Updated: July 24, 2020 10:05:27 am
OnePlus has been a very predictable company for most of its life. It has focussed on selling one phone at a time, maybe with variants. But the focus of the company has been clear, even when it did flirt with a budget phone, the OnePlus X, a few years back. But the dogged perseverance of its goal of offering a burdenless flagship experience in every sense has also helped it become the market leader the in the premium segment.
But in the past year or so, the market situation has changed a bit are there is some challenge from the very brands OnePlus set out to usurp. Also, having been at the top of the premium leaderboard in India for many quarters has given the brand the confidence to push for something in the middle segment, where the volumes can be much bigger. The OnePlus Nord is that new flirtation, the variation from the pattern in OnePlus’s otherwise systematic product cycle.
OnePlus Nord design and display
For me, the OnePlus Nord is a OnePlus phone however I look at it. From the box to the packaging of components inside, this phone has all the characteristics we are used to from OnePlus. Its design is no different. It has the same look and feel of the OnePlus 8 series, with one exception. The OnePlus Nord has its camera module a bit towards the left edge and not in the middle as with the other two phones launched recently. But despite this, there is a lot similar in even the camera module. These three phones clearly come from one design family, no DNA testing needed.
The phone offers a firm grip and is about the same size as the OnePlus 8, though the latter seems to be slightly taller.
The display has always been an area of focus for OnePlus, which keeps pushing what it can do on this front. With the OnePlus Nord, there is again a 90Hz display on offer. The 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED springs to life as you unlock the screen, and pops in your eyes. However, using the phone under the bright Delhi sun, I got the impression that this was a less bright screen than the OnePlus 8 Pro.
Inside the OnePlus Nord
While the OnePlus Nord might look a lot like the OnePlus 8 series, it is a more affordable phone and hence sports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and not the top of the line 855 chipset. The review unit I have offers 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, which is as good as it gets. If you care, this is a 5G phone. But then India is not (yet) a 5G country.
The OnePlus Nord also sports the company’s proprietary Oxygen OS based on Android 10 and the experience is smooth and akin what you would experience on any other OnePlus phone. OnePlus clearly has not spend too much time figuring out things that don’t need figuring out.
OnePlus Nord Camera
Where it clearly has spent time is figuring out the camera configuration and experience that can floor the buyer. It was hard to miss the two lenses peeping at you in the corner of the display. Yes, the phone has a dual selfie camera set up — a 32MP main camera + 8MP wide angle combo. There is more at the rear, in fact four cameras — a 48MP main camera + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP — out of which one is the colour filter lens. In the app, you get an ultra wide 0.6x, main camera, and a 2x telephoto optical zoom. The selfie has two modes — regular and wide.
The camera app offers all modes, including a Pro mode that lets you change all settings. There are also a lot of new colour filters, but the photochrom one is missing. There is also a macro mode like in the OnePlus 8 series.
OnePlus Nord battery
The OnePlus Nord sports a 4115mAh battery which should last a whole day and more on full charge. And with Warp charge you can juice-up in about 30 minutes.
OnePlus Nord first impressions
With its Rs 24,999 starting price tag, the OnePlus Nord might tout itself as a budget phone, but it is a classy one at that. The the 12/256GB combination that I am reviewing is priced at Rs 29,999. There are very few missing corners and except for the processor most of the other specs are top draw. A lot of people should be more than happy to buy the phone at this price point, maybe even stretching a bit from their earlier budgets. At this price, the phone will give buyers the feeling that they have got more bang for their buck. That is what made OnePlus the brand it is.
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