The prices of OnePlus flagship products have increased year on year, so the company has decided to add an intermediate ranger to its list – the OnePlus North. The phone brings a lot of the company’s branded features while changing a few things to hit its € 400 / £ 380 price tag. It is 28,000 INR in India and if you are patient you can get one for 25,000 INR in September.
Let’s start by eliminating the chipset, it’s a Snapdragon 765G. It doesn’t have the computing power of the processor or GPU of the 800 series chips, but it does support 5G. This matters in some European countries and may also matter elsewhere, assuming more 5G networks develop over the next 2-3 years.
This is the length of time the phone will be supported – 2 years of OS updates (this starts with Android 10) and one more year of security patches. OnePlus phones typically get 3 years of OS updates, for example, the 2017 OnePlus 5 and 5T recently received Android 10.
The company hasn’t skimped on RAM and storage – the basic version is configured with 8/128 GB and you can get 12/256 GB. This cheaper version for India that we mentioned will be 6 / 64 GB and will launch exclusively on Amazon in September.
The screen is a smooth 6.44-inch AMOLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and 1080p + resolution. It’s basically a slightly smaller version of what the OnePlus 7T and 8 have. Well, with the exception of the pill-shaped punch hole, OnePlus’ first dual selfie camera.
Comparing selfie cameras, the North wins over its siblings. The main front camera has a 32MP sensor (compared to 16MP on the OP8 and OP8 Pro) and there is an 8MP 105 ° ultra wide camera alongside. The main camera can record 4K at 60 fps, while the others can’t even shoot at 30 fps.
The 48MP camera on the back is essentially the same as the OP8 camera – 1 / 2.0 ”sensor, f / 1.8 aperture and OIS + EIS. There’s no zoom module like on the 7T, but the phone relies on the high-resolution sensor to deliver 2x 12 MP zoom shots.
The 8MP ultra-wide camera is a downgrade, the OP8 has a 16MP sensor. Neither can focus at close distances (like on the 7T duo), so both phones have a dedicated macro camera with a meager 2 MP sensor. The 5MP depth sensor added to the Nord is technically an advantage over the OP8, but not a huge one.
OnePlus released the OxygenOS 10.5.1 update right after the phone itself, enabling 4K / 60fps video recording with the rear camera, matching the Series 8. You’ll have to wait for our review to see if the S765G chipset leads to image quality different from EIS stability.
Finally, the Nord has a 4,115mAh battery, barely smaller than the 4,300mAh power cell inside the OP8. Both support Warp Charge 30T and both do not have wireless charging.
Suddenly, there is not much to separate from the OnePlus North and the 8. Well, apart from the price, the 8 is still at 700 €. Is this Snapdragon 865 really worth the $ 300? Before we answer, let’s take a quick look at the non-OnePlus competition.
The Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G will launch in India on July 31. We still don’t know the price, but this one has a 6.55 ”90Hz AMOLED, the same S765G chipset, a 13 MP (2x) telephoto lens and 65W fast charging. It uses ColorOS instead of OxygenOS, which some may see as a downside.
The Realme X50 5G (aka X50m) is also similar, except that it trades in the AMOLED for a 6.57 ”120Hz LCD screen. This is already available in Europe, priced at € 350 for the 6 model. / 128 GB. Again, Color OS instead of Oxygen.
The Motorola Moto G 5G is another S765G phone and costs € 400 if you want the 6/128 GB model. It runs clean Android 10 (with My UX upgrades) and displays it on a 6.7 ”90 LCD screen Hz. The camera department is very similar to the North, the battery is larger (5000 mAh) but recharges more slowly (20 W).
So, is the OnePlus Nord your first choice for a mid-range phone? Or has the company overrated it?