The OnePlus Nord Review: Back to Basics

OnePlus took the Indian market by storm. It started as a smartphone company that made affordable smartphones that gave you more bang for your buck. As the company grew, so did its price point. While there hasn’t been an OnePlus phone was disappointing as yet, they did move away from a niche. Their flagship phones came with better features, better cameras, better performance, but also at a higher price. 

They have returned, however, with announcements that surprised more than a few of us. In the recent launch, the company revealed two new products, the OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus Buds. The announcement of the OnePlus Nord especially signalled a return to the mid-range segment of smartphones. The announcement comes with much uproar and excitement despite the recent release of the OnePlus 8. 

The Launch

OnePlus has placed innovation before everything else, and this shows in their launches too! Back in 2015, they successfully undertook a virtual reality launch that blew our socks off. They did not disappoint in 2020, with an Augmented Reality launch! The event took place on the 21st of July and was much-awaited for anybody keeping up with the tech world. Those interested were required to download an app which allowed them to access the event. 

The launch itself was for the announcement of their two new products, the OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus Buds. Both products were a step in a different direction for the company and were met with much anticipation. It is unclear, however, if the products are going to be launching in the US as well. There have been some minor speculations about how many countries the products are going to be released in. The launch did announce that the products would be exclusively available on Amazon and the OnePlus website. 

About the OnePlus Nord: 

The OnePlus Nord is their entry back into the mid-range segment of smartphones. It seems unlikely that they will stop coming out with incredible phones like the OnePlus 8, it is also heartening to see a company come back to its roots. However, as lovely as the sentiment may be, there is no point if the phone is not good. To showcase the phone to it’s fullest, we have a list of its specifications. 

OnePlus Nord Specs

Key Features

While the specs look wonderful, the key features of the OnePlus Nord remain its camera and price point. The smartphone comes with a quad-camera, a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The front cutouts include two selfie cameras, consisting of a 32-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera. The phone comes with features such as Nightscape, Super Macro, Portrait, Pro Mode, Panorama, AI scene detection, RAW Image, and Ultra-Wide Selfie. The difference is the placement of the rear camera. Where previous phones had the quad-camera straight in the middle, the Nord has it slightly to the left. 

Price Point

One of the best parts of the phone is the price point. The Oneplus Nord price depends on the amount of storage you are buying. The base of 6GB RAM + 64 GB storage comes for 24,999 and the highest 12GB RAM + 256GB storage comes for 29,999. While this may seem a bit expensive for the range they are aiming for; you have to admit that they have a ton of features that make it worth the price. OnePlus has provided a cheaper alternative to their flagship phones, with just a few features missing.

What’s good?

OnePlus has integrated all the essential features of a flagship phone into the Nord. You will not find the phone lacking in terms of performance. It is going to be compatible with updates for the next three years, even supporting the following few versions of the Android software. It comes preloaded with certain Google apps along and supports 5G. Despite India not being a 5G country as of yet, it is still a plus point. The phone also supports Warp Charge 30T fast charging, which means you’re going from 0% – 70% in 30 minutes. The phone also comes in two colours, Grey Onyx and Blue Marble.

OnePlus Nord in Grey Onyx (left) and Blue Marble (right)

What’s not?

No phone is perfect, and we can’t expect the OnePlus Nord to be either. There are minor issues with the phone, mostly because of the price point. 

  1. The option for wireless charging is not available on this smartphone, probably to keep the price low. 
  2. While the phone claims to be waterproof, specific certifications are missing to prove this. While it does claim to be resistant to dust and water, it is not guaranteed. 
  3. The position of the front camera means that not as many features can fit on the menu bar up top. 
  4. The screen is flat. Unlike the OnePlus 8, the screen on the Nord is flat. While this keeps the price of the phone low, it does result in the phone feeling chunky. 
  5. While this isn’t an issue with the phone itself, the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage option will only be available September onwards. 

About the Accessories: OnePlus Buds

OnePlus also announced their new OnePlus Buds. These are entirely wireless earphones that are not available as of yet. The wireless earphones are an affordable version of something like Apple’s AirPods, and like most of their phones, they seem to be worth every penny. The new earbuds cost 4990, and are going to be available exclusively at Amazon and the company website. They are warp charging compatible, the case (which serves as a power bank) comes with 30 hours of charge time, and when fully charged, can play music for up to 7 hours.

While they have not been released yet, we can only eagerly wait for their release to see if they hold up to the claims. 

OnePlus Buds

Final Thoughts: 

OnePlus has always been a company that raises the standards higher and higher. They started with the aim of providing quality phones at affordable prices. While they might have gotten side-tracked, they have come back with a bang. For the price, the OnePlus Nord may seem slightly expensive to some. It may be a bit out-of-budget for those buying in the mid-range segment. However, it is important to remember that the Nord comes with several features such as its camera and performance, that a phone in this range would not have. OnePlus has proven themselves once again, by creating a phone that is both affordable and of excellent quality.