The OnePlus Nord marks the start of a new product line for OnePlus. The company is getting back to its roots of creating truly affordable smartphones that deliver quality user experiences for as little money as possible — something it's shifted away from with devices like the OnePlus 8T.
OnePlus Nord is one of the most enticing phones from OnePlus we've seen in a while, and if you're eager to learn all about it, you've come to the right place. The Nord isn't just the only phone in the Nord series, with the Nord N10 5G and N100 5G also available in select markets around the world, including the U.S. From official specs, pricing, availability, and our take on the devices, here's everything you need to know about OnePlus Nord series.
When and where can I buy the OnePlus Nord?
The OnePlus Nord is available in 31 countries across the globe. That's an impressive launch for the company, and the Nord is now the best-selling mid-range phone in India, but there is one market that's missing out — the United States.
OnePlus is focusing on European countries and India with the Nord, which is where it expects the phone to sell the best. That's certainly a bummer if you live in the U.S. and were hoping to buy the Nord as your next smartphone, but OnePlus is now selling the Nord N10 5G and N100 — its latest launches in the Nord series — in the U.S., and you can get your hands on the Nord N10 for just $300.
What are the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100, and how are they different from the Nord?
While the OnePlus Nord isn't available in the U.S., OnePlus has launched two budget models in the series called the Nord N10 5G and N100 that are available in the country.
The Nord N10 5G is powered by a Snapdragon 690 chipset with 5G connectivity, and the phone has a 90Hz panel, a 64MP camera at the back, and a large battery. The N100 is aimed at the entry-level segment and has a large 5000mAh battery along with a 6.5-inch 720p screen and the Snapdragon 460.
The new Nord models go up against budget stalwarts like the Pixel 4a, and while the Nord N100 doesn't seem particularly interesting in the budget segment, there is a lot to like with the Nord N10. The phone also has 5G connectivity and robust hardware and is a decent alternative to what Google and Samsung offer in this segment.
The one thing you need to know about the Nord N10 and N100 is that they will only receive one software update and that too to Android 11. The phones launched with Android 10 out of the box will receive the Android 11 update sometime later this year.
How much does the OnePlus Nord cost?
The big draw to the OnePlus Nord is that it marks OnePlus' return to affordable smartphones, and that's clearly evident by how much OnePlus is asking for the phone.
If you live in the UK or Europe, the OnePlus Nord costs £379 (around $480 USD) and €399 ($450), respectively. Indian customers, however, are able to buy the phone for even less at just ₹27,999 ($382).
India has one of the most competitive smartphone markets on the planet, particularly when it comes to getting a good deal. So many companies do what they can to deliver excellent phones at low prices in the country, and this is something OnePlus knocked out of the park with the Nord. Combine that with excellent specs, a great design, and clean software with timely updates, and the OnePlus Nord stands out as a clear winner in the Indian market.
The Nord N10 5G, meanwhile, retails for $300 in the U.S. The Nord N100 is even more affordable, coming in at just $179. While it is great to see budget Nords debut in the U.S., both the Nord N10 and N100 go up against tough rivals.
Have we reviewed the OnePlus Nord?
If you're interested in learning more about the Nord, you should read our detailed review. The Nord holds up just as well as the OnePlus 8 in real-world use, and the value on offer is incredible.
From our review:
What OnePlus has managed to achieve with the Nord is commendable. You don't miss out on any of the core features that make OnePlus' flagships stand out, and that makes the Nord a particularly great option if you're looking to buy a phone for under $500 in 2020.
As the Nord borrows a lot of the core features from the OnePlus 8, you ultimately get a device that delivers 90% of the same features at 60% of the cost.
What does the OnePlus Nord look like?
The front of the OnePlus Nord is home to a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, slim bezels, and a hole-punch cutout in the top-left. The display also isn't curved at all, which is something you do get on the 8 and 8 Pro. You'll also notice that the Nord has two cameras on the front, which is a first for any OnePlus phone.
