Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020 - 13:49
Unless you have been completely cut off from the outside world, you have probably gotten wind of the upcoming OnePlus Nord. The hype for this device has been unlike any other mobile phone recently released. But what was the hype about, and after the announcement on 21/07/20, was it justified?
OnePlus launched the Nord using an AR launch – a virtual stage where all of the features were revealed alongside some snazzy visual effects and the phone coming apart to reveal the hardware being discussed. It was a very innovative and effective way to launch a phone, which is needed to stand-out in this time of COVID-19 lockdown. Oneplus announced they were going back to their roots, which sent the rumour mill spinning. Many features leaked ahead of the official announcement, and it was confirmed that Oneplus were releasing a budget phone, aimed to replicate their ‘flagship killers’ of old, such as the Oneplus 3.
The design is interesting, but doesn’t seem to be anything we haven’t seen before, which was to be expected. It has a premium build quality due to the Gorilla Glass on front and rear, and is slightly smaller than the Oneplus 8, but also slightly wider, thicker and heavier. Fans of the 3.5mm headphone jack were left disappointed as this is left out, and the cameras are laid out in the single row on the rear, rather than the square layout that seems to be gaining popularity recently. The phone was announced in 2 colours, Grey Onyx and Blue Marble (also referred to as 'Nord Blue' in some marketing), the latter seemingly being a striking and much more interesting selection.
The first outstanding feature of the Nord is the camera setup. The phone boasts a whopping 6 cameras, 4 rear cameras including a 48MP main shooter, a 5MP depth sensor, a 2MP Macro lens and an 8MP Ultra-Wide lens, with the front dual camera setup boasting a 32MP main camera with an 8MP Ultra-Wide camera. This sort of setup is usually unheard of on a phone promoted as a ‘budget’ phone, so it seems to be an exciting feature.
The Nord comes with a 4115mAh battery that supports the usual Oneplus ‘warp charging 3.0’ capability. The press release states this gets you from 0% to 70% charge in just 30 mins of charging, but there is surprising no wireless charging capability, potentially another casualty to keep the phone in the budget range. The device uses the extremely common USB Type-C adaptor, meaning all your usual peripherals will work with the new device.
The phone will boast the interesting choice of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset. It’s not a flagship chip by any means, but on a budget device, it’s a good addition. The phone will come in 2 variants, an 8GB RAM with 128GB storage, or a 12GB RAM with 256GB storage version. 12GB of RAM on a budget phone seems like a bargain!
As expected, the device will run on Android software, utilising the standard ‘OxygenOS(10.5)’ found on most other Oneplus phones. It has also been suggested that the Nord will get at least 2 years of software updates, alongside 3 years of software updates. One of the more surprising features is the 5G capability of the device. Being a budget device, it was almost guaranteed not to be 5G compatible, but Oneplus have definitely pulled off a shock here. The LCD utilises a 90hz refresh rate, for super smooth scrolling and performance, beating off many flagship phones that cannot even boast this feature.
It’s worth suggesting up front that this is an ‘on paper’ breakdown. The phone does not officially release until 4th of August 2020, but it’s easy to see why people are getting excited from the announcement. The Nord seems to boast plenty of top features, packed into a budget smartphone.
Even more surprising was the price. When Oneplus announced they were releasing a sub $500 device, many commenters took this as meaning $499.99. Oneplus surprised everyone on reveal, with prices starting at $480 (£379) from new, massively undercutting rivals such as Apple, Samsung and Google.
It’s safe to say we are extremely excited to see the device in action. We already have the device on the site, you can sign up to the stock alerts in order to be one of the first to buy when we receive stock in. Click here to buy the Oneplus Nord 5G from 4Gadgets.