review with price, features and opinion

Oneplus knows that not everyone can –or does not want to pay– close to 1,000 euros for a mobile phone, even though it is as good as the OnePlus 8 Pro, and therefore, in the middle of 2020, when the firm had already seemed to abandon the segment of cheap mobiles and has managed to conquer the segment of mobiles premium in various regions of the planet, it goes and creates the new OnePlus Nord, a mobile that costs half the price of the OnePlus 8 Pro itself, and that returns the brand’s original philosophy to the OnePlus catalog.

Precisely, his way of understanding the market is what has led this young firm to be one of the leading companies in the global telephony sector, as well as one of the largest machines in the world. hype we’ve seen in years. And this year, OnePlus seems to have understood the needs of the public better than anyone, because with the high range in full price escalation that seems to have no end, and a mid-range in which the price-balanced terminals are beginning to be scarce, OnePlus has removed from the sleeve a device that combines the best of the high-end with the best of the mid-range, and it offers at a price of 399 euros. A terminal that, by the way, we have been able thoroughly test during these last weeks, and of which today we bring you our opinion.

OnePlus Nord, featured image

Back of the OnePlus Nord in blue

Index of contents:

OnePlus Nord, technical sheet

OnePlus Nord
specs
Dimensions 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm
184 grams
screen 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED
90 Hz
Support sRGB and Display P3
Gorilla Glass 5
Resolution Full HD + (2400 x 1080 pixels)
20: 0
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
RAM 8/12 GB LPDDR4X
Operating system OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10
Storage 128/256 GB UFS 2.1
Cameras Rear: 48 MP f / 1.75 Sony IMX586 with OIS / EIS + Ultrawide 8 MP f / 2.25 + Macro 2 MP f / 2.4 + Depth Sensor 5 MP f / 2.4
Frontal:32 MP f / 2.45 + Ultrawide 8 MP f / 2.45 Sony IMX616 (105º FOV)
Battery 4,115 mAh with fast charge Warp Charge 30T
Others Alert Slider, on-screen optical fingerprint reader, face unlock, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, USB 2.0 Type C

The best of OnePlus Nord

A big screen in every way

OnePlus has been using screens for two years AMOLED on their phones, and providing them with refreshment frequencies above the ordinary for one. Of course, the brand was not going to take a step back with the arrival of this OnePlus Nord, and both features remain to offer what, in my opinion, is one of the best panels that you have tried in a terminal of this price.

The experience is very similar to that offered by the panel of the OnePlus 7T last year, that is, fantastic, even more considering that we are talking about a device that costs less than 400 euros in its base version. The screen stands out for a very good color rendering, which can also be configured to suit the user through the system settings; levels of brightness that, without going to the extreme of the most expensive models of the brand, they are more than correct; and a contrast like only panels based on OLED technology can achieve.

“The OnePlus Nord is one of the best panels I have ever tried in a terminal of this price”

It also adds points, and a lot, the 90 Hz refresh rate, which despite having spread widely among the phones of different companies, is still a rare feature in affordable terminals – competitive models such as the POCO F2 Pro, even though they are more expensive, maintain 60 Hz. Thanks to this high refresh rate, the feeling of fluidity when using the device is accentuated, and it is difficult to return to a panel with a lower rate once you experience this technology for yourself.

OnePlus Nord, display

OnePlus Nord’s display is one of the best in its class

The diagonal of the panel is 6.44 inch, and its resolution is Full HD +. Although it is not the highest that OnePlus offers in its catalog, it is a density more than correct and offering good sharpness still using a PenTile pixel matrix – like most panels signed by Samsung.

Also, despite being the cheapest OnePlus terminal, HDR content support is not lacking, the already classic reading modes included by OnePlus in its software, as well as blue light filtering systems. Beyond that, it is worth mentioning that, unlike the panel of the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, that of the OnePlus Nord is completely flatSo we forget the accidental touches and color aberrations so typical of curved screen devices.

To conclude with the screen section, it is necessary to stop at the integrated fingerprint reader… Although not too much. Broadly speaking, it is the same sensor that OnePlus has included in their phones since the OnePlus 6T: fast, accurate and conveniently positioned to reach it with the thumb.

Performance and experience, brands of the house

If you thought that OnePlus was going to put aside the extreme speed that characterizes its mobiles for the simple fact of reducing the price, you were wrong. Experience is key again at OnePlus Nord, and it will probably become the differential aspect that leads many to choose it over their more direct rivals.

The combination of the Snapdragon 765G and the 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR4x RAM offer an excellent result in day-to-day tasks, difficult to distinguish from mobile performance with Snapdragon 800 series processors; and very good at carrying out tasks that require a greater computational load such as video processing or the execution of heavy games. In no case is more power lacking.

