It has been quite some time since OnePlus Nord launched. I have been using the device for more than 30 days now, and overall, the device is quite impressive. Yes, there are places where the device could have been a little better, but looking at the price at which it sells, there is not too much to complain. OnePlus is known for bringing powerful devices at low price points and the company has done it again. The OnePlus 8 was the first affordable flagship to start at above Rs 40,000 in India from the smartphone manufacturer. To keep the customers who wanted cheaper smartphones happy, OnePlus released the OnePlus Nord back in July in India. Unlike the OnePlus 8 series, the OnePlus Nord makes use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset and it is 5G compatible as well. Let’s take a look at the complete OnePlus Nord review after 30 days.
OnePlus Nord Review: Design and Display
OnePlus has been very clever at designing its smartphones since its inception. It is no different with the OnePlus Nord. Even though the smartphone dons a plastic frame, you don’t get the feel of holding cheap plastic. You still feel as if you are holding something premium in your hands, thanks to the glass back. To complement the design, OnePlus has introduced the OnePlus Nord in attractive new colours — Blue Marble and Gray Onyx. While the Gray Onyx is simple and sober and not much flashy, Blue Marble stands out from the rest of the crowd. If you are carrying the Blue Marble variant with you, it will be hard for people to ignore it.
Coming back to the design of the body, the bezels are relatively thin, and there is a dual-punch hole housing two front cameras. The volume rocker is located on the left side of the body. The classic ringer switch aka alert slider of OnePlus is on the right side of the body along with the power button. Both in the bottom and top, microphones are located, and the speaker is placed on the bottom. There is a USB 2.0 Type-C port in the bottom along with a dual-SIM card tray.
The OnePlus Nord has a 6.44-inch Full HD+ (2400 x 1080 pixel) AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. This smartphone can support up to 90Hz display. OnePlus Nord has one of the best displays in the mid-range smartphone segment. The high refresh rate is going to make things smoother and faster for you on the screen. With the support and optimisation of OxygenOS, things look perfect in the display of the OnePlus Nord.
Even gaming feels smooth in the OnePlus Nord because of its display. The in-display fingerprint scanner is high-speed and accurate. It does re-scan in about every 10-12 scans, but that should not be a problem for any user and is better than most of the smartphones in the mid-range segment.
Even though the phone sports a 6.44-inch screen, it feels compact when taken into hands, especially for a person who’s coming from the OnePlus 8 Pro which feels bulky and also features a massive screen.
OnePlus Nord Review: Performance and Software
The OnePlus Nord, despite missing out the flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset does have the power to make heavy usage of the smartphone possible. The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, which also offers 5G network connectivity, but it is pretty much useless in India right now. There are different configurations you can get the device in. There are 6GB, 8GB and a 12GB RAM variants with 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB of internal storage.
Supporting the Snapdragon 765G is the Adreno 620 for faster rendering of the graphics. It will help the smartphone in ensuring a smooth gameplay experience. The Snapdragon 765G is not a slow chip. It may not be as fast as the Snapdragon 865, but when compared the performance, it does come near the Snapdragon 845 that was used on the OnePlus 6 and 6T smartphones. Day-to-day performance of OnePlus Nord is really good, thanks to OxygenOS. The phone runs on OxygenOS 10 based on Android 10 out of the box. It has received multiple OTA updates over the last few weeks which improved the overall system performance.
OnePlus Nord Review: Cameras
OnePlus claimed that it had released the OnePlus Nord with the same flagship camera it released the OnePlus 8 series with. There is a quad-camera setup in the rear of the device and a dual selfie camera in the front. The primary lens in the quad-camera setup is a 48MP sensor which is capable of clicking some decent pictures. Everything in the images shot by the 48MP sensor is sharp, but colour accuracy seems to be missing in most of the pictures.
Coming to the other cameras, there is an 8MP ultra-wide angle sensor which needs some serious software tweaking. The quality of the images shot by it drops significantly. You will notice reduced sharpness in the images. Along with that, the software from OnePlus isn’t doing a great job as well. Talking about the other two cameras, it feels as if OnePlus added those two just to make it a quad-camera setup. The images are of poor quality, and if you take clicking pictures very seriously, you will not be happy with the pictures that are shot by the macro and the telephoto lens.
For selfies though, you will like the OnePlus Nord. There is a dual selfie camera setup of 32MP+8MP installed in the smartphone, and they are quite good at capturing images and moments. The only thing is, there is over the top processing of the images from OnePlus, so you might just not get the picture you want. But you can click a variety of images and see if there are any good ones to select from since the images shot by the front camera of the smartphone are more of a hit and miss thing.
OnePlus Nord Review: Battery
The smartphone manufacturer has loaded the OnePlus Nord with a 4115mAh battery. It comes with the support for Warp Charge 30T (30W), so you don’t have to worry about slow charging anymore. However, the OnePlus Nord doesn’t have a very impressive battery life though. OxygenOS is optimised to reduce the battery consumption yet offer a seamless and robust performance to the user. But with the OnePlus Nord, the battery performance is relatively standard. On a normal 4G usage, the phone did not last for a single day and the screen-on-time was less than five hours, which is underwhelming. It is safe to say the OnePlus Nord probably has the worst battery life for a phone with 4115mAh cell.
While battery life was a major concern, charging is not an issue with the Warp Charge 30T. The OnePlus Nord can charge from 0-100% in a matter of 57 minutes. So if you are in a rush, even a few minutes of charging can help you out.
OnePlus Nord Review: Price and Verdict
The OnePlus Nord is offered in three different variants – 6GB+64GB for Rs 24,999, 8GB+128GB for Rs 27,999, and at last 12GB+256GB for Rs 29,999. It is arguably one of the best mid-range smartphones in the market at the moment. You get OxygenOS running on top of Android 10 and a 90Hz AMOLED screen which is probably one of the best in the price range.
The smartphone can support 5G, so it is future proof, and along with that, you can also use it heavily (in terms of performance, not battery wise). The OnePlus Nord is the perfect smartphone even though it doesn’t have the best camera for the mid-range segment. You get everything you can want out of a smartphone at a lower price but with a premium feel along with guaranteed software updates.
Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.