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OnePlus Nord Review: 2020 “Nexus”



OnePlus Nord is a $ 400 Android phone that asks you to reconsider whether you need to spend twice or three times your flagship cost.

His arguments are a beautiful design with a glass back and one of the freshest shades of blue we’ve ever seen on a phone, a beautiful AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 90 Hz for a super smooth experience, 5G support, super fast charging and a camera that’s almost as good like what you get on a flagship.

If Google did so, the phone name could be “Google Nexus 2020”. It’s the same great idea reborn in many ways, from a clean version of Android to fast performance.

In this review, we cover the most important things you should know about OnePlus nexus Nord, a few of the trade-offs it makes, and whether it̵
7;s worth overcoming competing companies with similar prices, such as the iPhone SE and Galaxy A.

design

First, the size: Nord is not too big, but not too small. In fact, it’s a little narrower than most other XL phones, making it easier to grasp. The back is glass, but the sides are plastic. Right after unpacking, I threw it away and a small piece of plastic tore off, but to be honest, it’s good plastic and I don’t mind at all, in addition, it helps in receiving the signal.

The phone lacks official IP certification, but the SIM card slot, USB port and many other internal components are a rubber seal, and OnePlus says that if you accidentally drop the phone, it will probably survive unscathed, just don’t do it on purpose.

The buttons are very neat and feel nice, which is important to me. The power button is on the right and the volume buttons are on the left, and then you also have a three-way mute on the right, which is another OnePlus touch that adds so much convenience. However, there is no headphone jack. I miss that, but while wireless headphones are much cheaper these days, I don’t think it’s a huge problem.

I was also worried that at this lower price the screen would not be quite good. My worries were unfounded: Nord has a beautiful looking AMOLED screen! The colors are vivid, the viewing angles are excellent. If you compare it to an almost twice as expensive OnePlus 8 product, you’ll find that the color calibration on this phone is excellent, but in the $ 400 price range, it’s one of the best screens you can get, period. The size is 6.4 inches and the resolution is Full HD 1080p, sharp enough not to notice jagged pixels.

Not only beautiful colors are a killer feature here: the screen also supports the 90 Hz refresh rate option. The battery discharges slightly faster than the traditional 60 Hz refresh rate (you can return to this in the display settings), but we recommend that you leave the 90 Hz option on, as this significantly affects the smooth running of the phone.

Performance and interface

Instead of the flag chip, OnePlus Nord comes with a Snapdragon 765G processor. Even after using the phone for a long time, I noticed a difference. Yes, the occasional mild stuttering every once a month of the month, but whatever it’s worth, the phone runs as smoothly and quickly as the flagship phone.

I played a few rounds of Call of Duty Mobile and ran as smoothly as most of the flagships I tested without any problems. Note that the comparison score on this phone is actually lower than that of the competition, but in real life you will hardly notice any difference.

I should also mention that OnePlus Nord comes with the Android 10 out of the box in a form that is quite close to stock, clean looking system. By no means is it in stock for Android: OnePlus is proud of the many enhancements it has made to experience, from hundreds of small enhancements that improve system performance to other features. My favorites are the new live wallpapers that are animated so smoothly and nicely. You can only say that OnePlus sweats this data like no other company. And you can see this improvement throughout the interface.

Biometrics and haptics

You have an optical fingerprint scanner on the screen. Compared to other, more expensive OnePlus phones, I did not find any difference here, it worked just as reliably and quickly. If you’re used to Samsung phones that use an ultrasonic fingerprint reader (such as the Galaxy S10, S20 and Note 10 series), you’ll notice that it actually feels faster and more reliable.
And for people who want to use their face to unlock the phone and skip fingerprint problems, you have the option of face recognition. The phone here uses the main camera for face recognition and there are no decorative infrared rays and lasers for 3D face scanning, it’s just a 2D image, so it’s not as safe as on iPhones, for example. If you can miss it, the Nord face unlock feature is really impressive quickly and conveniently. We encourage you to try it out, and of course you can enable the fingerprint scanner as well as unlock your face and use the one you find more comfortable.

