OnePlus Nord overview: This 5G cellphone has all of it

With 5G, a strong lineup of specs and a fantastic, vibrant design, the OnePlus Nord presents a hell of loads for an affordable value. At beneath 500 euros (about $570, £450 or AU$820), it is considerably cheaper than its $999 flagship sibling, the OnePlus Eight Professional.

This cellphone packs a potent octacore processor, a vibrant 6.44-inch show, an in-display fingerprint scanner and 5G connectivity for ultrafast knowledge speeds. All of that is wrapped up in a great-looking blue physique that feels something however low-cost. Add to that three rear cameras that take first rate pictures and two selfie cameras, and the Nord is as well-stacked as any of at the moment’s elite handsets.

LikeAffordable price5G-enabledAttractive, vibrant design

Do not LikeUnavailable in USNot water resistantFrustrating fingerprint scanner

So what is the catch?

There are a few tiny compromises: There is not any IP score for waterproofing as you may get on the OnePlus Eight ($675 at Amazon) and eight Professional, and the in-display fingerprint scanner may be very hit or miss. Neither of that are deal-breakers. The larger drawback for many of you is that this glorious cellphone is not out there within the US. It is presently due for launch within the UK and wider Europe (in addition to India and China) however OnePlus has but to say if it will ever attain US or Australian cabinets. 

Uncover the newest information and finest evaluations in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s cellular specialists.

These of you who can purchase it ought to know that it is a very good cellphone that gives an amazing expertise for a way more reasonably priced value than any of at the moment’s flagship telephones. For those who’ve been eyeing up the iPhone SE however do not wish to swap away from Android, the OnePlus Nord is the cellphone for you.

The OnePlus Nord has 5G connectivity.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Oh, and for those who’re questioning concerning the identify “Nord” — sadly it has nothing to do with a race of individuals within the Elder Scrolls video games, however as an alternative is as a result of Nord means North in some European languages. OnePlus says that North on a compass “factors in direction of development and success,” which it does not, it is only a route, however who am I to argue? 

A phenomenal design

I really like the daring blue coloration of the Nord. It is vibrant and enjoyable and stands out from some other cellphone available on the market. The metallic edging appears to be like nice too and whereas I am fairly positive it is created from plastic, not metallic, it nonetheless feels good to carry. That is helped by the rear panel, which is Gorilla Glass 5 and provides a premium really feel to the cellphone.

The 6.44-inch display screen stretches all the best way to the perimeters, which helps the cellphone not really feel too cumbersome. I might maintain and use it fairly comfortably in a single hand, whereas the bigger OnePlus Eight Professional might be extra of a wrestle.

The OnePlus Nord doesn’t have an IP score for water resistance.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is a fingerprint scanner constructed into the show, which suggests there’s been no must squeeze one right into a button elsewhere. It isn’t that nice although, commonly misreading my thumb print and forcing me to enter my PIN as an alternative. Hopefully this may be improved quickly with a easy software program replace.

The Nord does not have any IP score for waterproofing, which suggests it is most likely finest for those who do not deliberately drop your cellphone down the bathroom. However then, I am unable to consider a cellphone I’d wish to deliberately drop down the bathroom. It is a disgrace because the OnePlus Eight and eight Professional have IP68 waterproofing, which helps preserve them protected from spilled drinks. That waterproofing is probably going one of many compromises OnePlus needed to make to maintain the price down. Simply be sure to’re additional cautious round clumsy pals carrying beers.

The display screen’s 2,400×1,080-pixel decision is decrease than the Eight Professional’s, nevertheless it nonetheless appears to be like completely crisp and clear. Textual content and icons are pin-sharp and high-definition movies on YouTube look nice.

OnePlus Nord: a fantastically designed 5G cellphone with an reasonably priced price ticket
See all photographs

OnePlus Nord’s processor efficiency

Below the hood is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor, which brings 5G connectivity to the Nord and really makes it among the many extra reasonably priced 5G telephones round. In fact you may have to be on a service plan that helps 5G and you may have to be in an space the place 5G is obtainable. 5G remains to be considerably in its infancy, so protection remains to be fairly patchy in lots of areas of the US and the UK, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly sensible to be shopping for a 5G cellphone now so that you simply’re able to reap the benefits of these speeds once they’re extra simply accessible.

The processor itself has eight cores and it is backed up by both Eight or 12GB of RAM, relying on the variant you go for. Our overview mannequin got here with the utmost 12GB and efficiency is superb. Navigation across the cellphone was swift and freed from any lag, whereas demanding video games like Asphalt 9: Legends performed with none noticeable drop in body charges. 

The OnePlus Nord and OnePlus Eight.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Its scores on the Geekbench 5 and 3DMark Sling Shot benchmark checks put it beneath the iPhone SE and the OnePlus Eight Professional, however above Samsung’s Galaxy A51 ($389 at Amazon). So no, it isn’t probably the most highly effective cellphone round, however there’s little you are more likely to throw at it every day that it will not comfortably be capable to deal with.

OnePlus’s Oxygen OS is predicated on the newest Android 10 and supplies a clear interface that I actually like. It is easy to make use of, swift to navigate and it does not come preloaded with annoying bloatware. OnePlus guarantees the cellphone will get software program updates for no less than two years, with crucial safety updates for one more 12 months past that.

