OnePlus Nord N10 5G evaluation: A disappointment at any worth

OnePlus is shifting downmarket with its new Nord model, following up on the smash-hit original with the brand new N10 5G. Sadly, this newest mannequin does not reside as much as the unique’s title. Whereas US pricing is not official but, there is not any purpose to purchase one in Europe, and that will be true even when it weren’t for all of the launch bugs.

Design, {hardware}, what’s within the field

Nord N10 5G is large. It is larger than the higher-end unique Nord and OnePlus 8. It is virtually as large because the humongous OnePlus Eight Professional, and taller than the gargantuan iPhone 11 Professional Max. It is also 190g, which is fairly chunky for a price range telephone. Nevertheless you heft it, the N10 5G is a giant boy and may show common for these searching for measurement at a smaller worth.

Construct high quality is sturdy, nevertheless it nonetheless feels low cost. The telephone is substantial, and you’ll wrench and twist on it with none disturbing noises or bending, however the shiny plastic again and body do not feel very premium, even in comparison with the unique Nord, which used comparable supplies. I could not let you know exactly what’s completely different, however one thing about it undoubtedly feels completely different. The N10 5G can be the corporate’s first telephone for the reason that OnePlus 6 to have a rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor. In contrast to the older Nord, OnePlus elected to incorporate a headphone jack on the N10 5G, a pleasant contact. It is also on the underside, which is my favourite place for it because it’s best to pocket a telephone the other way up — which most of our readers do.

I ought to level out: The Nord N10 5G has no water resistance in any respect, not like the previous Nord, which the corporate known as “splash proof” — although that telephone additionally lacks any express IP score, like all OnePlus telephones till the current OnePlus 8 Pro.

In maybe the most important change to the bodily design, OnePlus has eliminated the alert slider, a trademark characteristic all OnePlus telephones for the reason that OnePlus 2 have had. First-time homeowners will not lament the loss, nevertheless it provides to the general sense that this is not actually a OnePlus telephone. OP additionally gave the N10 5G microSD-expandable storage, which is a primary for any OnePlus system for the reason that 2015 OnePlus X, and it is a complicated transfer for the characteristic to re-debut on a mid-range telephone. No less than it means you will have loads of house for media should you run out of the 128GB of UFS 2.1 inner storage.

It is also the primary OnePlus telephone for the reason that OnePlus 2 to have an LCD show, measuring in at 6.49 inches at 1080p and 90Hz. Though you will not get these inky OLED blacks, it is fairly good and, by advantage of its expertise, does not undergo points like low-brightness irregularities or “green-tint,” although it does really feel slightly extra smeary once you scroll in comparison with an OLED. Coloration and brightness have been usually good, although the climate throughout our testing wasn’t conducive for the very best out of doors comparisons.

The display additionally has a hole-punch digital camera cutout and a big-ish chin, with the latter paying homage to the Xiaomi Pocophone F1. There’s a slight drip in brightness across the digital camera, nevertheless it’s solely actually noticeable at an angle with vibrant backgrounds. In all sensible use, it was by no means a difficulty for me. The audio system (stereo by way of the earpiece) are typical smartphone fare. They’re tinny, lack bass, and warp a bit at max quantity, however they get a lot loud.

I can not communicate to US packaging, however the EU mannequin comes with a charger and cable. Notably, there is not any bundled case like some OnePlus telephones include.

Software program, efficiency, and battery life

The Nord N10 5G ships with OxygenOS 10.5, an older model of the corporate’s Android-based software program. It is one among my favourite Android skins, and although it has some points with the way it handles issues deep down inside, it appears and feels fairly good. In brief: If you happen to’re accustomed to inventory Android (or, actually, Android in any respect), you will be proper at residence. Although a number of issues are moved round, it is simpler to get used to than one thing like Samsung’s OneUI.

That is to not say it lacks options, although. OnePlus builds-in perks that allow you to duplicate apps that do not deal with a number of accounts, like WhatsApp. There’s additionally a “fast reply in panorama” characteristic that makes nice use of multitasking and is helpful for firing again a fast message when watching movies. Though, it solely works with a number of apps. OnePlus’ quantity management menu can be means higher than inventory. On a extra damaging be aware, OxygenOS additionally breaks anticipated behaviors with overly-aggressive background app management (a minimum of, by default). In sensible phrases, meaning notifications might are available in late for some apps, and you might discover apps that want to remain working within the background do not work appropriately on a regular basis.

Basic efficiency was each higher and worse than I anticipated. That is the primary Snapdragon 690-powered telephone I’ve had the prospect to make use of, and whereas it was in a position to preserve that 90Hz smoothness up more often than not, random and typically surprising issues, like the united statestracking web site, would convey it to its knees. Nonetheless, it feels usually succesful should you’re keen to just accept a number of stutters, and that extends to video games too. Fortnite was hardly clean on the default settings, and there have been loads of dropped frames, nevertheless it was enough for me to snag #2 in a web-based match, which is nice sufficient for me.

