performances in every segment but, this time around the company is not eyeing the premium range rather it has launched a mid-range phone which goes by the name OnePlus Nord and it surely is going to make competition real tough for other companies like Vivo, OPPO, Redmi, Realme, etc. Although this is not the first mid-range phone from the company as it had already launched OnePlus X in the mid-range which received a mixed response. Based on our observations we have seen that people are opting for OnePlus when compared to other phones in the premium range, and therefore it will be interesting to find out the response which the OnePlus Nord will receive in the mid-range among the competition.
The new OnePlus Nord is an attracting looking phone with a mono-color body with glossy finish and the variant which we got review holds gray onyx color. The phone is having a glass-plastic sandwich body design with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 upfront. The weight of the phone is reasonable and it fits your hand quite comfortably allowing you to use the phone for a longer period of time. The front fascia of the phone is dominated by the screen and on at the top left side of the phone lies the dual selfie camera sensors in a pill-shaped punch-hole design also the bezels are very sleek in design. The fingerprint sensor is also on display which when tested responded very quickly to the touch. The backside of the phone has a bulged quad-camera setup placed vertically in a frame. The placements of the keys are in the traditional manner meaning their placements are in the same manner to that of all the OnePlus phones. The power button and the slider sit on the right side of the phone whereas the volume rockers are on the left side. At the bottom of the phone lies a Type-C port and a speaker outlet and also a dual SIM tray with no extra slot for expanding the internal storage. At the top side of the phone lies the secondary mic for active noise cancellation. The company could have added a 3.5mm headphone jack and an extra slot to expand the internal storage because the phone comes with a 64GB internal storage variant which after some time will fall short. OnePlus Nord comes with three configurations of RAM and ROM which is 6GB/64GB, 8GB/128GB, and 12GB/256GB and the one which we are reviewing has 12GB ROM and 256GB RAM.
OnePlus Nord comes with 6.44 inches AMOLED screen which is one of the plus points of the phone. The screen has an aspect ratio of 20:9 offering wide viewing experience. The phone has a screen resolution of 1080×2400 pixels and a 90Hz refresh rate and has HDR10+ support. The colors produced are very vivid and vibrant enabling immersive viewing experience. The colors produced are very sharp as well and the AMOLED screen makes sure you enjoy every tiny detail to fullest. The 90Hz refresh rate of the screen allows you to smoothly scroll through anything and also you get better gaming experience. The visibility of the screen is quite good and you can work on the screen even when it’s bright daylight. The good thing about the OnePlus Nord is that we don’t get to see a downgrade in the segment of display due to the difference in the price to that of the OnePlus 7 series.
The new OnePlus Nord is running the new OxygenOS 10.0 on top of the latest Android 10. The company did not downgrade any features on the phone due to less price from that of the flagship phones of OnePlus.
One of the main and the USP of the new OnePlus Nord is that the phone has one of the powerful and best processors falling under such price range which is Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC. The chipset has octa cores where one core is clocked at 2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Prime and one core clocked at 2.2 GHz Kryo 475 Gold and six cores are clocked at 1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver. The 765G SoC has an integrated Qualcomm X52 5G modem and is built on the 7nm process which surely has an upper hand when compared to the 720, 725, 730 SoC processors. The new OnePlus surely is going to make competition tough for the recently launched phones from Vivo and OPPO like Vivo X50, X50 Pro, and Reno 4 Pro. We did not face any issues while working with anything be it gaming, multi-tasking as the 765G chipset handles all the tasks quite easily. The 765SoC processor also has one other advantage which is its capability to deliver high graphic content while playing games as we were able to play PUBG and Asphalt in their high definition requirements and the processor did not disappoint us here as well. The incorporation of 5G is surely a smart move but till now in India, it is of no use as the 5G spectrum is not available. The 90Hz refresh adds up to the better gaming experience as it allows you to move freely and quickly. As we have earlier stated that the new OnePlus Nord comes in three configurations and the one which we are reviewing has 12GB RAM and 256GB ROM. The 12GB RAM of the phone surely boosts the power of the processor.
OnePlus Nord has a quad-camera rear setup with the primary sensor of 48MP with PDAF, OIS, and with an aperture of f/1.8. The secondary sensor is an 8MP ultra-wide lens with an aperture of f/2.3. The third sensor is a depth sensor of 5MP with an aperture of f/2.4. The fourth sensor is a 2MP macro lens with an aperture of f/2.4. The images captured by the rear sensor in the daylight were very good as the detailing in them were on point. The macro lens of the phone is quite interesting as it captures images with proper focus and proper colour balance. The ultra-wide lens also does a decent job but sometimes the images do not feel as dynamic as we have seen with the macro lens. By default, the main camera saves 12-megapixel oversampled images but you can also choose to film at maximum resolution. The images captured in low lighting conditions were quite good as well. We found that the noise effects were at a minimum level and with the Night Mode on you will be able to capture the better quality of images with proper colour details. The increase in resolution tends to add some graining effect and it will be much better if you use the ultra-wide lens when it is required only. The selfie camera sensors on the other hand were much more intriguing to us. OnePlus Nord has dual selfie camera sensors where there is a 32MP wide lens with an aperture of f/2.5 and an 8MP ultra-wide lens with an aperture of f/2.5. The selfies captured were brilliant and it surely a treat for selfie lovers as the selfies maintained very fine details and the HDR was also on point. On some occasions, the selfies were sharpened on its own but, it is not of major concern. The ultra-wide lens makes it easy for you to capture group selfies. At low light, the selfie quality goes down a bit but still, it manages to keep the details intact. The plus point of the selfie camera sensor is that it can shoot video in 4K which was not even there in the flagship phones from OnePlus.
The video stabilization feature of the phone is quite and we liked it. OnePlus Nord can film with the main and wide-angle cameras at up to 4K 30fps, but before filming you would need to turn to the one you want because you cannot do that until you start shooting. There is no 4K 60fps alternative because the Nord had some heating problems at the test stage according to OnePlus, which is why this functionality has been removed.
OnePlus Nord holds a battery power of 4,115mAh. We tested the battery life and found out that it has the power last a whole day with a single charge. We played games for hours, surfed on online platforms, watched videos that surely drained battery quickly but still we were able to get through a whole day. OnePlus Nord comes with 30T fast WARP charger which rapidly charges the phone from 0-100% within an hour.
The OnePlus Nord conveniently bridges the gap between premium and the mid-segment. Nord has almost everything you would ask for like a fluidic 90Hz display, glass-metal premium design, an agile chipset that supports each cause, and a much better camera experience which is rarely available at this price point. In optics, Nord is almost identical to OnePlus 8. The battery back-up is sufficient for a day whereas the Warp charging delights with its fast charging capabilities. You may find a few initial hiccups on the smartphone as it keeps getting software updates.
OnePlus has strategically brought Nord to fill the appetite of mid-segment buyers or anyone who wishes to shell out more than 20K rupees. It has also ended its own stereotyping of launching one phone per year with Nord. Similarly, this smartphone could also mean that OnePlus may not get expected buyers in the premium segment because Nord suffices the needs of an average, routine and daily user. On the contrary, OnePlus has also earned a name within its 6 years of being into existence in India therefore; Nord will definitely attract buyers as the brand value grows for OnePlus in India. OnePlus Nord is priced at Rs 24,999 for the 6GB/64GB version. There are Vivo X50 and Oppo’s Reno4 Pro in the race but, these are priced higher as expected.