New OnePlus, it’s back to the roots with the Nord: It should be an inexpensive, upper-class smartphone that makes high-end features affordable. We give you our first impression of the device here.
OnePlus says of itself that its fans are very important to them. The manufacturer is in constant communication with the community and what you heard after the launch of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro was probably quite clear: The manufacturer that once started to give the established manufacturers with their expensive flagships a lot of their own Annoying cheaper top devices has meanwhile become a premium brand itself, which also calls for premium prices. And that was understandably not met with much approval from many fans from the very beginning.
The call for a cheap OnePlus device that goes back to the roots of the manufacturer, so to speak, became loud and now OnePlus has delivered: The OnePlus Nord should not only attract attention with its special name, but again deliver top specs at affordable prices.
Our first impression after unpacking definitely confirms the high quality standards of the OnePlus Nord: The smartphone is sturdy and sits comfortably in the hand. The OnePlus Nord is a medium-sized smartphone, probably still too big for small hands, but neither is it a giant phone like the OnePlus 8 Pro.
We can confirm the slim bezels of the screen as well as the good placement of the dual punchhole camera, which is not so conspicuous or annoying even with clever background images.
We received the blue version of the smartphone, a more reserved version in gray is also available at launch.
The specs of the OnePlus Nord do not read badly for a device that you can get for less than 400 euros: A 90 Hz display, 5G, four cameras on the back and two on the front, fast charging technology with up to 30 watts and lots of storage .
Specifically, the OnePlus Nord is available with the following storage equipment:
8 GB RAM / 128 GB mass storage: 399 euros
12 GB RAM / 256 GB mass storage: 499 euros
Are there any things that at first glance worry us? Well, the battery doesn’t seem to have been particularly strong at 4,115 mAh, which could limit the runtimes of the smartphone. The SoC is not the absolute top class either, but the upper class model Snapdragon 765G. That should provide more than enough power for most apps, but the performance gap to more expensive flagships should be noticeable.
There is no WiFi 6, which could put off fans of fast networks. The 1080p resolution of the screen is surpassed by some more expensive smartphones, but it is completely sufficient for the screen size to enable a sharp display.
But of course we’re talking about complaining at a high level, because the features are still very good for a smartphone in this price range.
Of the four camera lenses on the back, three can be used for independent photos: The main camera with 48 megapixels and pixel binning combines four pixels into one by default in order to create 12 megapixel photos with a lot of light output. There is also a wide-angle and a macro lens, which has a very low resolution of 2 megapixels. The fourth lens is used to obtain depth information when taking portraits.
Our first impression of the camera is good: the images from the main camera look bright and sharp, even in less than ideal lighting conditions. The wide-angle camera also takes decent photos and the zoom in several stages between the lenses gives you great flexibility in creating images. Since OnePlus would like to tune the camera software until it is released, we are not allowed to publish any test images until the final test.
There are also two cameras on the front, a normal and a wide-angle lens. You can only switch between these, but not zoom. Pictures with it quickly appear overexposed in bright surroundings, but as already mentioned, OnePlus still has time to improve the camera.
The OnePlus Nord is a device at a competitive price, which at first glance looks high-quality and has a lot of features: four cameras on the back, two on the front, a 90 Hz display, 5G and plenty of storage. The fluid and modern operating system inherits it from its more expensive brothers, as does the fast charging technology.
The battery and processor still have to prove to us in the test that they can keep up with the performance of real high-end devices. There is also no WiFi 6, which is a shame at first.
The OnePlus Nord offers a lot, but also has to assert itself against tough competition. The test will definitely be exciting.
While the OnePlus One and its direct successors were still price breakers and had hardly any real competition, things are now looking different: Even the most established providers have woken up and are now offering cheaper alternatives with an interesting price-performance ratio. So it will be interesting to see how the OnePlus Nord does in this new environment and whether it still deserves the price breaker title.
We already have the test device here, but we will not be able to publish our detailed test until next Monday due to the embargo.
Unboxing and Hands-On Video (English)