With 5G, a stable lineup of specs and a good looking, vibrant design, the OnePlus Nord, launched in 2020 within the UK, gives a hell of lots for an inexpensive worth. You possibly can at present discover it for £329 or about $428 on Amazon, which is considerably cheaper than its $1,069 flagship sibling, the OnePlus 9 Professional.

Like

  • Reasonably priced worth
  • 5G-enabled
  • Engaging, vibrant design

Do not Like

  • Unavailable in US
  • Not waterproof
  • Irritating fingerprint scanner

This cellphone packs a potent octacore processor, a vibrant 6.44-inch show, an in-display fingerprint scanner and 5G connectivity for ultrafast knowledge speeds. All of that is wrapped up in a great-looking blue physique that feels something however low cost. Add to that three rear cameras that take respectable pictures and two selfie cameras, and the Nord is as well-stacked as any of right this moment’s elite handsets.

So what is the catch?

There are a few tiny compromises: There isn’t any IP ranking for waterproofing as you will get on the OnePlus 8 and eight Professional, and the in-display fingerprint scanner could be very hit or miss. Neither of that are deal-breakers. The larger drawback for many of you is that this glorious cellphone is not accessible within the US. It is at present accessible within the UK and wider Europe (in addition to India and China) however OnePlus has but to say if it will ever attain US or Australian cabinets. 

These of you who can purchase it ought to know that this can be a very good cellphone that gives an amazing expertise for a extra reasonably priced worth than any of right this moment’s flagship telephones. In case you’ve been eyeing up the iPhone SE however do not need to swap away from Android, the OnePlus Nord is the cellphone for you.

The OnePlus Nord has 5G connectivity.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Oh, and if you happen to’re questioning concerning the title “Nord,” it sadly has nothing to do with a race of individuals within the Elder Scrolls video games, however as an alternative is as a result of Nord means North in some European languages. OnePlus says that North on a compass “factors in the direction of progress and success” — which it does not, it is only a course, however who am I to argue? 

A lovely design

I like the daring blue shade of the Nord. It is vibrant and enjoyable and stands out from every other cellphone available on the market. The metallic edging appears nice too and whereas I am fairly certain it is produced from plastic, not metallic, it nonetheless feels good to carry. That is helped by the rear panel, which is Gorilla Glass 5 and provides a premium really feel to the cellphone.

The 6.44-inch display screen stretches all the way in which to the perimeters, which helps the cellphone not really feel too cumbersome. I may maintain and use it fairly comfortably in a single hand, whereas the bigger OnePlus 8 Professional could possibly be extra of a wrestle.

oneplus-nord-product-15

The OnePlus Nord doesn’t have an IP ranking for water resistance.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is a fingerprint scanner constructed into the show, which implies there’s been no have to squeeze one right into a button elsewhere. It isn’t that nice although, frequently misreading my thumb print and forcing me to enter my PIN as an alternative. Hopefully this may be improved quickly with a easy software program replace.

The Nord does not have any IP ranking for waterproofing, which implies it is most likely finest if you happen to do not deliberately drop your cellphone down the bathroom. However then, I am unable to consider a cellphone I’d need to deliberately drop down the bathroom. It is a disgrace because the OnePlus 8 and eight Professional have IP68 waterproofing, which helps maintain them protected from spilled drinks. (The OnePlus 9 and 9 Professional additionally haven’t any official IP ranking.) That waterproofing is probably going one of many compromises OnePlus needed to make to maintain the fee down. Simply be sure to’re further cautious round clumsy associates carrying beers.

The display screen’s 2,400×1,080-pixel decision is decrease than the 8 Professional’s, nevertheless it nonetheless appears completely crisp and clear. Textual content and icons are pin-sharp and high-definition movies on YouTube look nice.

OnePlus Nord’s processor efficiency

Underneath the hood is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor, which brings 5G connectivity to the Nord and really makes it among the many extra reasonably priced 5G telephones round. In fact you will should be on a service plan that helps 5G and you will should be in an space the place 5G is offered. 5G continues to be considerably in its infancy, so protection continues to be fairly patchy in lots of areas of the US and the UK, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly sensible to be shopping for a 5G cellphone now so that you just’re able to reap the benefits of these speeds once they’re extra simply accessible.

The processor itself has eight cores and it is backed up by both 8 or 12GB of RAM, relying on the variant you go for. Our overview mannequin got here with the utmost 12GB and efficiency is superb. Navigation across the cellphone was swift and freed from any lag, whereas demanding video games like Asphalt 9: Legends performed with none noticeable drop in body charges. 

oneplus-nord-product-8

The OnePlus Nord and OnePlus 8.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Its scores on the Geekbench 5 and 3DMark Sling Shot benchmark checks put it under the iPhone SE and the OnePlus 8 Professional, however above Samsung’s Galaxy A51. So no, it is not probably the most highly effective cellphone round, however there’s little you are more likely to throw at it each day that it will not comfortably have the ability to deal with.

OnePlus’s Oxygen OS is predicated on Android 10 and gives a clear interface that I actually like. It is easy to make use of, swift to navigate and it does not come preloaded with annoying bloatware. OnePlus guarantees the cellphone will get software program updates for no less than two years, with important safety updates for an additional 12 months past that.

