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OnePlus Nord Review: 2020 Nexus



The OnePlus Nord is an additional $ 400 Android phone screen that wants you to rethink whether you need to spend double or triple its price on the flagship.

Its 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 90Hz refresh rate for an ultra-smooth experience, 5G support, ultra-fast charging, and a camera that’s almost the same good as the one you get from the flagship.

Had Google done so, the phone name could have been “Google Nexus 2020. It’s actually revived the same amazing idea in many ways, starting with a clean version of Android and ending with fast action.

In this review, we take a look at the most important things you should know about OnePlus. Nexus Nord, some of the compromises it makes, and whether it’s worth outperforming similarly priced competitors like the iPhone SE and Galaxy A.

Design

Firstly, the size: Nord is not too big, but also not small. In fact, it’s narrower than most other XL-sized phones, making it easier to handle. The back is glass, but the sides are plastic. I dropped it almost immediately after I photographed it, and a small piece of plastic was shredded, but, honestly, it’s good plastic and I don’t mind that at all, plus it helps to receive the signal.

The phone lacks an official IP certificate, but the SIM card slot, USB port, and several other internal components are rubberized, and OnePlus says that if you accidentally drop the phone into the water, it’s likely to remain intact, just don’t do it. intentionally.

The buttons are very pressable and feel cozy, which is important to me. The power button is on the right and the volume keys are on the left, then you also have a 3-way mute switch on the right, which is another touch of the OnePlus signature that provides so much convenience. However, there is no headphone jack. I miss it so much, but I think it’s a huge problem as wireless headphones are becoming much cheaper these days.

I also cared that the screen wouldn’t be pretty great at such a lower price. My concern was unfounded: Nord is a colorful looking AMOLED screen! The colors are bright, the viewing angles are great. If you compare it to the almost twice as expensive OnePlus 8, then color calibration on that phone is superior, but the price range of $ 400 is one of the best screens you can get. The size is 6.4 inches and the resolution is Full HD 1080p, sharp enough not to notice uneven dots.

The killer feature here isn’t just beautiful in color: the screen also supports the 90Hz refresh rate option. This drains the battery a little faster than the traditional 60Hz refresh rate (you can go back to that in the display settings), but we recommend leaving the 90Hz option on, as this greatly affects the smooth operation of the phone.

Performance and interface

Instead of a sample chip, the OnePlus Nord is equipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor. Even after using the phone for a while, I had a hard time noticing the difference. Occasionally a slight stutter every time on the blue moon, yes, but what’s worth it, the phone works as smoothly and quickly as a model phone.

I played several rounds of Call of Duty Mobile and it went just as smoothly as many of the flagships I tested, there were no problems there. You’ll notice that the benchmarks on this phone are actually lower than the competitors, but in real life you’re unlikely to notice much of a difference.

I should also mention that the OnePlus Nord is an Android 10 out of the box in a form that is pretty close to stock, with a clean system look. However, this is by no means an Android stock: OnePlus is proud of the many improvements it has made, ranging from hundreds of small improvements to improve system performance and added features. My favorites are the new live wallpapers that are animated so smoothly and beautifully. You can simply say that OnePlus sweats those details like no other company. You see this clarification throughout the interface.

Biometrics and haptics

Inside the screen you have an optical type fingerprint reader. I didn’t find any difference here compared to other more expensive OnePlus phones, it worked equally reliably and quickly. If you’re used to Samsung phones that use an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor (such as the Galaxy S10, S20, and Note 10 series), you’ll find that it actually feels faster and more reliable.
For people who want to use a face to unlock the phone and spend the hassle of fingerprinting, you have a face recognition option. Here, the phone uses a main camera for face recognition and there is no fancy infrared radiation and lasers for 3D face scanning. It’s just a 2D image, so it’s not as secure as, say, the iPhone. If you can’t help but notice it, Nord’s face unlock feature is actually impressively fast and convenient. We recommend that you try and of course you can turn on both the fingerprint reader and the face unlock, and use only what is more convenient for you.

Then I had another big concern: haptics. Vibration reviews for mid-range phones are usually very poor and weak. I was almost certain that the OnePlus had cut a corner here, but again, this phone has a very nice, sharp vibration engine similar to the one on the flagships. You feel this most often when writing and receiving messages in a pleasant, concise way.

