The affordable range of OnePlus impresses with its slim form factor, great performance and long-lasting battery
If you want to know about the hottest mobile phone in town, which brand is trending, what do people really desire in their new device—I suggest the neighbourhood mobile store is an ideal place to figure all this out. No prizes for guessing, the maximum buzz these days is around the new, more affordable OnePlus smartphone line, called Nord, said to be the highest selling phone on Amazon Prime Day.
A quick reality check: OnePlus flagships have seen a steady rise in their price tags; the latest top-end OnePlus 8 Pro retails for a steep Rs 59,999 while the OnePlus 8 isn’t cheap either with a price tag of Rs 49,999. The net result: quite a few die-hard OnePlus fans as well as prospective new customers are left high and dry.
It is precisely to cater to this clientele that OnePlus has come up with Nord. There’s pretty much everything you could ask for here. There’s a diverse camera system, smooth user experience, powerful processor, sharp and vibrant display and long-lasting battery—features that have made OnePlus quite popular among the consumers here. OnePlus Nord is available in two colours—Blue Marble and Gray Onyx. Prices range from Rs 24,999 for the 6+64GB variant, Rs 27,999 for 8+128GB and Rs 29,999 for the 12GB, 256GB variant.
Our trial unit was the Blue Marble 12GB + 256GB handset. Having reviewed the higher-end OnePlus devices in quick succession, there was a lingering thought in my mind that Nord might turn out to be a watered-down version with numerous shortcomings. I was proven wrong. This is a very handy and functional phone in a slim form factor with good all-round performance. I reckon the aspirational lot (especially youngsters) will simply lap it up, given that it is within their budgets.
Appearance-wise, the Nord reminds me of the very first Google Nexus phone created by HTC that was launched in early 2010. At a time when mobile phones are getting bigger and heavier, the Nord comes across as an easy-to-operate device with a sturdy body that can withstand accidental falls. While a bigger screen is harder to navigate one-handed, you won’t face such issues with the Nord; your thumb can reach all corners with ease.
Switched on, OnePlus Nord’s 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED display comes to life in an instant. Its 90Hz refresh rate delivers an immersive viewing experience. Whether you’re browsing the web or scrolling through photos, every touch is smooth and seamless. The display is said to have 2,048 levels of automatic brightness for smoother brightness transitions and greater eye comfort. Scrolling is very smooth, swiping is snappy and everything feels very responsive here.
Inside, the smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G mobile platform, which totes improved CPU speeds, extremely fast graphics rendering, and a dedicated AI engine that helps to deliver great gaming performance. The company has also thrown in upto 12GB of RAM so the users can run all their favourite apps at once stutter-free. In other words, multitasking is a breeze here, the phone is ultra-fast and very smooth. Like the flagship OnePlus 8 Series, Nord comes pre-installed with OxygenOS 10.5 that comes complete with features such as Dark Mode, Zen Mode, and a full set of customisation options that let users tweak everything from icon shapes to fingerprint animations.
OnePlus Nord features the same 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor as the flagship OnePlus 8, complete with a large f/1.75 aperture to let in a generous amount of light and optical image stabilisation (OIS) to reduce blur and shakiness in both photos and videos. It also comes with an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera, a macro camera, and a depth sensor to provide a versatile and diverse photography experience.
Nightscape, available on both the rear main lens and ultra-wide angle, enables very good night shots through advanced computational photography. Nord is also the first OnePlus device to come with a dual front camera setup, with advanced image processing algorithms to ensure great clarity and enhanced details. Featuring a 32 MP main camera, the phone captures great selfies at day and night. Nord supports OnePlus’ signature Warp Charge 30T, that takes the phone’s 4,115 mAh battery from empty to 70% in just half an hour. One-and-a-half to two days of moderate use is a given here.
In actual usage, OnePlus Nord ran extremely well and was very fast opening apps and during surfing the websites. Snapping away with its camera produced some very good photos with good resolution and clarity. This is a sleek and feature-packed phone that delivers good overall performance. A good combination of style and function at decent price levels.
Display: 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED display
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Operating system: OxygenOS based on Android 10
Memory & storage: 6GB/8GB/12GB RAM, 64GB/128GB/256GB storage
Camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP rear, 32MP + 8MP front camera
Battery: 4115mAh, Warp Charge 30T
Estimated street price: Rs 24,999 (6+64GB), Rs 27,999 (8+128GB), Rs 29,999 (12GB + 256GB)