The larger situation I bumped into is an outright deal-breaker: Randomly, the touchscreen simply will not work once you wake the telephone up. It’d repair itself in a number of seconds, or it might take a couple of minutes, and it solely occurs one out of 20-40 occasions you flip it on, nevertheless it’s exceedingly annoying and fully unacceptable conduct that you just’re virtually assured to come across day by day. We bumped into the problem on two separate telephones (each arrange from scratch/with out a backup) after OnePlus first informed us it could be a {hardware} situation, however that does not look like the case. We’re now informed “OnePlus is conscious of the problem shared by Android Police and is working diligently to resolve it,” so I hope a repair lands finally.

Earlier, we had points with the telephone reliably connecting to Wi-Fi networks, however a current replace mounted that, and I’ve additionally run into a number of intermittent points with Bluetooth audio gadgets repeatedly disconnecting instantly after they join. There’s additionally a really seen change in coloration steadiness in sure apps after they declare a wider coloration house whereas evening mode is enabled, seen to a lesser diploma outdoors it as properly, and OnePlus presents no further coloration calibration choices in settings. The fingerprint sensor can even take weirdly lengthy to wake the telephone, and typically it does not work in any respect till you wake the telephone with the facility button.

Although the mannequin we reviewed is a European import, I did not have any points with mobile connectivity in testing right here within the states, and it related to T-Cell’s sub-6 5G community simply wonderful.

The final large situation OnePlus has but to repair is the software program replace schedule: This telephone launches with Android 10, and it’ll solely ever get up to date to Android 11. On prime of that, you are solely getting two years of safety patches. Contemplating the unique Nord is getting higher therapy, that is purpose sufficient to spend an additional €50 over this. If the Nord N10 5G prices over $300 when it lands within the US, OnePlus needs to be embarrassed.

No less than battery life was fairly good. I used to be in a position to pull over 7 hours of screen-on time in a day and a half with 20% left, and I anticipate I might break 8-9 hours in sooner or later, although I am not as arduous on my telephones as some persons are. OnePlus’ 30W quick charging continues to be nice, topping up the N10 5G in a short time once you want it.


Photographs taken by the Nord N10 5G have been fairly respectable. It has a major wide-angle, an ultra-wide, a ineffective macro, and a monochrome digital camera. The same old caveats for mid-range cameras apply: Good lighting can take respectable images, poor lighting finally ends up muddy. Extra particularly, it tends to crank publicity sooner than ISO, so attempt to shoot round that and do not crop should you may also help it. I would not say it is a “nice” digital camera, nevertheless it’s higher than I anticipated.

It is arduous to get picture samples today, an replace landed proper on the finish of our evaluation that improved efficiency, and climate did not supply a lot selection. 

The dearth of OIS on the first digital camera was a little bit of a difficulty, particularly with the lengthy publicity occasions the digital camera favored in all however the very best of lighting circumstances, so preserve a gentle hand. Colours additionally appeared off for me in comparison with different OnePlus telephones: extra muted than the corporate’s often ‘gram-ready look. Darker particulars have been additionally liable to being misplaced or processed into mush. Nonetheless, the first shooter is serviceable, as is the wide-angle.

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The macro digital camera, alternatively, is horrible, even in respectable out of doors lighting. I get that the extra, low cost digital camera provides these telephones one other quantity for low-effort advertising and marketing, however I might actually want they spend the cash on one thing higher or give it an truly good macro digital camera mode, like on the OnePlus Eight Professional.

Left and heart: Regular picture and an after-the-fact monochrome edit. Proper: “Mono” coloration filter mode.

Just like the OnePlus 8’s coloration filter digital camera, the monochrome digital camera is accessible by way of the final “mono” filter mode, seemingly combining outcomes from each the first sensor and the monochrome secondary. I did not anticipate it, however the outcomes do present richer tones than merely enhancing the same picture taken usually to monochrome (particularly in relation to reds), however particulars additionally look a tiny bit muddier, so it is a tradeoff.

Do you have to purchase it?

Most likely not. OnePlus will not inform us how a lot the telephone will price within the US, which is the ultimate figuring out issue for our evaluation, however within the EU you may get the OG Nord for simply €50 extra, and it is higher in each attainable means. And that is ignoring the touchscreen situation I bumped into, which is not acceptable in a telephone at any worth.

We’re holding our ultimate evaluation rating pending US pricing and within the hope that the display situation will be mounted, however I do not anticipate giving it a excessive quantity.

As I see it, there is not any purpose for people within the EU to purchase the Nord N10 5G. And until it hits a very unimaginable worth right here within the US, there’s not a lot purpose for individuals right here to purchase one when it lands right here both.

Purchase it if:

  • You’ll be able to’t spend €50 extra and get the unique, a lot better Nord and particularly need a OnePlus telephone.
  • You’ll be able to compromise on efficiency and updates, amongst different issues.

Do not buy it if:

  • You need a cheap replace schedule, good {hardware}, or a greater digital camera.
  • A non-OnePlus telephone will do — there are higher decisions.

The place to purchase:

The OnePlus N10 5G will likely be accessible beginning November 20th on the corporate’s storefront in Europe:

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Anil Kumar

Anil Kumar Gadgets writes for Review Tech smartphones, wearables, headphones and speakers based in Delhi for 360 Tech News. Anil Gadgets is a reviewer for 360 Tech News and has written in detail about smartphones, software updates and upcoming devices.

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