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OnePlus Nord Review: Still worth it?

Devesh Arora Devesh Arora @aroradevesh
New Delhi Published on: December 07, 2020 20:09 IST
OnePlus Nord comes with 5G support.

OnePlus Nord comes with 5G support.

OnePlus Nord was launched in India a few months ago. With this, the company aims to claim back the flagship killer tag name by offering the device around the price of the first OnePlus phone.

In order to satisfy the needs of the people,  as well as keep the price tag down, some interesting decisions were made. The device comes with a massive 4,115mAh battery coupled with the company’s Warp Charging technology to offer one of the best battery options in the segment. It comes packed with 5G to offer future-proofing and blazing fast speeds when 5G rolls out completely. However, there have been some compromises as well. So let’s find out whether this phone is worth buying or not?

OnePlus Nord Review: Specifications

OnePlus Nord sports a 6.44-inch FullHD+ Fluid AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor paired with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. The storage is non-expandable. It runs on Android 10 based Oxygen OS 10 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 4,115mAh battery.

On the optics front, the Nord features a quad rear camera setup including a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens and a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 5-megapixel macro sensor. Upfront, there is a 32-megapixel selfie snapper and an 8-megapixel ultrawide selfie snapper.

OnePlus Nord Review: Design and Display

OnePlus Nord brings a modern design to the table. The smartphone design has become monotonous these days. OnePlus breaks a bit from there with the OnePlus Nord. We had the Limited Edition Gray Ash variant, and it’s matte finish back and zero reflections make it a looker. The normal edition with the gloss back also feels comfortable in hand. 

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Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORAThe Grey Ash looks subtle and unique.

On the front, the Nord sports a 6.44-inch panel with a wide display cutout for a selfie snapper and an ultrawide camera for all those selfies with your friends. It has thin bezels offering a great viewing experience. The wider punch hole sounds bad, but I got used to it and I really appreciate the ultrawide snapper in the front. 

As for the placements, Nord sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge surrounded by the dual sim card tray, speaker grille and the primary microphone. The right edge houses the power button and the company's signature alert slider. On the left edge, there is a volume rocker. The top edge of the phone is mostly left clean with the exception of the secondary microphone.

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Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

It features a punch hole design.

Coming back to the display, it is a 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2400x1080 pixels. By offering such a display in this segment, the company is giving a great option to people who watch a lot of movies on their smartphones. It offers deeper blacks, punchier colours and great brightness levels. Along with that, it supports Widevine L1, which basically enables you to stream Full-HD content on the phone using apps like Netflix, Prime Video and more. The cherry on the top is a 90Hz panel which makes the day to day usage really smooth.

OnePlus Nord Review: Performance, Software and UI

OnePlus Nord is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor paired with 6/8/12GB of RAM. With the phone being priced in the 25,000-30,000 range, the 765G processor seems to be a good choice here. It not only offers fluid performance like the flagship 800 series in most of the use cases but also packs in 5G capabilities. During the review period, the combination of gaming, internet browsing and music playback didn’t cause the phone to sweat even a bit.

India Tv - IndiaTV / Devesh Arora

Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

It features an AMOLED display.

The Nord runs on Android 10 based OxygenOS 10 out of the box. The user interface feels super smooth. It does bring in a host of features including a system-wide dark mode, a janky always-on display, accent colour customization and much more. Just like every other OnePlus phone that I have used, the software is really good. However, with the Nord, the company has decided to make Google phone and messages app as the default app replacing the OnePlus apps which I think is a great decision in the right direction.

OnePlus Nord Review: Cameras

OnePlus Nord sports a quad-camera setup at the back. The setup comprises a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro-sensor. The smartphone also gets Pro Mode, Night mode, Slow-Mo mode and much more.

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Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

OnePlus Nord comes with a quad rear camera setup.

The camera app is straightforward and offers a good amount of features. However, the absence of auto-switching to macro mode was expected with a 2-megapixel macro sensor. A lot of times, the main sensor zoomed-in offers better photo qualities than the macro sensor does due to such a small sensor size of the macro sensor.

During our tests, the Nord managed to click some decent shots. Under good lighting conditions, the phone managed to lock focus quickly offering nice saturation with good contrast. The wide-angle lens is also good. The lack of megapixels on that, when compared to the main sensor, can be noticed. The depth sensor helps take good portrait shots. 

The selfie camera is great. This is one thing companies usually skimp on. The contrast is great. The ultrawide option really helps in taking those group shots. The skin tones look natural. If you wanna brighten them, there is always the option for using the baked-in selfie mode.

OnePlus Nord Review: Battery

The battery segment is where the Nord manages to outshine among its competition. The handset comes with a massive 4,115mAh battery. During my time with the device, light to medium usage got me around a day and a half of usage. I am sure the battery life will take a hit when 5G becomes available in India and we start using it.

With the battery being so huge, the charging speeds generally take a hit. OnePlus was kind enough to include a 30W fast charging known as Warp Charge. That enables the full charge in around an hour which is great. 

OnePlus Nord Review: Verdict

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Image Source : INDIATV / DEVESH ARORA

It sports thin bezels for a great viewing experience.

OnePlus Nord feels just like the company is going back to its roots. I remember the OnePlus One when it launched. It wasn’t a flagship killer, however, it gave them a strong competition at less than half the price. The Nord doesn't stand up to the flagship marks, however, sheds light on how good the budget segment smartphones have really gotten. With that, the question arises of do we really need a flagship. 

The OnePlus Nord Gray Ash variant, which I have been using for quite some time sports 12GB RAM along with 256GB of storage. The Snapdragon 765G offers good enough performance for the buck. It also makes the smartphone 5G ready, which is an added bonus for people who prefer using a phone for 2-3 years. The fast charging and a high refresh rate display makes it one of the top phones to buy in the segment. If you are looking to get one for yourself, you won’t regret it. 

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