OnePlus Nord Review in detail – Best Flagship killer?

OnePlus Nord is getting a lot of hype, but there are also a lot of questions. How is the Snapdragon 765G compared to the Snapdragon 855 or 855+. How are the cameras? Which one should you go for? Redmi K20 Pro or Realme X3 or the OnePlus Nord?

Well, in this is OnePlus Nord review, I’m gonna answer every single one of those questions.

So let’s get started.

OnePlus Nord box contents:

1. OnePlus Nord handset
2. Warp charge 30T adapter
3. Type-C cable
4. Transparent case
5. SIM ejector
6. Quick Start Guide and Warranty Information

OnePlus Nord Specifications

SpecificationsOnePlus Nord
Display6.44 inches, 90Hz
Display TypeFHD+, Fluid AMOLED
SoftwareAndroid 10 ; OxygenOS 10.0
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 765G
GPUAdreno 620
RAM / Storage6 + 64GB, 8 + 128GB, 8 + 256GB
Front camera32 + 8 MP
Rear camera48 + 8 + 5 + 2 MP
Battery4115 mAh
Fast charging30W, 70% in 30 min
Headphone JackNo
Wireless chargingNo
Starting PriceRs 24,999

Design and Build Quality

OnePlus Nord has a premium design with glass back
OnePlus Nord has a premium design with glass back

When it comes to the design, the Oneplus Nord looks very premium, and I like the fact that this isn’t an overly huge or bulky phone. OnePlus Nord is the sleekest and the lightest phone compared to Realme X3 and Redmi K20.

One thing that might bother people is the fact that the Nord does not have a headphone jack, especially because the K20 Pro and Realme X3 may actually come with that. Another important thing that you should know is that the phone has dual sim support, but no microSD support.

A lot of people were confused about the fact that this phone is metal or glass or plastic. Well, let me clear it once. The back of OnePlus Nord is glass while the sides and frame is plastic.

As for the haptic feedback, it’s kind of usual and similar to what you get with other mid ranges. Apart from all that, I like the design of the OnePlus Nord.

OnePlus Nord has an in-display fingerprint scanner
OnePlus Nord has an in-display fingerprint scanner

The fingerprint scanner is very fast, and there’s also super fast face unlock. The buttons are also very tactile. When it comes to the speaker, the bottom firing speaker is not the loudest but it sounds very clear and the quality is pretty good.

OnePlus Nord ports and speakers

OnePlus Nord Review: Display

As for the display, the OnePlus Nord gives me a video of Galaxy S10+. It just looks really good and I kind of love this types of panels, especially on mid-range phones like this one and Redmi K20 Pro. This thing also has the 90 Hz refresh rate which clearly complements OxygenOS.

OnePlus Nord features a FHD+ 90Hz display
OnePlus Nord features a FHD+ 90Hz display

I know Realme X3, which is in the same price range, comes with a 120 Hz IPS LCD display. It’s a nice and smooth display but I’ll take AMOLED 90Hz over IPS LCD 120Hz any day.

The brightness of OnePlus Nord is looking a little low, to be honest, the notch display is not the brightest display out there but it’s good enough.

OnePlus Nord Software Review

The main reason why a lot of people are taking interest in the OnePlus Nord is because of its OxygenOS experience with Android 10.

OnePlus’s OxygenOS stands at second position when it comes to hardware-software optimization.

Unlike Xiaomi smartphone, there are no bloatware or ads on the OnePlus Nord.

The Nord runs OxygenOS 10 out of the box based on Android 10 and it’s prompts the same level of software support as all other OnePlus phones (2 years of platform updates and 1 year of security patches).

There’s very little meaningful difference between the software of the OnePlus Nord and the that of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.

The OnePlus Nord gets some sick live wallpapers, showing frozen tundras and other rocky formations which is nice. The Google dialer and Messages app are now the default for calls and text which seems like a natural next step for OxygenOS to be more like stock Android.

So these two google apps look a little different to OnePlus versions and bring new features like automatic caller id and spam filtering.