Cameras

There are four cameras on the front of the camera and two on the front. But the two rear cameras don’t really count: one is a macro lens, which is actually almost useless – photos from it look dirty and lack detail, and you better use the main camera – and the other is a depth sensor. There remain two cameras you can actually use: the first is a 48-megapixel main shooter, and the second is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera.

The four rear cameras are as follows:

  • 48MP Sony IMX 586 main camera with OIS
  • 8MP ultra wide angle camera
  • 2MP macro camera
  • 5MP depth sensor

For selfie shooters, Nord has:

  • 32MP main camera
  • 8MP ultra wide angle camera

Here’s the deal: it’s a good camera system, but not quite great. Why? Well, mostly because of the colors. They look muffled and a little dull, with all shots a little pink. Not bad, just not quite right out the gate. For example, iPhone SE captures sharper shots that look better in most cases, but then lacks an extra-wide camera and a few accessories like night mode.

You have a wide selfie camera on the front and then a very wide selfie camera. The extra wide can easily accommodate a whole group of people, so you don’t have to carry a selfie stick, this is a very neat feature.

You can also record video in up to 4K video resolution. The quality obtained is good, but again you will notice that the amount of details resolved is not as good as on my more expensive phones and in the material below, my white shirt was too bright and burned. You have a separate Super Stable mode, which will also provide clove-like stability. One thing you can’t do in a video is move away from a very wide camera if you started recording with the main camera. You can use an extra-wide lens for videos, but you have to select it before you can start the video, and you can’t zoom in with it either. Here’s a quick example of quality:

Sound quality

This phone makes one compromise: the speakerphone. It’s just one speaker at the bottom of the phone, and I thought I didn’t mind it too much, but the reality is this: I do.

If, like me, you’re used to having dual speakers on flagship phones, then this one just lacks punch and clarity, sounds average. Plus, it’s so easy to mute the sound with your hands while watching videos or playing games. If you have a habit of playing music or YouTube videos without headphones, the speaker quality and questions will be annoying. The linguist is actually quite loud, so that’s a plus.

Battery life

The OnePlus Nord has a 4,115 mAh battery and excellent battery life. I used the phone almost at 90Hz, so everything runs both smoother and the battery lasts all day, but no longer. If you play a lot of games and have a habit on social media, expect to have to recharge before the end of the day. Thank goodness for the quick charge. Nord supports the same 30W fast charging speeds as the flagship OnePlus phones. Unlike other brands, fast charging stays fast even if you use your phone while charging. You don’t get wireless charging, but with fast charging, I really don’t miss it.

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

So how about 5G? The phone supports 5G in markets where there is. It doesn’t support those ultra-fast mmWave 5G speeds, but honestly, they have so few seats, it really doesn’t matter. It supports the low and medium band 5G range, as it already is and which is really important. If you are in the US where Nord is not officially available and you are trying to import it, you should be aware that several non-essential US groups are missing. You will still get 4G LTE, but at a lower speed than other phones in the US market.

Conclusion

So… it’s time to draw a proverb in the sand. Is OnePlus Nord good enough? And is it a “role model killer”?

The answer to the first question is a resounding ‘yes’, and to the second I do not think at all. But let’s be realistic, no one should expect devices that cost $ 400 to beat twice or three times more expensive. The bottom line is that OnePlus Nord is great. What would a Nexus phone look like if Nexus phones existed in 2020? The experience is as smooth as butter, the screen is gorgeous, the fast charging is impressively fast, every detail of this phone looks refined.

So unless you’re not the best camera and you don’t care about the longer zoom range, you should absolutely consider OnePlus Nord. It does 90% of what a flagship does, but only for the price.

The best alternatives to OnePlus Nord

IPhone SE (2020)
If you prefer iOS, iPhone SE offers impressive camera quality and rough performance at a slightly higher price. As for the downside, it has an outdated design and lacks wide-angle and macro cameras. It also does not have a headphone jack.
The Galaxy A71 is slightly cheaper in most markets and offers a larger screen and a thinner body (but lacks a 90Hz refresh rate). If you like Samsung’s interface and sleek style, this is a great choice.


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