The One Plus Nord is finally here after a big marketing campaign that successfully managed to raised hype and anticipation on speculations regarding the final product and its name. We have all heard the One Plus story, but they have been creeping up in price over the years as they slowly approach the flagship status using more and more expensive parts. This naturally created a conversation amongst the fans on whether One Plus will be changing its trajectory from its ‘cheap phone’ brand image that provided them with the big fan base. The Nord is a form of reassurance to the loyal One Plus customers that that they have not changed One Plus’s core identity, the best bang for the buck phone.
Overall, it is a great package for the price tag of 399 Euros. The Nord will be available in two colors, the Blue Marble and Gray Onyx with the recognizable one plus design of a vertical camera set up on the back. The Nord is equipped with a Snapdragon 765G, 8Gb of RAM, 128Gb of storage but there is also a higher model with 12Gb RAM and 256Gb storage for a 100 Euros more. In the front the there is a 6.4”, 1080p, 90Hz, AMOLED display with an onscreen fingerprint reader underneath the screen and a 180Hz touch sampling rate. These spec numbers, despite being not comparable to flagship standards are quite impressive considering the price tag, even at 1080p you will be looking at over 400 pixels per inch. Furthermore, most people who are looking to spend 400 Euros on a phone will not be able to distinguish between 90Hz and 120Hz. The screen also has very thin bezels along with the small dual phone punch cut out in the front makes it look quite premium in many ways and not cheap. The optical fingerprint reader is the same as last year and is low on the phone, so it is quite easy to reach when using it with one hand.
Under the hood powering the device is a decently sized 4115mAh battery and it comes with a warp charge 30T charger in the box, a familiar sight on One Plus boxes, providing you with 0 to 70% charge in just 30 minutes. There are no wireless charging capabilities on this device and no official IP water and dust resistance rating either, which is probably the areas that they have sacrificed to save on costs. Other cost reduction notable areas are UFS 2.1 storage and they have opted for a USB 2.0 data speeds despite having a fast charger. Unlike other budget phones who have doubled down on a single area, the Nord provides a basic level of performance across the board delivering a promising overall package.
The built quality is evident from the metal and glass finish, and the familiar One Plus alert slider on the side. The 90Hz OLED display is supplemented sufficiently by the decent sized battery and fast charging and the 765G has good performance results thanks to plenty of RAM. At this point it is logical to assume with a budget price tag and all this impressive specs so far, the camera is the area that might be sub-par, however it surprisingly is not the case. The Nord has a quad camera system with a 48MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera and finally a 5MP depth sensor. The main camera is the same hardware that is present on the One Plus 8 and One Plus 8 Pro and the selfie camera provides you with a 32MP main and an 8MP ultrawide setup. One Plus does have a great track record in fixing photo quality through updates over time, so we can expect improvements to the photos on this device as new updates roll in.
The Nord will not be available worldwide, instead it will only be made available in a few countries to begin with. The One Plus team is mostly focusing on the markets in Asia and Europe specifically, with North America and Middle East not making the cut. Carl Pie, the co-founder of One Plus did however claim that more devices will be released under the Nord line up for the other markets later on, so people who are currently not in the original list of regions will have to probably order one and ship it across.
Overall, it is a safe and steady package that provides performance, quality, and aesthetic without skipping out any vitals. One Plus seems to have found the right balance of trade-offs that needed to be made to provide this budget device. At the moment, there remains only one notable famous contender in the category and that would be the iPhone SE, but for Android users it is quite simply a clear and obvious choice as the best budget device.