“If you thought that OnePlus was going to put aside the extreme speed that characterizes its mobiles for the simple fact of reducing the price, you were wrong”

Of course, as in all OnePlus mobile, software plays an essential role. In this case, the version that runs through the circuits of this OnePlus Nord is OxygenOS 10.5, the same that debuted with the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, without any type of cut for the simple fact of being a cheaper mobile.

Even being a software with a more or less clean aesthetic, OxygenOS integrates a good number of different functions, ranging from a fast facial unlocking system –Not too sure, yes, because it bases its operation on the front camera of the phone–, a game mode, recorder apps, notes, own clock or calculator, and of course the already classic customization options with which OnePlus provides to all your phones, and that allow you to configure aspects such as Ambient Display mode, system accent colors, or launcher. As a novelty, OnePlus has decided to replace its phone and messaging apps with Google’s ownSo, among other things, we have support for native RCS and systems to block calls and spam messages.

OxygenOS on OnePlus Nord

OxygenOS brings OnePlus Nord to life

Yes, OnePlus software is not perfect. Today, OnePlus remains one of the firms with one of the most aggressive energy “optimization” systems out there, and the system frequently closes open applications in the background automatically, something that can lead to problems such as notifications received or loss of unsaved data. If we were talking about phones with limited RAM capacities, it would be somewhat understandable. But this is not the case, and we trust that either OnePlus decides to give users greater control over this type of system, or Google finally decides to carry out the restrictions it plans to implement in future versions of Android to avoid that these types of systems act in such an aggressive way.

Finally, comment that OnePlus Nord has two years of secured system updates, and three years of security updates.

OnePlus Nord in blue, back

Despite being much cheaper, the OnePlus Nord shares features with the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro

But there are many other details that add points to the experience with the phone. He Alert Slider that allows you to switch between the different alert modes of the phone is one of those little details that you do not value as it deserves until you start using the phone of another brand, the extreme charging speed provided by the Warp Charge 30T system – and which also now supports USB Power Delivery technology, so that it is possible to charge quickly, although not at maximum speed, using third-party chargers and cables based on this system–, or the Vibration motor, precise and firm like few others in this category.

It is also good –although not excellent– the autonomy of the OnePlus Nord. With a full charge – that using the charger and cable included in the box can be achieved in about an hour – the terminal is capable of holding alive a whole day without problems, with some battery remaining for the next day. As for hours of screen on, with my use it has been able to survive with 5 or 6 hours screen maximum, figures that place it in the middle of the table within the mid-range segment.

The worst of the OnePlus Nord

Design

First of all, let me be very clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with the design of the OnePlus Nord. But the reality is that there is nothing in its appearance that makes it stand out either: if you remove the brand logo, I’m afraid not many people would be able to distinguish it from a realme X50 5G or an OPPO Reno3 Pro.

What I’m trying to say is that this OnePlus has very little of OnePlus in terms of design if not for the striking blue color you saw our test unit. The features that have been defining the appearance of the brand’s phones for years, and that has evolved to its peak with the OnePlus 8 Pro, do not make an appearance in this affordable model.

OnePlus Nord blue, rear

The aesthetics of the OnePlus Nord departs from the classic design lines of OnePlus

Complaints aside, the OnePlus Nord is still a well built phone, which combines the plastic on the sides with the glass on the back to create a terminal not too heavy and only 8.3 millimeters thick, but that still gives the feeling of being robust and premium. A pity that OnePlus has not accompanied the glass back with support for wireless charging, and that we can not find either 3.5mm headphone port, a trait to which terminal buyers of this price tend to attach more importance than other users.

Beyond that, the front of the phone is very well used thanks to reduced margins, which add to a oval cutout located at the top left of the screen, which houses the front camera system terminal, consisting of two sensors. And, since we talk about cameras …

Thus with the cameras of the OnePlus Nord

In terms of photography, OnePlus Nord bets everything on numbers. Nothing less than six sensors They form the photographic section of the telephone: four located behind it, and two on the front.

Starting with the main configuration, we find a set of sensors very similar to the one present in the OnePlus 8 – a mobile phone that, remember, costs 709 euros in its cheapest version. So we are talking about a 48-megapixel main camera Sony IMX586, supported by an 8-megapixel Ultra Wide Angle. Finally, the classic “macro” and depth sensors appear on the scene that absolutely no one has ever asked for.

On the front, however, we do find interesting news. After all, the Nord is the first mobile in the history of OnePlus with two front cameras, a 32-megapixel main camera – the highest resolution seen so far on the front sensor of a brand mobile phone -, and an 8-megapixel Ultra Wide Angle camera.

