OnePlus Nord Review : the new cador of mid-range smartphones

OnePlus Nord Review – OnePlus Nord, OnePlus’ long-awaited return to the mid-range is official. In recent years, the Chinese brand had changed its strategy. From the “killer flagships” of yesteryear to the latest uncompromising smartphones (but also significantly more expensive) OnePlus had moved away from what had made its identity. If some of the fans were able to financially follow the evolution of OnePlus, whose latest smartphones were barely cheaper than the top of the range from Samsung or Huawei. Another less fortunate could only see the movement. It is to them, but also to a new, younger clientele that the North is targeting. There is no longer any question of standing up to the Galaxy S20 and other P40 Pro, the OnePlus 8 Pro is there for that, but well to offer again a smartphone with the excellent quality / price ratio.  

OnePlus Nord Design: contained size, increased pleasure

On its latest productions, OnePlus has not really stood out in terms of creativity. The design of this Nord is no exception to the rule and remains very classic. It is above all marked by a return to a relatively compact size compared to smartphones released in 2020. With a 6.44-inch screen and rather small dimensions (158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm), the latest -born of OnePlus contrasts with the competition. Above all, it weighs “only” 184 g which would make it almost light in today’s market. These details are far from trivial. Especially when compared to the gigantic dimensions of the OnePlus 8 Pro. The Nord holds well in the hand, can be flown with just one finger and is almost discreet in the pocket. Apart from video playback, where it will probably be less comfortable than some behemoths, its size could be more of an asset than a weakness In the North, OnePlus users will find one of the brand’s signature features, the “Alert Slider”. Placed on the right edge, above the power button, it allows you to quickly switch from vibrate mode to silent mode and of course to ring mode.  

Screen: the Northern club argument

Look no further, the main advantage of the OnePlus North, apart from its price, is there. It’s its screen that sets it apart the most from the competition. Indeed, the 6.44-inch slab is very bright. Impression confirmed by our lab with a brightness of 768 cd / m2, well above average. To avoid spoiling anything, the colorimetry of the panel is also of a very good level. In fact, in natural display mode, the Delta E observed is 1.31. As for the normal mode, it is measured 3.55. As a reminder, the closer this value is to 0, the more accurate the colors. Above all, the North’s AMOLED display does slightly better than that of the OnePlus 8 Pro, which was already among the best on the market. But what makes the salt of this screen is obviously its refresh rate of 90 Hz. On this point, the North can not compete with the 120 Hz of the 8 Pro or the Galaxy S20, but it is one of the few to offer this feature on the mid-range. Refresh rate is an indicator of how many images a screen is capable of displaying per second.  

Oxygen OS: a step closer to Google

This is undoubtedly the little trick in addition to OnePlus: to have been able to develop a home interface, simple and effective which marries perfectly a well controlled hardware. For this return to the mid-range, the Chinese manufacturer had no choice but to resume its Oxygen OS, which in our opinion is the most successful Android overlay on the market. One of the nicest things about OnePlus’ software so far is that it doesn’t add almost anything superfluous. However, for the North, OnePlus is taking a further step towards Google by directly integrating certain native Mountain View applications. Thus, Oxygen OS no longer has its own messaging and calling applications. Android users will therefore find Duo, Phone and Messages on the OnePlus North interface. If the integration of Duo is not a surprise in itself, Google is pushing manufacturers more and more in this direction, the switch to native applications is a small revolution for the Chinese manufacturer.  
Autonomy: fast charging in addition
On paper, the OnePlus North had enough to raise questions about its autonomy. What impact could 5G, the 90 Hz screen and the Snapdragon 765 G processor have on a 4,115 mAh battery? In fact, with 14:50 in versatile autonomy. The Nord does slightly better than the OnePlus 8 and its 4300 mAh battery (14:47). This correct autonomy, without being transcendent, could seem rather trivial compared to the performance of a Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (16:52) or even a Samsung Galaxy A71 (16:07).  
Photo: very good for a mid-range
The photo part of this OnePlus North takes up the main lines and more mainly the 48 Mpix Sony IMX586 sensor of the OnePlus 8. The rest differs insofar as this main sensor is this time accompanied by three other sensors.

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