When OnePlus launched the OnePlus One back in 2014, it was seen as an affordable flagship phone. But since then, the company has been straying away from their idea of a “flagship killer”.

That is about to change thanks to the introduction of their Nord series of phones.

Design & Hardware

Hardware has become a strong point for OnePlus and that’s no different from the OnePlus Nord.

Despite being a more mid-range device, the OnePlus Nord feels like a more premium device. It offers a glass back and plastic frame that is made to look like metal. And continuing with their trend of great colour options, the Nord comes in a nice Blue Marble and Gray Onyx.

Just like the OnePlus 8 series, the OnePlus Nord has an in-display fingerprint sensor that works great most of the time but I’d rather use OnePlus’ super quick face unlock.

The Nord has a 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a 2400 x 1080 resolution and 408 PPI and 90Hz refresh rate like the OnePlus 8. Most mid-ranges won’t typically offer something like a high refresh screen and having one on the Nord makes the experience smoother.

OnePlus Nord (Blue Marble)

Powering the OnePlus Nord is the Snapdragon 765G processor with 12GB of RAM. While that 12GB of RAM might seem like overkill, it helps the phone feel consistently smooth with little to no slowdowns.

There’s also 128 or 256GB of storage along with a 4,115 mAh battery that supports Warp Charge 30T fast charging. The Nord’s battery easily lasted all day long. It would have been even better if the Nord offered wireless charging but OnePlus wants to reserve that for their top-of-the-line flagship, the OnePlus 8 Pro.

While the OnePlus Nord is a great experience on paper and in actuality, there is one glaring issue. The OnePlus Nord (at least this model) won’t be launching in North America.

Even though the Nord doesn’t have a headphone jack, the company has launched its first truly wireless earbuds, the OnePlus Buds. I tested the earbuds with the Nord and they sound good and offer good battery life (up to 7 hrs) but not everyone is gonna love the stem design.

The OnePlus Buds are available now from OnePlus’ website for around $79 CAD (normally $109 CAD). They come in White and Gray colours but some markets offer a blue colour to match the Nord.

The Nord is currently available in Europe, the UK and India.

If you are in the markets that the Nord is available in, you can find the pricing below.

  • 64GB Storage/6GB RAM – 24999 INR
  • 128GB Storage/8GB RAM – 379 GBP / 399 Euros / 27999 INR
  • 256GB Storage/12GB RAM – 469 GBP / 499 Euros / 29999 INR

Software

On the Android side of things, the OnePlus Nord is running the company’s OxygenOS based on Android 10. I’m more of a stock Android type of guy but OxygenOS is a close second.

Everything in OxygenOS kind of looks like Google’s version of Android but with a few tweaks here and there.

One of the new features of the Android 10 based OxygenOS is Dark Theme 2.0 which the company says was built from the ground up. There are even more apps that are compatible with the UI’s dark mode.

Dynamic Wallpapers is a new way to subtly shift the colour tones of your phone’s wallpapers based on current outdoor colour temperatures. There’s also quite a number of ways to customize OxygenOS to your liking from the system icons and colour of the UI elements.

Game Space is a new feature which shows you all your installed games in one place and easily set things like Game Mode and more.

With the Android 10 update, you get access to a number of features including Smart Reply, Focus Mode, Live Captions and more.

One thing to take note of is that you can change the Nord’s refresh rate from 90Hz to 60Hz if you want to save on battery. Having it on 90Hz makes everything just feel more fluid.

Camera

For cameras, the OnePlus Nord has a 48MP main lens, 8MP ultra-wide, 5MP depth and 2MP macro lens. There are two front cameras, a 32MP main lens and 8MP ultra-wide.

While the cameras on the OnePlus Nord aren’t up to the same quality as a Pixel phone or iPhone, you can get some good photos. I didn’t find the depth or macro lenses to be all that useful.

OnePlus’ Nightscape mode has gotten better but could still use some work. Some objects such as lights can seem kind of fuzzy.

Videos taken on the OnePlus Nord are good and you can shoot up to 4K at 30fps. I wish there was an option to shoot at 4K60.

Final Thoughts

OnePlus Nord (Blue Marble)

The OnePlus Nord is a solid all-around device for its price and offers features that would typically be reserved for a flagship. The only major issue is that this Nord model won’t be making its way to North America any time soon.

Pros

  • Great 90Hz display
  • Quick performance (thanks to 12GB of RAM)
  • Fast 30W fast wired charging
  • Marble Blue colour looks great
  • The design of the phone makes it feel more premium
  • All-day battery life and great standby time

Cons

  • This Nord model won’t be coming to North America
  • No wireless charging or official IP rating

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