OnePlus Nord review: A great-value mid-range 5G smartphone Review

OnePlus has absent back to its roots with the new OnePlus Nord, which aims to provide a blend of capabilities and performance at a lessen value than you may be expecting. The Chinese corporation isn’t abandoning the flagship handset sector, which it currently serves with the OnePlus 8 and 8 Professional but with a setting up value of £379 (inc. VAT), the OnePlus Nord is extremely a lot a mid-sector contender.

The Nord is a 5G-all set dual-SIM handset that will come in two variants. The entry-amount design with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of inside storage fees £379, whilst the leading-conclude 12GB/256GB model fees £469. OnePlus currently has no plans to start the Nord in the US.

The two the front and back of the Nord are glass, and the back will come in two colours, Grey Onyx and Blue Marble. I was sent the leading-conclude spec in blue for evaluate. This won’t have the kind of multi-tone end you may be expecting from the use of the phrase ‘marble’ — as an alternative, the end is relatively pearlescent. The blue color is a lot paler than you may believe, and extremely distinctive.


The six.forty four-inch OnePlus Nord is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 5G chipset with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of inside storage. It fees £379 for 8GB/128GB or £469 for 12GB/256GB. Shown in this article is the Blue Marble variant.

Visuals: OnePlus

The back is rather slippery and could effortlessly slide off the arm of a chair or sofa — it certainly did on mine. It will need to have a wipe from time to time to clear away fingerprints, but this is fewer of a dilemma than on some handsets. 

The back of the handset has a tall lozenge in the leading remaining corner housing the most important quad-digital camera array. You will find a silver OnePlus emblem in the center, and the corporation name is spelled out at the bottom for excellent evaluate.

The sides are shiny and reflective, and badly color-matched to the back, which mars the industrial style and design relatively. Also, whilst the aspect buttons are metal, I suspect the sides them selves may be plastic.  

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It can be excellent to see that OnePlus retains its inform slider on the appropriate edge. This will allow you to promptly flick among ring, vibrate and silent modes. The handset won’t have an IP ranking for water/dust resistance, and you will find no three.5mm headset jack. You may perhaps be tempted by the OnePlus Buds — the initially OnePlus legitimate wireless earbuds — which released alongside the Nord and price tag £79.


The Nord sits easily in the hand, even though the glass back is relatively slippery.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Nord is comfortable to maintain — not far too broad for my arms and whilst tall, not unduly so. For the report, the handset’s dimensions are seventy three.3mm broad by 158.3mm tall by 8.2mm thick, and it weighs 184g.

The six.forty four-inch display is a flat AMOLED panel. Moving absent from the curved panel applied on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Professional is a practical shift as it will save creation fees. OnePlus has achieved a small-bezel style and design, with a respectable display-to-body ratio of 86.two%. And whilst some may perhaps discover the in-display front digital camera lozenge in the leading remaining corner frustrating, I did not discover it so. 

The display provides a crystal clear, sharp and readable picture with two,400-by-1,080 resolution (408ppi), and can be configured for a default 90Hz or 60Hz refresh rate. If you decide for 90Hz the handset will automatically swap among 90Hz and 60Hz dependent on the utilization circumstance. I had no difficulties watching video clip, reading internet sites, perusing electronic mail and social feeds with that self-toggling location.

I was delighted to see that OnePlus features its Looking through Mode on the Nord. This is section of its OxygenOS overlay for Android 10, and it sends the display into both mono or a chromatic color mode dependent on your option. It can be established to kick in when you start precise apps, or can be toggled from the pull-down menu. I discover it fantastic for ebook reading periods.

Seem top quality from the speaker isn’t wonderful. You will find a great deal of volume, but sound gets distorted as it receives louder. The speaker grille is very small, and players will need to have to be particularly careful not to include it, because if the grill is obscured, sound won’t just muffle — it all but disappears. 

OnePlus takes advantage of the exact same 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor from the OnePlus 8 for the Nord’s major rear digital camera, which has an f/1.75 broad-angle lens and OIS. The quad rear array is finished by an 8MP f/two.twenty five extremely-broad-angle (119°) digital camera, a 2MP f/two.4 macro digital camera and a 5MP f/two.4 depth sensor.

There are two front cameras: a 32MP f/two.forty five Sony IMX616 (the best resolution front digital camera OnePlus has at any time applied) and an 8MP f/two.forty five extremely-broad-angle (105°) digital camera to assist you cram extra into selfies. The back and front cameras both of those shoot 4K video clip.

The most important rear digital camera shoots its stills at 12MP resolution by default, with 48MB getting an optional location. Even in 12MP mode I uncovered daily exam shots — taken in the limited time I have had this handset so considerably — to be outstanding.

I have had combined achievements with the ‘Nightscape’ mode, which OnePlus suggests can take up to 9 photos, mixing them collectively to enhance minimal-light performance. It can be been tough to get out and about to exam this entirely through the evaluate period of time, but I have uncovered that it can take seconds to get all the shots in the bag, and a steady hand is required to get a sharp picture. Even then, the top quality looks to rely on the selection of light resources the digital camera can attract on.

The OnePlus Oxygen OS overlay that sits on leading of Android 10 offers many Android tweaks, but these are subtly blended in relatively than obtrusive, sothe blend of Android and Oxygen is near-seamless and extremely person-friendly. On my 256GB evaluate unit, 25GB was applied by the Android/Oxygen combo, leaving me 231GB no cost for my very own content material. There is no MicroSD card slot for adding exterior storage.

The OnePlus Nord is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 5G chipset. I did not discover stumbles or stutters through the evaluate period of time, and benchmark performance was excellent, averaging 620 (one core) and 1951 (multi core) under Geekbench five (comparative scores in this article).

Battery lifestyle was affordable but not exceptional: the 4,115mAh battery managed eleven hrs 27 minutes on the Laptop Mark rundown exam, and dropped seventeen% from a full charge when asked to stream full-display video clip repeatedly for three hrs. The Nord supports the OnePlus Warp Cost 30T system, taking the battery from zero to 70% in thirty minutes. You will find no assistance for wireless charging. 

The Nord has the OnePlus intelligent charge system on board. This is made to search right after battery wellness by averting overcharging. So, if you are in the pattern of putting your handset on charge overnight, an AI element learns when you begin to use it in the morning, stops the battery charging when it reaches eighty%, and will allow charging to complete in time for your morning begin. Persons with erratic rest designs will not likely sense the benefit.


The OnePlus Nord in Grey Onyx.

Visuals: OnePlus


OnePlus has finished a excellent career with the Nord. The Blue Marble model has a distinctive appearance, a wonderful AMOLED display and excellent front and rear cameras. These are all important aspects whatsoever your spending budget. In addition it supports 5G and two SIMs, the Oxygen OS is subtle but accomplished, the quick charging operates a address, and the inform slider is some thing just about every handset maker really should emulate.

On the draw back, battery lifestyle is normal, sound top quality isn’t wonderful, and the speaker is effortlessly muffled when you maintain the cellphone in landscape mode, to the place of turning into just a faint murmur. However, as affordable phones go, the OnePlus Nord looks to have bought the blend just about appropriate.

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