3DMark Slingshot Limitless

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.5.0 single-core

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.5.0 multicore

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Nice huge pictures, poor macro abilities

There are three principal lenses on the again — there’s the usual zoom digital camera, which is a 48-megapixel Sony sensor — the identical one discovered on the OnePlus 8. That is joined by a 12-megapixel tremendous wide-angle lens and there is additionally a 2-megapixel macro digital camera that permits you to deal with tiny particulars. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Outcomes from the usual lens look respectable, particularly contemplating the worth tag. Photographs look well-exposed and sharp, with vibrant, correct colours. 

The wide-angle lens helps you seize much more of the scene in entrance of you. It additionally produces well-exposed pictures with respectable colours. They do not have the pin-sharp element of the primary sensor, however they’re greater than ok for Instagram or Fb. 

Barely confusingly, there’s a “2x” button on the primary digital camera display screen, which might usually activate the 2x zoom lens on telephones which have them. It is necessary to do not forget that the Nord does not have a 2x zoom lens, in order that mode as an alternative digitally crops into your picture. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The two-megapixel macro digital camera is disappointing. Colours look drab and lifeless, and I’ve discovered that focus could be hit or miss too. I’ve had higher close-up outcomes from utilizing the usual digital camera and easily cropping in. 

There’s additionally a portrait mode that makes use of the 5-megapixel depth sensor to provide some enticing out-of-focus backgrounds to your portrait pictures, in addition to different options like 4K video, gradual movement and an evening mode for capturing brighter pictures in low mild. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On the entrance is the primary dual-lens selfie digital camera we have seen from OnePlus. The principle entrance lens gives an enormous 32-megapixel decision, to allow you to see each excruciating element in your face. Photos from the primary lens are sharp and well-exposed, and whereas the decrease 8-megapixel decision of the second lens gives much less element, the wider-view enables you to seize extra of your setting in your selfies. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is a night time mode, too to assist take pictures in very low-light conditions. It does a great job of capturing the accessible mild whereas sustaining a great degree of total sharpness to the scene. 

OnePlus Nord battery life 

There is a 4,115-mAh battery contained in the Nord that ought to have the ability to present sufficient juice to maintain you going for an entire day. As at all times, that’ll rely upon how you utilize it — if you happen to spend all morning streaming movies then you may most likely count on to wish to provide the Nord a lift within the afternoon. 

In my very own time with the cellphone I discovered it might comfortably get by no less than a full day with what I’d describe as delicate use, which included a little bit of net looking, some mild gaming and taking just a few photographs. Crucially, it wasn’t linked to 5G, which could possibly be an enormous energy drain, so we’ll should see the way it fares in real-world use as soon as we will safely get out with it.

Whereas it does not have the wi-fi charging discovered on the OnePlus 8 Professional (one other sacrifice for the cheaper price), it does have 30-watt quick charging, which guarantees to take your cellphone from empty to 70% full in a single hour. Quick charging is tremendous helpful for these events once you’re about to go away the house and realized your cellphone is nearly lifeless. 

OnePlus Nord specs comparability

OnePlus Nord OnePlus 8 OnePlus 8 Professional Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Show measurement, decision 6.44-inch; 2,400×1,080-pixels 6.55-inch AMOLED; 1,080×2,400 pixels 6.78-inch AMOLED; 1,440×3,168 pixels 4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels
Pixel density 408ppi 402ppi 513ppi 326ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.23×2.88×0.32 in 6.3×2.8×0.31 in 6.51×2.93×0.35 in 5.45×2.65×0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.3×73.3×8.2 mm 160×72.9×8.0 mm 165×74.4×8.5 mm 138.4×67.3×7.3 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.49 oz; 184g 180g 199g 5.22 oz; 148g
Cell software program Android 10 Android 10 Android 10 iOS 13
Digital camera 48-megapixel (commonplace), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth-sensing) 48-megapixel principal, 2-megapixel macro lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide 48-megapixel principal, 8-megapixel telephoto, 48-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel ‘shade filter’ 12-megapixel
Entrance-facing digital camera 32-megapixel, 8-megapixel (wide-angle) 16-megapixel 16-megapixel 7-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Apple A13 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256B 128GB, 256B 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
RAM 8GB, 12GB 8GB, 12GB 8GB, 12GB Not disclosed
Expandable storage No None None No
Battery 4,115 mAh 4,300 mAh 4,300 mAh Not disclosed, however Apple claims it has the identical battery life as iPhone 8
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen In-screen Residence button
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Particular options 5G-enabled, 90Hz refresh fee, 30W fast-charging 5G enabled, Quick-charging, 90Hz show 5G enabled, Quick-charging, quick wi-fi charging, 120Hz show, IP68 water resistance Water-proof (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging
Value off-contract (USD) $570 (transformed from 500 euros) $699 $899 $399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)
Value (GBP) £450 (transformed from 500 euros) £599 £799 £419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)
Value (AUD) AU$820 (transformed from 500 euros) TBA TBA AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

First printed July 27, 2020

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