Besides that OxygenOS is a known quanlity experience and it is still one of my favorite flavors of Android.

You might also like: Top 5 Best UI Android skins

OnePlus Nord Performance

The big question has been around the chipset and the performance of the OnePlus Nord. The competition has the Snapdragon 855, so how does it compare to the competition?

OnePlus Nord is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
OnePlus Nord is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

Let’s compare the Snapdragon 765G on the Nord versus the Snapdragon 855+, the flagship chipset of 2019. Both of these are 7nm octa-core chipsets.

Although the 765G has been manufactured with the newer 7nm process, but when it comes to the CPU, the 855 is obviously the more powerful chipset.

It has the faster cryo 485 cores that can go up to 2.84 GHz. The cryo 475 in the 765G is not too far behind though.

When it comes to GPU, the 855 is again slightly better with the Adreno 640 compared to the Adreno 620.

Note that the Adreno 620 on the 765G is overclocked and can go up to 750 MHz compared to the 700 MHz clock speed of the adreno 640 GPU on the 855+.

The 765G should offer good gaming performance but the 855 is 855 and it’s obviously has a more powerful CPU.

Now it’s clear that the 855 is the most powerful chipset but the 765G is definitely more future proof, since it has an integrated 5G modem. So that’s something to note.

Coming to the benchmark scores, the Snapdragon 855 on the Redmi K20 Pro is just ahead of the 765G on the OnePlus Nord.

Here are the Geekbench 5 scores:

OnePlus Nord Geekbench scores
OnePlus Nord Geekbench scores

Here are its Antutu scores:

OnePlus Nord Antutu Scores
OnePlus Nord Antutu Scores

Now how does OxygenOS perform with the Snapdragon 765G?

I was literally looking for any issues. I want to make sure that I don’t miss out any big problem with the performance of the phone. And well, I got nothing.

There has been no lag and I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of difference between Nord and OnePlus 8 in day to day performance.

OnePlus Nord Gaming Performance

The gaming performance has been top notch too. The OnePlus Nord’s default settings was set to HD and high graphics inPUBG Mobile.

After having a number of gaming sessions at this setting without coming across any issues, I’d say the gaming experience on Oneplus Nord is top notch.

Having said that, I also did a game test to see the FPS and the consistency at HD and high PUBG Mobile settings.

OnePlus Nord was consistently around 30 fps mark without a lot of drops, so that’s good. At smooth and ultra, the FPS was around 40 most of the time.

The Redmi K20 Pro has support for HDR and extreme where the fps hovers around 55 to 60 FPS mark. So that’s the difference between Snapdragon 855 and Snapdragon 765G.

At the end of the day, the snapdragon 765G on the OnePlus Nord is fairly reliable and it can handle intensive games like PUBG Mobile with a lot of ease.

But, if you compare it against the 855 or the 855+, the 855+ is more powerful.

OnePlus Nord Camera review

CamerasOnePlus 8Oneplus Nord
Rear Cameras48 MP, f/1.8 (wide)
16 MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide)
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
48 MP, f/1.8 (main)
8 MP, f/2.3 (ultrawide)
5 MP, f/2.4 (depth)
2 MP, f/2.4 (macro)
Front Cameras16 MP, f/2.032 MP, f/2.5 (main
8 MP, f/2.5 (ultrawide)
OnePlus Nord vs OnePlus 8 camera comparison

As you can see, the OnePlus Nord has the same camera specs as the OnePlus 8, so i had good expectations from it.

OnePlus Nord camera review
OnePlus Nord camera review

Rear cameras

In the daytime, the photos from the phone look really good, the colors are very nice, as you can the photos are sharp and i like the dynamic range of this camera.

Sometimes, the photos don’t have the most accurate color (during evening) but I don’t think it’s a big deal.

OnePlus Nord performs very well at least for a phone in this price segment. Some photos are a bit off in terms of sharpness, but I mostly noticed the phone taking fairly sharp shots.

