OnePlus Nord series: all the differences explained — screens, hardware, 5G0
And the Nord was somewhat of a small hit — everyone loved it and it was constantly included in “best affordable phones” lists.
But, since then, OnePlus launched a total of 4 more Nord phones and there’s the OnePlus Nord 2, which is expected to hit the shelves soon. If you haven’t been following closely, you might be confused by all the different Nord names flying about — it doesn’t help that they don’t follow any logical numbering scheme.
So, let’s take a breath and decipher which Nord does what, which OnePlus Nord is the best one, which Nord you should be looking to buy, et cetera.
OnePlus NordReleased: August 2020
The original Nord. It comes with upper-range Snapdragon 765G, a 90 Hz AMOLED screen, and 30 W fast charging as well as 5G connectivity. We critiqued its camera for being a bit muted, but it does have an optical image stabilization module, which is usually reserved for flagships. As a package, the phone is hard to beat at the price ($400 at launch, but cheaper nowadays).
It is the only Nord (out of the current lineup) to come without a headphone jack. Disappointingly, it also only has a single loudspeaker on the bottom.
Basically, the vanilla Nord is the “flagship” of the Nord family — all the other phones are either a cheaper version of it or variations for international markets. Let’s explore further!
OnePlus Nord N100Released: November 2020
The N100 might sound like it adds something on top of the regular Nord, but it’s actually a super-affordable entry instead. It has a lower tier Snapdragon 460 processor, “just” 18 W fast charging, an LCD display with no high refresh rate, and a 13 MP camera (not counting the 2 MP macro and 2 MP depth cameras). Also no 5G here.
Funnily enough, it packs both a headphone jack and dual speakers. Not that the drivers sound fantastic, but at least they provide stereo.
It’s basically an entry level phone at $180 that doesn’t try to be fancy — just reliable. OnePlus’ Oxygen OS on board takes care of that. A good place to dip your toes in the OnePlus experience and see if it’s for you.
OnePlus Nord N10Released: November 2020
The N10 is a higher tier than the N100 but a lower tier than the regular OnePlus Nord. Confused yet? Me too.
So, the OnePlus Nord N10’s processor is a mid-tier Snapdragon 690 and its screen is a 90 Hz LCD panel. It also offers 30 W fast charging and 5G connectivity. Its camera performs good for the price point — not that it can compare to a flagship, but it’s somewhere within the quality range of the vanilla Nord.
Headphone jack and stereo speakers? Yes and yes.
Basically, the OnePlus Nord N10 is a slightly cheaper version of the original Nord and it seems OnePlus listened to criticism and tried to improve on the formula.
OnePlus Nord N200 5GReleased: June 2021
OK, this is where the naming scheme starts making some sense. The Nord N200 is an upgraded version of the Nord N100.
It’s still an entry-level phone, with a Snapdragon 480G, but now it supports 5G connectivity. Its screen is still an LCD panel, but now has a 90 Hz refresh rate. Fast charging is still capped at 18 W, but overall, the phone is a great package for $240.
The speaker setup has been downgraded to a single driver at the bottom again. But we get to keep the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
So, the Nord N200 5G basically improves on the entry-level formula of the N100 from last year. Both phones are still up for sale on the OnePlus website, but the $60 extra for the N200 is worth it. Its redesign is also reminiscent to the OnePlus 9 series and it’s nice to see an entry-level phone with some character.
OnePlus Nord CEReleased: June 2021
Thought you had a handle on the Nord naming scheme, did you? Well, here comes the OnePlus Nord CE 5G (Core Edition).
A version for select international markets — not sold in the US — the OnePlus Nord CE is powered by a Snapdragon 750G. It’s slightly less powerful than the 765G in the original OnePlus Nord. The CE also has a 90 Hz AMOLED screen, and also supports 30 W fast charging. The camera is so-so, much like the regular Nord, but the CE doesn’t have an OIS module.
Further down the list of features, it has a single speaker, but sports a headphone jack.
So, the OnePlus Nord CE is kind of a vanilla OnePlus Nord, but with a slight price cut thanks to no OIS on the camera and the slightly slower processor.
OnePlus Nord 2Expected release: July 2021
The OnePlus Nord 2 is easy to guess — it’s supposed to be the de-facto successor to the original Nord. This means, we expect an OIS camera, an upper-midrange processor, a beautiful 90 Hz AMOLED screen, and fast charging.
OnePlus has been running a discreet marketing campaign, focusing on the Nord 2’s camera improvements. We expect a 50 MP main sensor, we’ll see how that does.
All caught up.
So, that’s it — we’re all caught up. Congratulations, you now know which OnePlus Nord fits where. Well, at least until OnePlus releases the Nord N32 Onion Layer edition. We’ll be sure to come back and redo our guide then.