- 5G capable
- 90Hz refresh rate
- More camera than necessary
- No waterproof IP rating
- Only available in certain regions
- No wireless charging
- No headphone jack
With all of the mid-tier phones out there, it can be difficult to distinguish what makes one better than another. The OnePlus Nord emerges claiming some pretty impeccable things, does it stand up to myriad others in its group?
There’s nothing particularly special about the design but that’s not exactly a bad thing. Like its cousins -- and many other phones released these days, the OnePlus Nord has a metal frame with Gorilla Glass on both sides.
The OnePlus Nord has another claim to fame for the mid-tier market, a 6.44 inch AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate making for swift smooth actions and tasks. It has a flat-display whereas its cousins the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro have the waterfall style display. Reviewers said that the ability to show deep shadow without the blue tint that some displays have made it more immersive to use with media.
Tom’s Guide says, “The OLED panel did what it does best and really brought out the blacks of the shadow-cast scenery, while still making the magic effects look exciting and dangerous.”
The OnePlus Nord has a lot going for it and performance is no slouch. Reviewers quoted that the phone had plenty of oomph. It reacts nearly instantly with slick scrolling and no apparent stutter or pausing in between tasks
Pocket Lint states, “This phone is speedy and fluid in everyday interactions...”
Software & Storage
The phone runs Android 10 but has software called OxygenOS 10.5 running over the top which improves performance. Storage starts at 128GB which is a good bit of space for lots of apps and photos.
The cameras on the OnePlus Nord are a bit insane -- in good ways and bad. The phone has a whopping 6 cameras: four rear-facing and two front-facing. The four rear cameras are a 48MP wide angle lens, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. The 2 front-facing options are a 32MP standard lens and an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens.
The photos are without a doubt great, but some reviewers said it was overkill -- especially considering the mediocre performance of both the macro and the front-facing ultrawide.
The life of the phone’s battery is average and will need to be plugged in at night. If you’re a heavy mobile gamer, you might need to charge part of the way through the day. However, the phone offers Power 30T charging and charges quite fast. No wireless charging though, so you’ll still need to keep a charge cable handy.
With one downward-facing speaker at the bottom of the phone, the audio leaves a lot to be desired and is easily muffled when held in a landscape orientation for gaming or video watching.
Specs at a Glance
- Metal and Gorilla Glass chassis
- 6.44-inch AMOLED 90Hz display
- Octa-core 2.4 GHz Snapdragon 765G processor
- 8GB of RAM
- Android 10 with OxygenOS 10,5
- 128/256 GB storage
- Rear-facing 48MP wide angle, 8MP ultra-wide angle, 5MP depth sensor, 2MP macro lenses
- Front-facing 32MP standard and 8MP ultra-wide lens
- 4115 mAh battery
There’s hardly anything to dislike about the OnePlus Nord (except maybe if it’s not released in your country.) For the price, it is in some ways above and beyond what other phones in its tier offer. In other ways, it’s an obvious trade for some of the nice features instead of the kitchen sink. Overall reviewers liked what the OnePlus Nord had to offer for a mid-tier price.
Tech Radar says, “OnePlus has made an emphatic return to the mid-range market with the OnePlus Nord – it's an affordable smartphone that's packed with features. There's a great screen, plenty of power, and a set of capable cameras, all wrapped up in a package that belies its affordable price.”
Android Authority states, “The OnePlus Nord is a good mid-range smartphone with great software and a striking new colorway. OnePlus did a respectable job delivering a solid experience that equals, but doesn't always surpass, the competition.”
The Verge remarks, “Picking a midrange phone is normally a matter of choosing your battles. You pick the features that are most important to you because no midrange phone is going to offer all of them. When it comes to the Nord, however, it’s a little harder to put its compromises into simple terms. It’s too well-rounded, meaning there are no serious pitfalls, but there’s also no single area where it excels.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- David Nield, T3
While the OnePlus Nord isn't a perfect phone, it scores very highly in all the key areas – camera, performance, battery life, design, screen, software experience – and it's just about our favourite phone right now if you want to maximise the bang you get for your buck.
- Chris Welsch, DxOMark
It performs well in general — exposure and autofocus are accurate in most conditions, and details are well preserved. But it’s in the specialty areas that the device’s flaws become more evident. In low-light conditions, the OnePlus Nord’s performance dropped in both camera and video; its lack of a t...
- Review Hub
If you’ve been looking for a capable camera setup, excellent built quality, 5G and the fastest charging phone under £400, then you’ll love the Nord. However, if the camera quality & display are your main concerns, the Samsung Galaxy A71 wins.
- Sachin Bahal, TheCanadianTechie
The OnePlus Nord is a solid all-around device for its price and offers features that would typically be reserved for a flagship. The only major issue is that this Nord model won’t be making its way to North America any time soon.
- Matt Adams, Android Guys
The OnePlus Nord is almost a great phone. And there’s no qualifier here about the price, it’s just damn near a great phone. You can nitpick things like the plastic frame of the phone, lack of expandable storage, or the hole-punch camera, but the only true downside in my opinion is the camera array....
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the OnePlus Nord user manual here.
OnePlus backs up the Nord with a 2 Years parts & labour warranty.
If your Nord has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact OnePlus support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find OnePlus's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
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Manuals / User Guides
- OnePlus Nord Manual (PDF)
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