Gorilla Glass 5 covers the front and back of the OnePlus Nord, giving it a very premium in-hand feel despite its low price. The glossy finish for the glass is different from the matte one on the OnePlus 8 series, but even so, it still looks excellent (especially in that Blue Marble color). The mid-frame is made out of plastic, and you get metal buttons for the volume rocker, power/lock button, and alert slider.
The Nord N10 and N100 share a similar design aesthetic and feature plastic bodies along with a rear camera housing that's similar to what you'll find on the OnePlus 8T.
On October 14, OnePlus unveiled a new Gray Ash color for the Nord that's available in India, the UK, and the EU. It's only available for the 12GB RAM/256GB storage configuration, meaning it'll set you back £469, €499, or ₹29,999, depending on where you live. According to OnePlus, it "combines a raw, industrial vibe with an elegant matte texture, elevating the Nord aesthetic and reaffirming OnePlus's mission for uncompromising design."
Around the back, the Nord opts for a left-mounted rear camera bump, an LED flash, and a couple of OnePlus logos. On the bottom, you're treated to a USB-C port and speaker grille. There isn't a 3.5mm headphone jack, which isn't all that surprising, seeing as how the last OnePlus phone to offer it was the OnePlus 6 from 2018.
All-in-all, the OnePlus Nord has an excellent design. You could argue that it's not as eye-catching as something like the OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro, but given just how cheap the phone is, we're more than happy with what OnePlus was able to achieve.
What specs do the OnePlus Nord, Nord N10, and N100 have?
OnePlus phones are known for delivering flagship specs at lower prices than their rivals. The OnePlus Nord is a little bit different in these regards as it's the first OnePlus phone to ship without a Snapdragon 800-series chipset, but that doesn't mean its specs are bad. In fact, these are some of the best specs you'll find for a sub-$500 smartphone.
The same holds true for the Nord N10 5G, and the N100 rounds out the entry-level tier. Here's the hardware on offer with the Nord series:
OnePlus Nord vs. Nord N10 5G vs. Nord N100: Specs
|OnePlus Nord||OnePlus Nord N10 5G||OnePlus Nord N100|
|Operating system||Android 10
|Display||6.44-inch 90Hz Fluid AMOLED
Gorilla Glass 5
|6.49-inch 90Hz IPS LCD
Gorilla Glass 3
|6.52-inch 90Hz IPS LCD
Gorilla Glass 3
1 x 2.4GHz Cortex A76
1 x 2.2GHz Cortex A76
6 x 1.8GHz Cortex A55
2 x 2.2GHz Cortex A77
6 x 1.7GHz Cortex Cortex A55
4 x 1.8GHz Cortex A73
4 x 1.6GHz Cortex A53
|GPU||Adreno 620||Adreno 619L||Adreno 610|
|RAM||6GB/8GB/12GB LPDDR4X||6GB LPDDR4||4GB LPDDR4|
|MicroSD slot||❌||Yes (Up to 512GB)||Yes (Up to 512GB)|
|Rear camera 1||48MP (IMX586), 0.8um
4K at 30fps
|64MP f/1.8||13MP f/2.2|
|Rear camera 2||8MP wide-angle, f/2.25
|8MP wide-angle, f/2.25
|2MP macro, f/2.4|
|Rear camera 3||2MP macro, f/2.4||2MP macro, f/2.4||2MP portrait, f/2.4|
|Rear camera 4||5MP portrait lens, f/2.4||2MP portrait, f/2.4||❌|
|Front camera 1||32MP, f/2.45 (IMX616)
0.8μm, EIS, fixed focus
|Front camera 2||8MP wide-angle
f/2.45, 105-degree field-of-view
|Connectivity||5G Sub-6, SA and NSA
Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1
NFC, AptX HD, A-GPS
|5G Sub-6, SA and NSA
Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, AptX HD, A-GPS
Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
NFC, AptX HD, A-GPS
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
|Security||In-display fingerprint (optical)||Rear fingerprint||Rear fingerprint|
|Colors||Blue Marble, Grey Onyx. Ash Gray||Midnight Ice||Midnight Frost|
The Snapdragon 765 powering the Nord is a chip that allows for fast performance and 5G connectivity without the insane cost of the 865, and we've tested it extensively.
