OnePlus Nord overview: Every little thing you’d need from a 5G cellphone

With 5G, a strong lineup of specs and an exquisite, vibrant design, the OnePlus Nord gives a hell of loads for an inexpensive worth. At below 500 euros (about $570, £450 or AU$820), it is considerably cheaper than its $999 flagship sibling, the OnePlus Eight Professional.

This cellphone packs a potent octacore processor, a vibrant 6.44-inch show, an in-display fingerprint scanner and 5G connectivity for ultrafast information 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 first rate photographs and two selfie cameras, and the Nord is as well-stacked as any of right now’s elite handsets.


  • Reasonably priced worth
  • 5G-enabled
  • Engaging, vibrant design

Do not Like

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

So what is the catch?

There are a few tiny compromises: There is no IP ranking for waterproofing as you may get on the OnePlus 8 ($699 at Amazon) and eight Professional, and the in-display fingerprint scanner may be very hit or miss. Neither of that are deal-breakers. The larger drawback for many of you is that this glorious cellphone is not obtainable within the US. It is at present due for launch 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 can purchase it ought to know that this can be a very good cellphone that provides an incredible expertise for a way more inexpensive worth than any of right now’s flagship telephones. Should you’ve been eyeing up the iPhone SE however do not need to change away from Android, the OnePlus Nord is the cellphone for you.


The OnePlus Nord has 5G connectivity.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Oh, and if you happen to’re questioning concerning the identify “Nord” — sadly it 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 does not, it is only a route, however who am I to argue? 

A lovely design

I really like the daring blue colour of the Nord. It is vibrant and enjoyable and stands out from every other cellphone available on the market. The metallic edging appears to be like nice too and whereas I am fairly certain it is produced from plastic, not metallic, 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 cellphone.

The 6.44-inch display stretches all the way in which to the sides, which helps the cellphone not really feel too cumbersome. I may maintain and use it fairly comfortably in a single hand, whereas the bigger OnePlus Eight Professional may very well 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 is not that nice although, recurrently 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 does not have any IP ranking for waterproofing, which suggests it is in all probability finest if you happen to do not deliberately drop your cellphone down the bathroom. However then, I can not consider a cellphone I might need to deliberately drop down the bathroom. It is a disgrace because the OnePlus Eight and eight Professional have IP68 waterproofing, which helps maintain them secure from spilled drinks. That waterproofing is probably going one of many compromises OnePlus needed to make to maintain the price down. Simply be sure to’re further cautious round clumsy buddies carrying beers.

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

OnePlus Nord’s processor efficiency

Underneath the hood is Qualcomm‘s Snapdragon 765G processor, which brings 5G connectivity to the Nord and really makes it among the many extra inexpensive 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 undoubtedly sensible to be shopping for a 5G cellphone now so that you just’re able to benefit from these speeds once they’re extra simply accessible.

The processor itself has eight cores and it is backed up by both Eight or 12GB of RAM, relying on the variant you go for. Our overview mannequin got here with the utmost 12GB and efficiency is superb. Navigation across the cellphone 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 Eight Professional, however above Samsung‘s Galaxy A51 ($325 at Amazon). So no, it isn’t essentially the most highly effective cellphone round, however there’s little you are more likely to throw at it each day that it will not comfortably have the ability to deal with.

OnePlus’s Oxygen OS is predicated on the newest Android 10 and supplies a clear interface that I actually like. It is easy to make use of, swift to navigate and it does not come preloaded with annoying bloatware. OnePlus guarantees the cellphone will get software program updates for at the least two years, with essential safety updates for an additional 12 months past that.

3DMark Slingshot Limitless


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench single-core


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench multicore


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Nice extensive photographs, poor macro expertise

There are three principal lenses on the again — there’s the usual zoom digicam, 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 digicam that allows you to focus shut up on tiny particulars. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Outcomes from the usual lens look first rate, particularly contemplating the worth tag. Photographs 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 first rate colours. They do not have the pin-sharp element of the primary sensor, however they’re greater than ok for Instagram or Fb. 

Barely confusingly, there’s a “2x” button on the primary digicam display, which might usually activate the 2x zoom lens on telephones which have them. It is necessary to keep in mind that the Nord does 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 digicam is disappointing. Colours look drab and lifeless, and I’ve discovered that focus could be hit or miss too. I’ve had higher close-up outcomes from utilizing the usual digicam 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 photographs, in addition to different options like 4K video, sluggish movement and an evening mode for capturing brighter photographs in low mild. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On the entrance is the primary dual-lens selfie digicam we have seen from OnePlus. The principle entrance lens gives an enormous 32-megapixel decision, to allow you to see each excruciating element in your face. Photos from the primary lens are sharp and well-exposed, and whereas the decrease 8-megapixel decision of the second lens supplies much less element, the wider-view permits you to seize extra of your atmosphere in your selfies. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is a night time mode, too to assist take photographs in very low-light conditions. It does an excellent job of capturing the obtainable mild whereas sustaining an excellent stage of general 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 rely upon how you utilize it — if you happen to 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 cellphone I discovered it could comfortably get by way of 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 just a few photographs. Crucially, it wasn’t related to 5G, which may very well be a giant energy drain, so we’ll must see the way it fares in real-world use as soon as we will safely get out with it.

Whereas it does not have the wi-fi charging discovered on the OnePlus Eight Professional (one other sacrifice for the cheaper price), it does have 30-watt quick charging, which guarantees to take your cellphone 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 cellphone is sort of useless. 

OnePlus Nord specs comparability

OnePlus Nord OnePlus 8 OnePlus Eight 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× mm 165×74.4×8.5 mm 138.4×67.3×7.three 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 principal, 2-megapixel macro lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide 48-megapixel principal, 8-megapixel telephoto, 48-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel ‘colour filter’ 12-megapixel
Entrance-facing digicam 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 Dwelling 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)

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