OnePlus Nord review: A great-value mid-range 5G smartphone Review

OnePlus has absent back again to its roots with the new OnePlus Nord, which aims to deliver a blend of attributes and functionality at a decrease cost than you could possibly assume. The Chinese firm just isn’t abandoning the flagship handset sector, which it now serves with the OnePlus 8 and 8 Professional but with a commencing cost of £379 (inc. VAT), the OnePlus Nord is incredibly much a mid-market place contender.

The Nord is a 5G-prepared twin-SIM handset that will come in two variants. The entry-amount model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of interior storage prices £379, while the major-finish 12GB/256GB variation prices £469. OnePlus now has no options to launch the Nord in the US.

Equally the entrance and back again of the Nord are glass, and the back again will come in two colors, Grey Onyx and Blue Marble. I was despatched the major-finish spec in blue for evaluate. This would not have the sort of multi-tone finish you could possibly assume from the use of the word ‘marble’ — as an alternative, the finish is rather pearlescent. The blue colour is much paler than you could possibly believe, and incredibly distinct.


The 6.forty four-inch OnePlus Nord is driven by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 5G chipset with 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of interior storage. It prices £379 for 8GB/128GB or £469 for 12GB/256GB. Revealed in this article is the Blue Marble variant.

Photographs: OnePlus

The back again is rather slippery and could very easily slide off the arm of a chair or sofa — it surely did on mine. It will will need a wipe from time to time to take out fingerprints, but this is considerably less of a issue than on some handsets. 

The back again of the handset has a tall lozenge in the major left corner housing the key quad-digicam array. You can find a silver OnePlus logo in the middle, and the firm title is spelled out at the bottom for fantastic measure.

The sides are shiny and reflective, and badly colour-matched to the back again, which mars the industrial structure rather. Also, while the facet buttons are steel, I suspect the sides themselves could possibly be plastic.  

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It really is fantastic to see that OnePlus retains its warn slider on the appropriate edge. This enables you to rapidly flick in between ring, vibrate and silent modes. The handset would not have an IP score for h2o/dust resistance, and there’s no 3.5mm headset jack. You may well be tempted by the OnePlus Buds — the very first OnePlus real wi-fi earbuds — which launched along with the Nord and value £79.


The Nord sits comfortably in the hand, even though the glass back again is rather slippery.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Nord is cozy to hold — not as well extensive for my palms and while tall, not unduly so. For the file, the handset’s proportions are seventy three.3mm extensive by 158.3mm tall by 8.2mm thick, and it weighs 184g.

The 6.forty four-inch display screen is a flat AMOLED panel. Shifting away from the curved panel used on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Professional is a wise move as it will save generation prices. OnePlus has attained a minimal-bezel structure, with a respectable display screen-to-body ratio of 86.two%. And while some may well obtain the in-display screen entrance digicam lozenge in the major left corner aggravating, I did not obtain it so. 

The display screen provides a clear, sharp and readable picture with two,400-by-1,080 resolution (408ppi), and can be configured for a default 90Hz or 60Hz refresh rate. If you choose for 90Hz the handset will automatically switch in between 90Hz and 60Hz depending on the usage situation. I had no difficulties looking at video, looking through sites, perusing electronic mail and social feeds with that self-toggling environment.

I was delighted to see that OnePlus incorporates its Examining Method on the Nord. This is element of its OxygenOS overlay for Android ten, and it sends the display screen into possibly mono or a chromatic colour method depending on your choice. It can be established to kick in when you launch specific applications, or can be toggled from the pull-down menu. I obtain it outstanding for e book looking through classes.

Audio excellent from the speaker just isn’t terrific. You can find plenty of quantity, but audio turns into distorted as it receives louder. The speaker grille is small, and players will will need to be particularly watchful not to deal with it, since if the grill is obscured, audio would not just muffle — it all but disappears. 

OnePlus utilizes the similar 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor from the OnePlus 8 for the Nord’s most important rear digicam, which has an f/1.75 extensive-angle lens and OIS. The quad rear array is completed by an 8MP f/two.twenty five ultra-extensive-angle (119°) digicam, a 2MP f/two.four macro digicam and a 5MP f/two.four depth sensor.

There are two entrance cameras: a 32MP f/two.forty five Sony IMX616 (the maximum resolution entrance digicam OnePlus has at any time carried out) and an 8MP f/two.forty five ultra-extensive-angle (105°) digicam to assist you cram more into selfies. The back again and entrance cameras both of those shoot 4K video.

The key rear digicam shoots its stills at 12MP resolution by default, with 48MB currently being an optional environment. Even in 12MP method I discovered daily take a look at pictures — taken in the limited time I’ve had this handset so much — to be amazing.

I’ve had blended accomplishment with the ‘Nightscape’ method, which OnePlus states requires up to 9 images, blending them together to greatly enhance small-light functionality. It really is been difficult to get out and about to take a look at this absolutely throughout the evaluate time period, but I’ve discovered that it requires seconds to get all the pictures in the bag, and a continual hand is needed to get a sharp picture. Even then, the excellent seems to depend on the selection of light sources the digicam can draw on.

The OnePlus Oxygen OS overlay that sits on major of Android ten gives many Android tweaks, but these are subtly blended in rather than obtrusive, sothe blend of Android and Oxygen is in close proximity to-seamless and incredibly user-helpful. On my 256GB evaluate device, 25GB was used by the Android/Oxygen combo, leaving me 231GB cost-free for my very own written content. There is no MicroSD card slot for introducing external storage.

The OnePlus Nord is driven by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 5G chipset. I did not discover stumbles or stutters throughout the evaluate time period, and benchmark functionality was fantastic, averaging 620 (single core) and 1951 (multi core) under Geekbench five (comparative scores in this article).

Battery lifestyle was reasonable but not excellent: the four,115mAh battery managed eleven hours 27 minutes on the Computer Mark rundown take a look at, and dropped seventeen% from a entire cost when asked to stream entire-display screen video repeatedly for 3 hours. The Nord supports the OnePlus Warp Cost 30T procedure, getting the battery from zero to 70% in thirty minutes. You can find no support for wi-fi charging. 

The Nord has the OnePlus clever cost procedure on board. This is developed to appear soon after battery wellbeing by preventing overcharging. So, if you are in the practice of placing your handset on cost overnight, an AI ingredient learns when you start out to use it in the morning, stops the battery charging when it reaches eighty%, and enables charging to total in time for your morning start out. Men and women with erratic slumber designs is not going to feel the profit.


The OnePlus Nord in Grey Onyx.

Photographs: OnePlus


OnePlus has done a fantastic occupation with the Nord. The Blue Marble variation has a distinct overall look, a terrific AMOLED display screen and fantastic entrance and rear cameras. These are all vital things what ever your price range. In addition it supports 5G and two SIMs, the Oxygen OS is subtle but achieved, the rapid charging is effective a take care of, and the warn slider is a little something every single handset maker ought to emulate.

On the downside, battery lifestyle is typical, audio excellent just isn’t terrific, and the speaker is very easily muffled when you hold the phone in landscape method, to the level of starting to be just a faint murmur. Nonetheless, as very affordable telephones go, the OnePlus Nord seems to have got the blend just about appropriate.

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