The OnePlus Nord 5G is official: redefining midrange smartphones

The OnePlus Nord 5G is official: redefining midrange smartphones
After a long line of leaks and a pretty successful marketing campaign, the eagerly-awaited budget OnePlus phone, the OnePlus Nord, is finally here. It’s the first model from a new line that OnePlus is aiming towards the average users and not the ones hellbent on having the fastest and most powerful Android phone.

One group of users the Nord isn’t aimed towards, however, are those in the US. Not right now, at least, although OnePlus isn’t ruling out the possibility of a North American release in the future. Still, it’s an exciting device that might change the way we think about midrange phones.

So, what is the OnePlus Nord all about? Time to take a look!

OnePlus Nord 5G design

On the outside, the OnePlus Nord is both familiar and different. At the front, the curved-edge display is replaced with a flat one, something many OnePlus fans would be happy to see.

There’s still a hole-punch in the upper-left corner, but on the Nord, it houses two sensors, which makes it pill-shaped, similar to the one on the Galaxy S10+. For some, the extra camera isn’t worth the aesthetic sacrifice that comes with it, but others don’t mind the larger hole as long as the cameras in it are of good quality (we’ll talk about them later).

At the back, we have the camera module, housing four sensors, and not much else. Its shape is similar to what we’ve seen on most other recent OnePlus phones, apart from the7T. However, on the Nord, the whole assembly is moved to the corner, making sure the budget OnePlus won’t be mistaken for one of its pricier cousins.

One thing fans were hoping to see on the OnePlus Nord is a headphone jack. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the cut. Conveniently, OnePlus also announced a pair of true wireless earbuds today. They’ll make a great companion for your new OnePlus phone.

OnePlus Nord 5G specs

The OnePlus Nord is powered by one of the most popular chips this year, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G. It’s currently the go-to SoC for manufacturers that want to bring 5G capabilities and good performance at a lower cost.

In almost all use-cases, the Snapdragon 765G combined with OxygenOS, the near-stock Android operating system OnePlus ships its phones with, will provide a fast and smooth experience that doesn’t differ from that of the OnePlus flagships in any way. The Nord will also get the OnePlus standard of at least 2 years of software updates and 3 years of security updates.

To make sure that’s the case, OnePlus has also fitted the Nord with a 90Hz display, something that’s rarely seen on devices in this price bracket. The display is a 6.44-inch OLED one with a 20:9 aspect ratio and resolution of 1080 by 2400 pixels. Those specs should translate to an excellent viewing experience.

RAM and storage are plentiful as well. The base model comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with a 12/256GB option available as well.

The battery size is decent as well. At 4,115mAh, it’s not the biggest around but combined with the efficiency of the Snapdragon 765G, it should provide a respectable battery life. What’s even better is that the signature OnePlus Warp charging is also on board, so topping up the battery should be a matter of minutes.

OnePlus Nord 5G cameras

As we’ve said numerous times, these days, the camera alone can make or break a smartphone. That’s why OnePlus has spent some extra money to provide the Nord with adequate hardware.

The four cameras on the back are as follows:
  • 48MP Sony IMX 586 main camera with OIS
  • 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera
  • 2MP macro camera
  • 5MP depth sensor

No 2x or 3x telephoto camera, but the 48MP sensor can provide a decent 2x alternative via cropping.

For selfie shooters, the Nord has:
  • 32MP main camera
  • 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera

Ultra-wide at the front is useful for group photos or just getting more of the surroundings in your shots. It’s definitely better than having a second sensor only for depth information.

But hardware is nothing with the proper computational prowess to take the shots to the next level. Luckily, with the OnePlus 8 series, OnePlus showed that it can compete with the best when it comes to camera performance and we’re expecting that same experience on the OnePlus Nord as well.

OnePlus Nord 5G price and release date

The OnePlus Nord 5G starts at 399 Euro (about $460) for the 8/128GB version. That's a tad lower than what we expected and an awesome price for a device that delivers so much.

Preorders for the Nord have been going on in waves for a while, but it will go on sale on August 4. The first markets to get it are India and Europe, others may be added at a later date but there’s no mention of such so far.

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