OnePlus Nord assessment: Inexpensive 5G executed proper

With 5G, a stable lineup of specs and an attractive, vibrant design, the OnePlus Nord, launched in 2020 within the UK, provides a hell of lots for an affordable worth. You possibly can currently find it for £329 or about $428 on Amazon, which is considerably cheaper than its $1,069 flagship sibling, the OnePlus 9 Pro.


  • Inexpensive worth
  • 5G-enabled
  • Engaging, vibrant design

Do not Like

  • Unavailable in US
  • Not water-resistant
  • Irritating fingerprint scanner

This telephone 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 now’s elite handsets.

So what is the catch?

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

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


The OnePlus Nord has 5G connectivity.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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

A phenomenal design

I like the daring blue colour of the Nord. It is vibrant and enjoyable and stands out from some other telephone available on the market. The metallic edging seems to be nice too and whereas I am fairly positive it is comprised of plastic, not steel, 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 telephone.

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


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 suggests there’s been no have to squeeze one right into a button elsewhere. It isn’t that nice although, usually misreading my thumb print and forcing me to enter my PIN as a substitute. Hopefully this may be improved quickly with a easy software program replace.

The Nord would not have any IP ranking for waterproofing, which suggests it is in all probability greatest when you do not deliberately drop your telephone down the bathroom. However then, I am unable to consider a telephone I might wish to deliberately drop down the bathroom. It is a disgrace because the OnePlus 8 and eight Professional have IP68 waterproofing, which helps hold them protected from spilled drinks. (The OnePlus 9 and 9 Professional additionally don’t have 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 you’re additional cautious round clumsy pals carrying beers.

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

OnePlus Nord’s processor efficiency

Below 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 may have to be on a service plan that helps 5G and you may have to be in an space the place 5G is obtainable. 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, but it surely’s positively sensible to be shopping for a 5G telephone now so that you just’re able to reap the benefits of these speeds after 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 assessment mannequin got here with the utmost 12GB and efficiency is great. Navigation across the telephone was swift and freed from any lag, whereas demanding video games like Asphalt 9: Legends performed with none noticeable drop in body charges. 


The OnePlus Nord and OnePlus 8.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Its scores on the Geekbench 5 and 3DMark Sling Shot benchmark assessments put it beneath the iPhone SE and the OnePlus 8 Professional, however above Samsung’s Galaxy A51. So no, it isn’t probably the most highly effective telephone round, however there’s little you are prone to throw at it every day that it will not comfortably have the ability to deal with.

OnePlus’s Oxygen OS relies on Android 10 and gives a clear interface that I actually like. It is easy to make use of, swift to navigate and it would not come preloaded with annoying bloatware. OnePlus guarantees the telephone will get software program updates for at the least two years, with essential safety updates for one more yr 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 extensive pictures, poor macro abilities

There are three fundamental 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 allows you to give attention to 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. Pictures 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 photos with respectable colours. They do not have the pin-sharp element of the primary sensor, however they’re greater than adequate for Instagram or Fb. 

Barely confusingly, there’s a “2x” button on the primary digital camera display, which might usually activate the 2x zoom lens on telephones which have them. It is essential to do not forget that the Nord would not have a 2x zoom lens, in order that mode as a substitute 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 may 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 offer some engaging 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 primary entrance lens provides an enormous 32-megapixel decision, to allow you to see each excruciating element in your face. Photographs 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 helps you to seize extra of your setting in your selfies. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is a evening mode, too to assist take pictures in very low-light conditions. It does an excellent job of capturing the accessible mild whereas sustaining an excellent 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 a complete day. As all the time, that’ll depend upon how you employ it — when you spend all morning streaming movies then you’ll be able to in all probability anticipate to wish to offer the Nord a lift within the afternoon. 

In my very own time with the telephone I discovered it might comfortably get by at the least a full day with what I might describe as gentle use, which included a little bit of internet searching, some mild gaming and taking a couple of pictures. Crucially, it wasn’t linked to 5G, which could possibly be a giant 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 would 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 telephone from empty to 70% full in a single hour. Quick charging is tremendous useful for these events while you’re about to depart the house and realized your telephone is sort of useless. 

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
Cellular software program Android 10 Android 10 Android 10 iOS 13
Digicam 48-megapixel (commonplace), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth-sensing) 48-megapixel fundamental, 2-megapixel macro lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide 48-megapixel fundamental, 8-megapixel telephoto, 48-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel ‘colour 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 charge, 30W fast-charging 5G enabled, Quick-charging, 90Hz show 5G enabled, Quick-charging, quick wi-fi charging, 120Hz show, IP68 water resistance Water-resistant (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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