Cameras from OnePLus Nord

The OnePlus Nord equips four cameras on its back

As for modes and options, the variety is not much different to which we find in the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. We find the options of portrait mode, night vision or Time Lapseas well as the option of capture images at the native resolution –48 megapixels– of the main sensor. A curiosity is the fact that the rear camera only capable of recording 4K video at 30 FPS, while the front camera allows you to capture video at the same resolution, but at twice the frames per second.

In that sense, it is worth mentioning that the OnePlus Nord is one of the few mobile phones under 400 euros that includes an optical image stabilizer, added to the electronic stabilization system to work in combination when capturing video, even at the maximum supported resolution.

Day, portrait and night mode behavior

OnePlus Nord, main camera

Photo with the main camera of the OnePlus Nord

But better, let’s see examples, but not before recommending you take a look at our review of the OnePlus 8 if you want to see more captures made with the same sensor that integrates the OnePlus Nord.

OnePlus has been improving year after year its software in charge of processing the captures

Having said that, the photographs generated by the camera of this device are generally very good. Using automatic mode, with the default resolution set to 12 megapixels, the level of detail captured is one of the strong points of this camera, followed by a good dynamic range and quite convincing shadow management – it does not “lift” them excessively, but it does not over-emphasize their depth either.

OnePlus has been improving year after year your software in charge of processing the captures until reaching a very good level, and in this OnePlus Nord we have a high quality experience, which only sins of being somewhat inconsistent when calculating the exposure of the scene. Otherwise, we talk about a very good main camera.

The sensor Ultra Wide Angle, with its smaller resolution and size, offers a somewhat poorer result especially when the light falls, and the lack of sharpness begins to be visible in the early hours of the night. However, it is a useful and convenient addition… quite the opposite of the sensor macro 2-megapixel camera, which due to its derisory resolution and the low precision of its focusing system, its usefulness is rather null.

Frontal camera

OnePlus Nord ultra wide front sensor

This is how the OnePlus Nord front wide angle camera behaves

As I was saying, the bulk of the changes are present in the front camera system, and the truth is that the differences are more than notable. I myself criticized OnePlus’s decision to keep the same front camera of the OnePlus 7 Pro in the 8 Pro, and it is appreciated that the company has decided to take a step forward in this regard.

He wide angle is useful, although it does not offer the best image quality. However, the front main camera does represent a clear advance compared to the OnePlus 8 Pro’s 16-megapixel sensor, and we find sharper, brighter shots with a higher level of detail.

OnePlus Nord, Andro4all’s opinion and final thoughts

Leaving the high-premium premium for a moment and refocusing on creating an affordable phone is, in my opinion, one of the most correct decisions that OnePlus has made in its almost 7 years of life. Because it is true that we can all fall in love with devices like the OnePlus 8 Pro, but the reality is that the bulk of the public is looking for phones capable of offering you the most, at least. And in that aspect, the OnePlus Nord is unrivaled.

A outstanding experience with Android, one of the best screens on the market and a exceptional performance These are the traits that best define OnePlus’ new affordable phone. His camera, without reaching the level of the best on the market, offers good results and gives versatility that is appreciated. Its design may not be the most original, but details like that are relegated to the background when everything else borders on excellence, even more so on a mobile of this price.

OnePlus Nord in blue, rear with four cameras

The back of the OnePlus Nord, in blue

Price and where to buy the OnePlus Nord

OnePlus decided to surprise with the price of the OnePlus Nord, positioning it as one of the cheapest mid-premium range on the market. The 8GB RAM configuration with 128GB storage can be purchased from a price of 399 euros, while the model with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage –which we have been able to test– costs 100 euros more, 499 euros. Both models can be purchased from August 4 in the official OnePlus store and in stores such as Amazon, and they come in two different colors: blue and gray.

OnePlus Nord, Andro4all’s opinion and note
Should i buy the OnePlus Nord?
In favor
  • One of the best screens seen on a mobile of this price
  • Performance and experience as only OnePlus knows how to offer
  • OxygenOS offers one of the best Android experiences
  • Price / quality ratio difficult to match
  • Ultra-fast charging, plus correct autonomy
  • The cameras offer a good result, at the level of the best in its category
Against
  • A design without too much personality
  • The “macro” and depth cameras do not add anything to the photographic experience, and the ultra-wide angle has a certain lack of sharpness
  • Your software tends to kill apps in the background too often, despite having plenty of RAM
Conclusions For the first time in a long time, you don’t need to spend too much money to enjoy the benefits of a OnePlus mobile. The Nord arrives to conquer the segment of the 400 euros based on leading features combined with the experience that only OxygenOS can offer. Combine that with a powerful and versatile camera, ultra-fast charging and one of the best displays, and you’ve got the recipe for ultimate success.
Punctuation

8.7OnePlus Nord

All the good things about a OnePlus, for less than 400 euros.

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