3DMark Slingshot Limitless

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench single-core

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench multicore

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Nice broad pictures, poor macro expertise

There are three predominant lenses on the again — there’s the usual zoom digicam, which is a 48-megapixel Sony sensor — the identical one discovered on the OnePlus Eight. That is joined by a 12-megapixel tremendous wide-angle lens and there is additionally a 2-megapixel macro digicam that allows you to focus shut up on tiny particulars. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Outcomes from the usual lens look first rate, particularly contemplating the value tag. Photographs look well-exposed and sharp, with vibrant, correct colours. 

The wide-angle lens helps you seize much more of the scene in entrance of you. It additionally produces well-exposed photographs with first rate colours. They do not have the pin-sharp element of the principle sensor, however they’re greater than adequate for Instagram or Fb. 

Barely confusingly, there’s a “2x” button on the principle digicam display screen, which might usually activate the 2x zoom lens on telephones which have them. It is essential to keep in mind that the Nord does not have a 2x zoom lens, in order that mode as an alternative digitally crops into your picture. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The two-megapixel macro digicam is disappointing. Colours look drab and lifeless, and I’ve discovered that focus may be hit or miss too. I’ve had higher close-up outcomes from utilizing the usual digicam and easily cropping in. 

There’s additionally a portrait mode that makes use of the 5-megapixel depth sensor to offer some engaging out-of-focus backgrounds to your portrait pictures, in addition to different options like 4K video, sluggish movement and an evening mode for capturing brighter pictures in low gentle. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On the entrance is the primary dual-lens selfie digicam we have seen from OnePlus. The primary entrance lens presents an enormous 32-megapixel decision, to allow you to see each excruciating element in your face. Pictures from the principle lens are sharp and well-exposed, and whereas the decrease Eight-megapixel decision of the second lens supplies much less element, the wider-view helps you to seize extra of your setting in your selfies. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is a evening mode, too to assist take pictures in very low-light conditions. It does job of capturing the out there gentle whereas sustaining stage of total sharpness to the scene. 

OnePlus Nord battery life 

There is a four,115-mAh battery contained in the Nord that ought to be capable to present sufficient juice to maintain you going for a complete day. As at all times, that’ll rely upon how you utilize it — for those who spend all morning streaming movies then you’ll be able to most likely anticipate to want to offer the Nord a lift within the afternoon. 

In my very own time with the cellphone I discovered it might comfortably get by way of no less than a full day with what I’d describe as delicate use, which included a little bit of net searching, some gentle gaming and taking a couple of photographs. Crucially, it wasn’t related to 5G, which might be a giant energy drain, so we’ll should see the way it fares in real-world use as soon as we will safely get out with it.

Whereas it does not have the wi-fi charging discovered on the OnePlus Eight Professional (one other sacrifice for the cheaper price), it does have 30-watt quick charging, which guarantees to take your cellphone from empty to 70% full in a single hour. Quick charging is tremendous useful for these events if you’re about to depart the house and realized your cellphone is nearly useless. 

OnePlus Nord specs comparability

OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Eight

OnePlus Eight Professional

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Show dimension, decision

6.44-inch; 2,400×1,080-pixels

6.55-inch AMOLED; 1,080×2,400 pixels

6.78-inch AMOLED; 1,440×3,168 pixels

four.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels

Pixel density





Dimensions (Inches)

6.23×2.88×0.32 in

6.3×2.8×0.31 in

6.51×2.93×0.35 in

5.45×2.65×0.29 in

Dimensions (Millimeters)

158.3×73.3×8.2 mm

160×72.9× mm

165×74.4×8.5 mm

138.4×67.3×7.three mm

Weight (Ounces, Grams)

6.49 oz; 184g



5.22 oz; 148g

Cellular software program

Android 10

Android 10

Android 10

iOS 13


48-megapixel (normal), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth-sensing)

48-megapixel predominant, 2-megapixel macro lens, 16-megapixel ultra-wide

48-megapixel predominant, Eight-megapixel telephoto, 48-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel ‘coloration filter’


Entrance-facing digicam

32-megapixel, Eight-megapixel (wide-angle)




Video seize






Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865

Apple A13 Bionic


128GB, 256GB

128GB, 256B

128GB, 256B

64GB, 128GB, 256GB


8GB, 12GB

8GB, 12GB

8GB, 12GB

Not disclosed

Expandable storage






four,115 mAh

four,300 mAh

four,300 mAh

Not disclosed, however Apple claims it has the identical battery life as iPhone Eight

Fingerprint sensor




Residence button






Headphone jack





Particular options

5G-enabled, 90Hz refresh price, 30W fast-charging

5G enabled, Quick-charging, 90Hz show

5G enabled, Quick-charging, quick wi-fi charging, 120Hz show, IP68 water resistance

Waterproof (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging

Value off-contract (USD)

$570 (transformed from 500 euros)



$399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)

Value (GBP)

£450 (transformed from 500 euros)



£419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)

Value (AUD)

AU$820 (transformed from 500 euros)



AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

First revealed July 27

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