Then I had other big worries: haptics. Vibrational feedback is usually very weak and weak on mid-range phones. I was almost sure that the OnePlus had a corner, but again, no, this phone has a very nice engine with sharp vibrations similar to that on flagship phones. You feel it most when writing and receiving notifications with a nice short report.

camera

There are four on the front of the camera and two on the front. However, two of the rear cameras don’t really count: one is a macro lens that’s honestly close to nothing – the photos look muddy and lack detail, and you’re simply better with the main camera – and the other is a depth sensor. So there are two cameras left that you can actually use: the first is a 48-megapixel main shooter and the second is an ultra-wide 8MP camera.

The four cameras on the back are as follows:

  • 48MP main camera Sony IMX 586 with OIS
  • Ultra-wide camera with 8 MP resolution
  • 2MP macro camera
  • 5MP depth sensor

When it comes to selfie shooters, Nord has:

  • 32MP main camera
  • Ultra-wide camera with 8 MP resolution

Here’s the solution: it’s a good camera system, but not quite great. Why? Well, it’s mainly because of the colors. They look muted and a little boring, with a little pinkish tones for all shots. It’s not bad, just not quite great right from the gate. For example, the iPhone SE captures more vivid images, which in most cases look better, but then lacks an ultra-wide camera and several accessories, such as night mode.

You have a wide-angle camera at the front and then an ultra-wide-angle camera. The extremely wide fits easily for a whole group of people, so you don’t have to carry a selfie stick, it’s a super sleek feature.

You can also record video with a video resolution of up to 4 KB. The quality you get is good, but again you’ll notice that the amount of distinct detail is not as good as on more expensive phones, and in the shots below, my white T-shirt was too bright and burned out. You have a separate “Super Stable” mode, which will also create this gimbal-like stabilization. The only thing you can’t do in a video is zoom out the ultra-wide camera if you started recording with the main camera. You can use an ultra-wide lens on a video, but you must select it before playing the video, and you can’t zoom in while using it. Here is a quick example of quality:

Sound quality

This phone makes one compromise: the speaker. It’s just one speaker located on the bottom of the phone and I thought I wouldn’t mind too much, but the reality is.

If you’re like me, you’re used to dual speakers on flag phones, they lack punch and clarity, it sounds average. In addition, it is so easy to mute the sound with your hands when watching videos or playing games. If you’re used to playing music or videos on YouTube without headphones, the quality and difficulty of muting the speakers will be annoying. However, the speaker becomes quite loud, so it’s a plus.

Battery life

OnePlus Nord has a battery with a capacity of 4,115 mAh and in my experience the battery life was fine. I used the phone almost exclusively at a frequency of 90 Hz, thanks to which everything is so smoother in operation and the battery lasts all day of use, but no more. If you play a lot of games or have a habit of social media, you need to recharge before the end of the day. Thank goodness for a quick charge. Nord supports the same 30 W charging speeds as OnePlus phones, and unlike other brands, fast charging remains fast even if you use the phone while charging. You won’t get wireless charging, but with the fast charging available to me, I definitely don’t miss it very much.

This review will be updated shortly with the results of our battery tests.

And what about 5G? The phone supports 5G for markets where it is available. It doesn’t support these super fast mmWave 5G speeds, but honestly, these are available in so few places, it doesn’t matter. It supports low-band and mid-band 5G, the kind already available and the one that really matters. If you are in the US, where Nord is not officially available and you are trying to import it, you should know that a few irrelevant American bands are missing. You still get 4G LTE, but at lower speeds than other phones made for the US market.

conclusion

So … it’s time to draw the proverbial line in the sand. Is OnePlus Nord good enough? And is he a “flag killer”?

The answer to the first question is a big yes, and to the second question I don’t think it’s quite there. But let’s be realistic, no one should expect a $ 400 phone to beat a device two or three times more expensive. In conclusion, OnePlus Nord is excellent. This is what a Nexus phone would look like if Nexus phones existed in 2020. The experience is as smooth as butter, the screen is amazing, fast charging is impressively fast, every detail in this phone is refined.

So if you’re not behind the best camera, and if you care about a longer zoom range, you should consider OnePlus Nord completely. It does 90% of what a flagship does, but for a fraction of the price.

The best alternatives to OnePlus Nord

iPhone SE (2020)
If the iOS is more to your liking, the iPhone SE offers impressive camera quality and first-class performance at a slightly higher price. The downside is that it has an outdated design and lacks a wide angle and macro camera. The headphone jack is also missing.
The Galaxy A71 is slightly cheaper in most markets and offers a larger display and a thinner body (but lacks a refresh rate of 90 Hz). If you like Samsung’s interface and sleek style, this is a great choice.


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