OnePlus Nord: Comprehensive Review, Specs, Price in India
Six cameras packed in one device
A 90 Hz refresh rate display on a mid-range smartphone
4,115 mAh battery supports 30W fast-charding
After six years, OnePlus is finally returning to the mid-range segment of the smartphone market with OnePlus Nord. As everyone expected, Nord is intended to bring OnePlus' flagship experience to the mid-range segment of the market. OnePlus did give a try at this segment before, with OnePlus 'X'. Despite being a great smartphone, the OnePlus X got a cold response from the customers and the company got the series removed after a year.
The OnePlus 8 is significantly expensive and the OnePlus 8 Pro climbs even further up the price ladder, though these two are meant to be expensive considering they are OnePlus' flagship models. The "Nord" makes itself a much more relevant smartphone when compared to OnePlus X and OnePlus 2, which were almost same in terms of price and were the company's previous expeditions in the mid-range segment.
Currently, the mid-range segment is currently dominated by Xiaomi and Realme in certain countries (particularly in India). So, now the question is "Will OnePlus be able to find a place in the Mid-range segment in highly competitive markets like India?" Let's find out.
Design and Display
The OnePlus Nord is an attractive smartphone, particularly the Blue Marble (the colour as OnePlus calls it) variant. The back of the phone is quite reflective and perhaps it will distract people from enjoying the beautiful shade of blue.
The camera cluster at the rear is arranged on the top left side (like Realme smartphones). There's a sizable bump, so the phone never quite rests well on a hard, plain surface.
The smartphone has a 6.44 inch AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, at an aspect ratio of 20:9. The phone has Gorilla Glass 5 Protection, both front and back. And the weight of the phone is 184 grams, which doesn't give you the feel that it's heavy smartphone as the weight distribution is evenly managed.
There are few major similarities between OnePlus Nord's design and dimension and that of Realme X50 Pro. Even the display specifications are almost same. So, is it a re-skinned X50 Pro? Well, the sister companies, OnePlus and Realme shared some of the R&D load, so it's quite possible. But again, most smartphones these days have similar specifications, making the smartphone market a highly competitive market.
The overall built quality of OnePlus Nord is really nice and the phone feels good while using. Unfortunately, there is no official IP rating for dust and water resistance provided, so that's something to be mindful of.
Software and Performance
The OnePlus Nord has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Octa-Core processor (1 x 2.4 GHz Kyro 475 Prime, 1 x 2.2 GHz Kyro 475 Gold and 6 x 1.8 GHz Kyro 475 SIlver) paired with an Adreno 620 GPU. I was personally expecting top of the line 855 or 855+ chip-set, but being a mid-range smartphone, the 765G isn't a bad option either.
Performance on daily basis is great! There's no lagging on daily usage. The phone comes with Oxygen OS 10.5 and UI software has been tweaked a bit. OnePlus included Google's Phone and Messages app, which has picked quite a lot of confusion as to why they chose to do this and OnePlus didn't give any explanation for it.
For gamers, playing heavy games like "PUBG Mobile" and "Call of Duty: Mobile" will be fun and the games are automatically set up to the highest graphics settings. Lagging is not an issue even while playing these high-end games. Although the back of the phone does heat up after about 20 minutes of gaming, but it is quite normal. The chip-set is efficient in providing seamless gaming experience and mobile gamers out there will surely love the phone.
The Nord has a 4,115 mAh battery. The phone comes with the same 30W Warp Charger 30T charger, same as the OnePlus 8 series, but the wireless charging support has been excluded. The battery life will easily last a full day or even more, depending upon the usage of the user. OnePlus has claimed that the phone will get charged up to 70% in 30 minutes.
The OnePlus Nord comes with a total of 6 cameras! (The most for any OnePlus phone) Four of these cameras are at the back, while two are at the front.
The rear camera setup consists of a 48 Megapixels Sony IMX586 sensor for the main camera with an f/1.75 aperture, along with a 6 Megapixels lens and optical image stabilization, an 8 Megapixels f/2.5 ultra-wide camera and a 2 Megapixels macro unit and a depth sensor.
You can record videos with resolution upto 4K at 30 fps using the main camera, the ultra-wide camera also supports video recording, however, the latter lacks the 4K resolution recording. There's no 60 fps recording available at 4K and you can only record 60 fps at 1080p using the rear setup.
On the front, there's a dual camera setup which consists a 32 Megapixels f/2.45 camera with Sony IMX616 sensor, along with an 8 Megapixels f/2.45 ultra-wide camera. The front camera setup is on the top left side of the screen. The ultra-wide camera is only available for standard shots and you cannot record videos or take portrait images with it. Interestingly, the main front camera can record 4K videos at 60 fps (something which is missing even on the OnePlus 8 series devices).
As for the picture quality, there isn't much to discuss. Crisp, Clear and Good. That's it!
Daylight shots are very good with plenty of detailing. The ultra-wide camera too takes well-detailed shots. While zooming in, the details do go out for a toss. The 2 MP macro lens is a hit or miss thing. You'd be better off using the main camera instead of the macro. The selfies taken with the front camera setup have good amount of detail. They are also crisp and clear, and do extremely well in outdoor conditions.
What's more ?
The Nord has a single loudspeaker at the bottom. It might not be ideal for videos and games but it's pretty loud and sounds decent. There's no headphone jack nor any headsets been provided with the box.
The smartphone has a USB Type-C port, which is sadly only USB 2.0 compatible, meaning the data transfers won't be as fast as with USB 3.1 compatible devices.
The Nord comes with new clock styles for its ambient display mode. The text clock displays the time as text. There are seven additional clock skins available.
The OnePlus Nord is up to the standards that we have come to expect from OnePlus. With a starting price of ₹24,999 for the India-exclusive 6 GB RAM / 64GB Storage variant, the device offers a premium design and built, a great display, an awesome performace and a user-friendly interface.
The Nord also comes with a 8GB RAM / 128 GB Storage variant priced at ₹27,999 and a 12 GB RAM / 256 GB Storage variant priced at ₹29,999.
There are two colour options available, Blue Marble, which is a beautiful shade of blue and Gray Onyx, a dark tone of grey which gives the handset an elegant look.
All in all, OnePlus' return to the heavily crowded mid-range segment of the smartphones market is a promising one and the new OnePlus Nord is expected to do well in this segment, compared to how previous OnePlus devices, in this price-point, did.
Good build quality
User-friendly User Interface (UI)
Good Battery performance
No 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Videos under Low-light conditions could be better