Impressive under the hood
Anyone who puts the specifications of the OnePlus Nord next to its bigger brother, the OnePlus 8 (Pro), will quickly notice that there are differences. Where the RAM for both devices is 6GB with the cheapest model, the Nord has the Snapdragon 765G while the 8 enjoys the Snapdragon 865. The battery of the Nord is also a bit less good and the screen a bit smaller, but that doesn’t really matter.
In use you will notice little difference in performance between the two phones. Both have a screen that is incredibly smooth thanks to a 90Hz screen that looks incredibly beautiful thanks to the AMOLED screen. It speaks volumes about the class of a phone that is not at all intended to compete with the flagships.
For gaming, you will immediately notice that the 90Hz provides a finer experience. Playing Pokémon GO is as smooth as butter and the 5G options are welcome too. As a result, the phone is immediately prepared for the new network that will launch in 2020. For gaming services such as Stadia and xCloud, this is absolutely fantastic, as this makes high-end games playable on a beautiful screen.
Of course, slight concessions have been made, such as the aforementioned processor and the battery, which is a bit smaller, but you do not suffer much from this in daily use. OnePlus’ charging technology, the Warp Charge, still ensures that you can fully charge your phone in an hour. The storage space has also been slightly reduced, but you will hardly notice that if you do not constantly film in 4K.
While we’re on the subject of filming, the OnePlus Nord’s camera is certainly impressive. This is namely equipped with four lenses on the back, one more than the normal OnePlus 8. It is a 48MP main camera with optical image stabilization, an 8MP wide-angle lens with an angle of view of 119 degrees. There is also a depth sensor that can take pictures with poor light.
It is striking that the screen side of the device has been treated with an extra lens. In addition to the 32MP camera, a second 8MP lens has been added. Together they provide even better photos and videos, which will particularly appeal to TikTokers and selfie fans. The second camera provides a better depth of field in your selfies.
The second front camera is unique to the Nord, as the 2020 premium models have only one punchhole camera in the screen. This camera generally works a bit better than the four-headed camera on the back. The main camera works well in almost every situation, but the same does not apply to the other lenses. The Macro lens is particularly disappointing, because it simply does not always provide the promised detail.
Apple of the eye
Nevertheless, it must be said that the positioning of the cameras has greatly improved. These have been placed back in the top left corner, something that was abandoned after the 5T. This does a lot for the design. When the camera was placed in the middle of the back of the phone, this quickly creates a greasy lens because your fingers naturally end up on the lens.
Now you have a lot less trouble with this, although fingerprints could still be visible due to the glossy design of the back. We didn’t have much trouble with the blue variant that we started with, but it is something to take into account.
Concessions have also been made on the material of the phone, because the edges are made of plastic this time. These are therefore a bit more fragile, but those who use a phone case will quickly prevent fractures. This is also included in the box, so you can at least protect your phone from day 1.
OnePlus Nord Review – A new standard
All in all, we can speak of a fantastic device that sets the new standard for the middle segment. The concessions made do not detract from the daily experience, giving you a good alternative to the high-end models. Anyone who makes the direct comparison will of course see that there are a few differences.
Although the Nord has a beautiful screen, that of the OnePlus 8 Pro is just a bit better and the camera is also a bit inferior. However, the design is fantastic despite the plastic edges that are more susceptible to damage. For only 399 euros, OnePlus simply puts down an absolute must-have that could only be a bit better on the camera level.