Most people would’ve thought that the OnePlus 8 Pro would be the best phone the company would release in 2020. But as it turns out that’s not the case. It turns out the most affordable phone, the company has released in 4 years is the one to make that mark. It’s an incredible marker of how technology has progressed in the smartphone space which is allowing companies like OnePlus to do their best work at a much lower price. The OnePlus Nord is testament to that. But it also testament to how a relentless focus on the core user experience has driven the company to create a product that’s going to be potentially great for millions of people.
- Phones that aren’t at the cutting edge aren’t expected to be bleeding edge at design. They are expected to be solid, well the OnePlus Nord is beyond solid. The OnePlus Nord changes up the standard formula of its phones by providing an elegant solution which is subdued minimalistic in the fact that it drops the water resistance, curved screen and dressed in a teal-ish cyan they call blue marble. Its size makes it the most compact OnePlus phone there is, which is another feather in its cap.
- Apart from the fact the screen is smaller and lacks the curves on the edges, this is millimetre by millimetre a flagship-grade screen. In fact, I believe the screen to be better than even the OnePlus 8 as this screen is brighter. Overall, the combination of 90Hz, full HD resolution and AMOLED technology makes this a superb panel. It is ridiculously good for watching Netflix, reading text or even creating social media content.
- Most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between OnePlus 8 and OnePlus Nord in terms of performance. That’s a good thing because the OnePlus 8 is easily the fastest phone in 2020 so far. The combination of the Snapdragon 765G chip, 12GB DDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage makes this a pretty powerful phone on paper, but what makes it truly sing is the addition of the 90Hz refresh rate and OnePlus’s legendary optimisations which make it run almost as good as a flagship phone.
- The cameras are also quite excellent. OnePlus has given the Nord 6 cameras, which is more than any phone it has made before. All six cameras aren’t a top class but the ones that matter really do shine through. The primary camera is the same one as the OnePlus 8 and 7T but this is a really big sensor which has received a ton of software optimisations. OnePlus Nord is able to take excellent photos in both daylight and night time and the nightscape mode is just awesome for those long exposure shots that need a steady hand. All of this also benefits with optical image stabilization. This is also reflective in the videos one is able to take including ones shot at in 4K. On the front, there are two cameras enabling usable selfies and also a wide-angle lens for group selfies.
- Battery life on this phone is excellent. The 4,115mAh battery on this phone can last a very long time. It will give you consistently around 7-8 hours of screen on time, while also lasting over 15 hours on a single charge. It also charges fast using OnePlus’s known warp charge tech at 30 watts topping up the device within 75 mins.
- As always, the software experience on the OnePlus Nord is peerless. That’s why people buy OnePlus phones and if there was any scepticism around them cheaping out, that’s not happening. Software updates are regular for the sake of security, fixing bugs and also improving the phone by adding new features. Oxygen OS is better than stock Android, heck, it can be considered to be better than even iOS as far as updates are concerned.
- This is not a phone meant for gaming. The Snapdragon 765G may have “G” for gaming but this isn’t a phone which will be as good as an iPhone SE, OnePlus 8 or even a Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro in the gaming department. It will be decent but not mind-blowing.
- While the cameras are good, the rear cameras that accompany the primary one are quite shambolic. The wide-angle is decent enough but the depth sensor and macro lens at 2-megapixels are just downright useless.
Should you buy it?
Yes, if your budget is capped off to Rs 30,000, then this is easily the best smartphone at that price point. That said, mind you, this is going to be more good enough for most people. It is so useful that it will even make iPhone 11 users enviable. That’s how good this phone is. That’s it is their best phone to date.
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