OnePlus offers plenty of RAM and storage options for the Nord, and even the baseline offering of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is pretty great for a phone in this price category. We're also excited to see that large 4,115 mAh battery, which is, of course, backed by OnePlus's Warp Charge 30T wired charging.
Add that together with an impressive array of cameras, a 90Hz OLED display, and it's easy to see why this is one of the best Android phones you'll find in this category. The Nord N10 also holds up just as well, offering a 90Hz LCD panel, MicroSD slot, and 30W fast charging.
When is the Nord getting Android 11?
As of February 22, all three devices in the Nord series are still on Android 10. The original Nord debuted with Android 10 and is now running a beta version of Android 11, and the device should receive the stable update sometime before the end of Q1.
Although the Nord N10 and N100 launched after the release of Android 11, they run Android 10 out of the box, and they will receive just one software update — to Android 11. That isn't an ideal situation, particularly for a brand that has focused heavily on the software side of things over the years, and if you want regular software updates, you will have to look elsewhere.
Is the OnePlus Nord part of a new product line?
Back when the OnePlus Nord was thought to be the "OnePlus 8 Lite," we expected it to be a regular release for the company. It would obviously target a lower price than we'd seen from past OnePlus phones, but at the end of the day, that's all it would be — another OnePlus phone. Now, we know that it's a much bigger deal.
On June 23, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau shared a post on the OnePlus forums to announce the creation of a new "affordable smartphone product line."
As we have always done when we try something new, we are going to start relatively small with this new product line by first introducing it in Europe and India. But don't worry, we're also looking to bring more affordable smartphones to North America in the near future as well.
This new product team is led by Paul Yu, who has headed product hardware development for many of our previous flagship devices over the past 5 years. We've also assembled a team of young, creative, and enthusiastic OnePlus staff from all over the world, who have been working tirelessly over the past few months to bring this product line to life.
Shortly after that, on June 30, OnePlus made the name official via a video on its OnePlus Nord Instagram page. In the video, OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau says:
Launching the OnePlus Nord product line marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for OnePlus. The 'Never Settle' spirit is centered around sharing the best technology and products with the world, but it is also about challenging ourselves and going beyond our comfort zone. We are immensely proud of our flagship products and will continue to create more tech-leading flagships for our users. Now we are excited to share the OnePlus experience with even more users around the world through this new product line.
All of this is to say that OnePlus Nord is the start of a new beginning for OnePlus. It's been exciting to watch the company compete more and more closely with the likes of Samsung and Apple with its flagship devices, but more premium phones have also resulted in considerably higher prices.
With the launch of Nord, OnePlus can continue focusing on its higher-end handsets while also offering a robust budget option. That's indeed the case with the Nord N10 5G and the Nord N100, and OnePlus is set to continue the momentum with the Nord SE, a budget phone that will have 65W fast charging.
Should I just get the OnePlus 8T instead?
There's no denying that the OnePlus Nord is an exciting phone, but the fact of the matter is that it's not available for purchase in the United States, and the Nord N10 5G and N100 are aimed at the budget segment. If you live in the U.S. and want a OnePlus phone, you're better off with the OnePlus 8T.
The 8T is more expensive than the OnePlus Nord, but it's also touting more impressive specs across the board. You're getting a Snapdragon 865 chipset, higher-quality cameras, a glass design, and OnePlus's new 65W wired charging.
It may be worth holding off for the Nord N10 5G if you have a tighter budget, but if you have a bit more cash to spend, the 8T is definitely worth considering, particularly now that it's on sale for $690.
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