The OnePlus Nord is that the company’s 1st serious try at a mid-range phone in years. It’s more cost-effective, however meaning OnePlus has had to form some compromises. thus has it execute within the right places, or will the Nord have one compromise too many?
The OnePlus Nord is an important moment for OnePlus. For years OnePlus has basically stuck to flagships. Nowadays it likes to do them two at a time but they’re both designed to sit more or less at the top of the market.
Now it’s expanding with the Nord, its first serious attempt at a mid-range phone in years. Launching a mid-range phonemeans making some tough decisions about what theOnePlus name means to people. It still needs to have thosefeatures that people buy OnePlus phones for in thefirst place but it also needs to make some compromises. Not just because it needs to make it cheap but also so that once it ischeaper it doesn’t end up so good that people chooseit over your flagship phones.
It needs to draw a linebetween OnePlus features and flagship OnePlus features. It’s a balancing act whereif you get the balance slightly wrong you couldend up with the same kind of flagship killer thatOnePlus liked to call its phones back in the day. Only now OnePlus hasflagship phones of its own that risk getting caught in the crossfire.
So what does a mid-rangeOnePlus phone look like? Which flagship features do you get to keep and which do you lose? So this is it, the OnePlus Nord. The model I’ve been using has 12 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes ofstorage and costs 469 pounds or 499 euros. But there’s also a step downmodel with eight gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes ofstorage which costs 379 pounds or 399 euros.
So it’s a mid-range phonesitting in a similarish sort of price category tothis year’s entry level, 419 pound iPhone SE or the 429 pound Galaxy A51 5G. Both models are releasing inEurope and India but OnePlus is only planning a limitedbeta launch in the US for now. At either price you’regetting what is on paper quite a well specced device.
There’s a 6.4, four inch OLED display with a 1080p resolution anda 90 Hertz refresh rate, a quad rear camera array basedaround the same 48 megapixel sensor that OnePlus used forthe 8, dual selfie cameras, including one with an ultrawide lens, and you’re getting support for sub six gigahertz 5G. Now the trade-off, on paperat least, is that the Nord is powered by a Snapdragon 765Gprocessor which isn’t quite as fast as the flagshipprocessors OnePlus used in the 8 and the 8 Pro.
But specs can’t tell you howpremium a device feels to hold. And the OnePlus Nord’s designis one of the more obvious indicators of it’s lower price point. That said, I still really like it.
I like the simplicity,there’s no messing around with screens that curve roundthe edges of the device. Instead you’re gonna get aflat screen with a smallish hole-punched notch for theNord’s dual selfie cameras and what I’d call reasonably small set of bevels around the edge of the screen.
Generally the whole designdoes feel less premium than the 8 but not ina way that feels cheap, it’s just more utilitarian. Battery life is also good. Now I’ll admit that it’sstill quite hard to gauge this given the amount of time I’mspending at home right now and I’ll also caveat this bysaying that I was connected to 4G rather than 5G networks.
But I was getting between eight and 10 hours of screen time between charges from the Nord’s 4,115 million power battery. And that includes everything,from watching copious amounts of YouTube to keeping in contactwith friends and colleagues over Slack and WhatsApp, taking photos and of course browsing plenty of Twitter.
There’s no wireless charging but there is support for OnePlus’ Warp Charge 30Tstandard which the company says should get you about70% of your charge back in half an hour. So good battery life doesn’tseem to be exclusive to OnePlus flagships, it’s more of auniversal OnePlus feature.
Now we already know you’renot getting exactly the same display on this as you didon the 8, it doesn’t have that same curve for example. It’s also a little bitsmaller at 6.44 inches compared to 6.55 inches with the 8.
But honestly if you holdthem next to each other you barely notice the difference. So it’s a very similar screen which means it’s pretty great.
It’s OLED so blacks are lovelyand deep, colors are vibrant, it’s still 1080p and hey, it’s also got that 90 Hertz refresh rate display. Now I’ve said it beforeand I’ll say it again but high refresh ratedisplays deserve to become the new standard.
But there is a caveat andthat’s that the slightly less powerful processor on the Nordmeans that it doesn’t feel exactly as smooth as the 8.
I mean it’s fine if you’rescrolling through something simple like the app drawerbut scroll through Twitter with its numerous videos and images and it does start tostutter, if only a little.
It’s a little bit hard toshow on video but trust me when I say it is there. It’s still better than a 60 Hertz display but it just doesn’t feel assmooth as what we’ve seen from flagship phones with 90 Hertz displays. It’s an acceptable trade offfor the price but it’s also something that’s worth bearing in mind.
Oh, and by the by, Ifound it hard to fault the in-display fingerprint sensor. It works basically everytime and I’ve barely had to think about it. So a high-end display seemsto be a OnePlus staple and not something that’sexclusive to its flagships, even if you’re not gettingexactly the same performance. Audio isn’t a strong suit of the Nord.
