OnePlus ditched its intentions of being a flagship-only brand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic last year, with Nord being a shining proof. BGR India reviewed the phone at the time and found it to be a solid mid-range phone one can buy for less than Rs 30,000. The fact that you can have a OnePlus smartphone with a premium user experience, 5G connectivity, and good performance was an unbelievable deal for many. No wonder OnePlus had a strong second half with regards to its sales. Also Read - Top five 5G smartphones under Rs 25,000: Realme Narzo 30 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 10i, and more
Fast forward to February 2021 and the OnePlus Nord has got competent competition. There’s the recently launched Realme X7 Pro at Rs 30,000 while Vivo’s V20 Pro comes across as another decent alternative. Those willing to shell a few thousand Rupees more can even consider the Xiaomi Mi 10T with its more capable Snapdragon 865 chip. Also Read - OnePlus 9 series' names confirmed via Spigen site listing: See what are the names
That brings us to the question: Is the Nord worthy of its premium price tag? Should you wait for OnePlus to refill its stock now? Also Read - OnePlus Nord 2 details leaked, to use flagship MediaTek Dimensity chipset
OnePlus Nord: Five points to consider it
-Despite an influx of several new smartphones at this price, the OnePlus Nord is still one of the best-built phones in its category. The modern design with slim bezels and premium glass panels makes it difficult to figure out where OnePlus cut the costs.
-The Nord is one of the very few smartphones in India to use the Snapdragon 765G chip. After the Snapdragon 800 series chips, the 765G chip is the most capable chip an Android smartphone can use. This guarantees high-end performance for daily tasks as well as gaming.
-The Oxygen OS experience is still one of the best iterations of Android you can find at this price. Most users who buy it now will get the Oxygen OS 10 version that’s closer to the stock Android interface. However, we tried out the Oxygen OS 11 beta on our Nord unit and it upscales the user experience with smoother animations, a new AOD feature, better battery life, and meaningful upgrades elsewhere.
-The 6.5-inch AMOLED display is tuned well and coupled with the 90Hz refresh rate, which makes for a nice experience for mobile gamers as well as those who watch a lot of movies as well as YouTube shows. The in-display fingerprint sensor is another convenience as it is fast as well as reliable.
-Despite having a 4115mAh battery, we find the Nord to be a reliable all-day smartphone – thanks to the great software optimizations. The bundled 30W fast charger is another bliss for filling up the battery, thereby reducing the waiting period at the sockets.
OnePlus Nord: Why consider the alternatives
-We wish you good luck trying to get your hands on any of the variants. Even after seven months, the Nord is a hard-to-find smartphone. As you read, neither Amazon nor the OnePlus website has stocks of the Nord.
-Unlike other smartphones, the Nord’s prices have remained unchanged. The headline-grabbing 6GB variant for Rs 24,999 was a limited-run model and is no more on sale. The 8GB RAM variant still starts at Rs 27,999 and OnePlus does not seem to have any intentions of dropping its prices.
-The cameras on the OnePlus Nord can at best be termed as decent. The old 48-megapixel main Sony camera lacks any sort of smart optimizations and despite several updates, this won’t impress shutterbugs. The Pixel 4a with a slightly higher price offers much better camera performance.
-Lastly, the Nord isn’t the most powerful phone in its class. It can run the latest mobile games well but not in the best of ways. The Realme X7 Pro with its Dimensity 1000 Plus chip currently offers the most bang-for-buck for gamers. Similarly, the iPhone SE and Xiaomi Mi 10T at slightly higher prices offer superior performance.