If we compare it to Redmi K20 Pro, both phones perform very well in terms of dynamic range and overall exposure.

Sometimes, the OnePlus Nord takes better photos with better shadows but sometimes the K20 Pro takes the more punchy shot. But in most of the other occasions, I found them to be equally good.

In low light, the OnePlus Nord is better in almost every single photo, as it has captured more light and the details too are much better.

So overall, the Nord is the better camera phone to me.

As for the rest of the lenses, the OnePlus Nord’s ultra wide sensor does a good job with the colors and the dynamic range.

But it’s not the best especially in terms of details, I know most ultra wide angle cameras have this problem but in some shots from the Nord, it was more apparent that the details are too low.

There’s also the 2 MP macro lens on the Nord which is honestly average. I mean I wasn’t expecting anything better, the images had noise and they weren’t good enough.

When it comes to videos, there’s no 4k 60 FPS support in the OnePlus Nord. But I like the video quality.

Overall I like it and since the phone does have OIS, the stability is also on point. So the rear cameras are pretty good in my opinion, but the selfies aren’t far behind too.

Front cameras

There are dual selfie cameras here and I like the selfies from the main as well as the wide angle camera. The colors remain mostly the same from both these sensors and the details are pretty good.

OnePlus Nord has a dual hole-punch camera cutout
OnePlus Nord has a dual hole-punch camera cutout

When it comes to the videos from the front camera of Oneplus Nord, this supports 4k 60 FPS. You can shoot videos from both the main camera as well as the ultra wide angle camera.

I like the quality of videos coming from Nord. I like the fact that the quality more or less remains the same from the main camera. The colors also remain the same and that is a good thing. So I like the video shot from the front cameras of the OnePlus Nord.

Battery and Charging

OnePlus Nord’s battery size is pretty similar to what you get in the Realme X3 or the Redmi K20 Pro. The battery performance is decent enough and it can lasts you a day.

As for the screen on time, with the display set to 90 Hz, you can get around 6 hours 10 minutes which isn’t extraordinary. Also, if you set it to 60Hz, the battery performance will get slightly better.

As for the charging, the 30W Warp charging is very very good. It takes the phone from 10 to 50% in just 22 minutes and it fully charges the phone in exactly an hour.

OnePlus Nord Price in India

The OnePlus Nord price in India starts at Rs 24,999 for the 64GB storage variant. The 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant costs Rs 27,999 and high-end 8GB RAM + 256GB storage variant is priced at Rs 29,999.

OnePlus Nord doesn't have an official IP rating
OnePlus Nord doesn’t have an official IP rating

OnePlus Nord Review: Conclusion

Pros:

1. Fantastic 90Hz OLED screen
2. Good performance
3. Reliable main camera
4. Premium design and build
5. OxygenOS still a winner

Cons:

1. Extra cameras either so-so or unnecessary
2. No IP rating
3. No headphone Jack

Now the question arrives, is OnePlus Nord worth buying?

Well, Yes.

The main reason to buy OnePlus Nord is the OxygenOS user experience which is ad-free, bloatware-free and just very good. If I had to choose, I’d buy the OnePlus Nord because it is a very well rounded smartphone.

The 90Hz AMOLED display, great design, reliable performance, great cameras, decent battery and very fast charging is a good combo.

However, there are phones like the Redmi K20 Pro with the Snapdragon 855 in this price range. It’s cameras are fairly good, the design is nice and the Snapdragon 855 is more powerful than the 765G.

Oneplus Nord Review by MKBHD / Marques Brownlee

So it’s clear, if you want a more premium gaming performance go for the Redmi K20 Pro or also take a look at the Realme X3. But in every other aspect, the OnePlus Nord is the better option to go with.

So which one would buy? OnePlus Nord or the Redmi K20 Pro or even the Realme X3 or X3 SuperZoom. Tell us in the comment section below.

Also make sure to share this OnePlus Nord review with your friends who have been planning to buy a smartphone around Rs 25,000.

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