There’s a single downwardfiring speaker here which means that there’s no stereo andwhile it gets plenty loud enough there’s just not that much base there. So I guess good speakersare a flagship exclusive.
So far we’ve been trying towork out what features OnePlus thinks all of its phones needto have and which it wants to keep for its flagships. But cameras are a bittrickier to categorize here because they’ve never been oneof OnePlus’ core strengths.
They’ve been good, butnever best in class. Now the good news is that theNord’s cameras are in a very similar ballpark to theOnePlus 8 and the better news is there’s at least one feature here that is exclusive to the Nord. Now the Nord has a lot of cameras.
I mean on the back there’s four. There’s a 48 megapixel maincamera, an eight megapixel ultra wide angle camera, atwo megapixel macro camera and a five megapixel depth sensor. And on the front, there’s two. There’s a main 32 megapixel camera and an eight megapixel ultra wide with a 105 degree field ofview, a neat little exclusive for the Nord.
Now that’s a lot of hardware. So here’s what OnePlus actually does with it. In daylight I think you getvery similar quality photos to the 8 with the Nord. I mean check out thisphoto from my living room. And if I didn’t label thephotos I think you’d have a hard time telling me which phone took which photo.
Sometimes the OnePlus Nord decides to feature a touch bit a lot of saturationto photos than the eight will however most of the time you canbarely tell the distinction. it is the same once it involves faces. there is a lot of of a differencewhen it involves wide angle shots although wherever you reallymiss the additional resolution on the 8’s immoderate wide camera.
The Nord looks to overcompensatewith a touch an excessive amount of image process typically. But, it’s probablyacceptable at this value and i would rather it wasthere than not in any respect. it is the same contend with thewide angle selfie camera.
Sure, it’s pictures area unit a touch softer than the most thirty two megapixel sensing element and also the selfie camera normally looks tomake my face a small amount weird and bright wanting however it’ssuper helpful for cluster selfies or i assume couple selfies ifyou’re socially distancing. Whatever, I like it. whereas we’re talking extracameras let’s run down the opposite 2 that area unit onthe back of this device.
There’s a macro camera andthe camera for sensing depth. each area unit reasonably a accumulation. I mean take the macro camera,it’s actually managed to specialise in this rhizopod thatyes, I know, I invariably use to check macro cameras however tryas i would my shots all over up wanting muddy and hazy.
Same with these flowers. it is not one thing i would ever prefer to use. Likewise with this depthsensing camera i feel it did an honest enough jobgenerating a convincing background blur on thisphoto of ME in low light-weight however during this shot of myflatmate it utterly beefed the hair on the highest left of his head.
It quite an nice shot overallbut once you notice the hair you cannot un-see it. And speaking of low lightshots, well, if you watched my review of the eight then youprobably have an honest plan of what to expect here. It’s acceptable, however nothing wonderful.
So, just like the ninety Hertzdisplay, the Nord incorporates a ton of hardware however I don’tnecessarily assume it gets the foremost out of it that it may. It’s terribly} very similar leagueto the eight and that i simply do not assume that either area unit thephone to urge if you would like absolutely the best camera on the market.
That aforesaid i feel those tradeoffs area unit much more worthwhile at this value pointthan they were on the eight. (gentle music) i feel the Nord is areally solid mid-range phone however it is not good. It’s well specced, yes. I mean, it’s got tons ofcameras, it’s got that nice massive high refresh rate displayand in fact it’s got that massive battery.
But the fact of what it gets from that hardware typically leaves a touch bit to be desired. I mean it’s got several camera lenses however overall performanceends up solely being okay. And it’s got that highrefresh rate show however typically its processorseems to let it down.
They’re compromises however I don’tthink they are unreasonable at this value purpose. selecting a mid-range phoneis ordinarily a matter of selecting the battles. you’ve got to choose that featuresare most vital to you as a result of no mid-range phone isgonna be able to utterly deliver on all of them.
But you type of can’tdo that with the Nord, it’s too comprehensive, which implies there are not any serious pitfalls. there is additionally nobody space thatit utterly delivers on. that is not a foul issue in any respect,it simply kind of makes it exhausting to unreservedly suggest this phone to anyone cluster of individuals.
On the flip aspect thoughit will mean that I will type of suggest thisphone to virtually anyone. OnePlus created an honest mid-range phone. But look, it’s no flagship killer. Hey, therefore many thanks somuch for look guys. If you are looking foranother video to observe then clearly I simply recommendwatching this one once more ’cause it’s reasonably nice.
But if you want to have some selection in your life then Becca reviewed the OnePlus Buds last week that area unit the new true wireless earbuds that go in conjunction with this phone. therefore if you prefer OnePlus provides it a watch.