Here's why the OnePlus Nord is now the phone to beat in India

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The OnePlus Nord is now official, and there's a lot to like. The phone features all the exciting tech that OnePlus introduced on its flagships over the last 15 months — 90Hz AMOLED display, 48MP quad camera, and 30W fast charging — and the best part is that it is much more affordable than the OnePlus 8 series.

It's that affordability that makes the Nord a standout option in OnePlus' largest market, India. The OnePlus Nord starts off at £379 ($480) in the UK and €399 ($450) in Europe for the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and that same variant costs just ₹27,999 ($375) in India. That makes the Nord much more affordable in India than any other market.

To sweeten the deal, OnePlus is rolling out a 6GB/64GB variant of the Nord exclusively for the Indian market, and that model costs just ₹24,999 ($335). The fact that you're getting a 90Hz AMOLED panel, a 48MP camera with the Sony IMX586 sensor — the same as the OnePlus 8 — and 30W fast charging for just ₹24,999 means the Nord is firmly at the top in terms of value.

There are lots of phones that offer great value in India, but the Nord takes things to a new level.

The Nord has a lot going for it when it comes to the hardware side of things. With a Snapdragon 765G under the hood, you'll get reliable performance in regular use, and the phone comes with LPDDR4X RAM modules and UFS 2.1 storage as standard across all variants. Having used the phone for just over two days, I can confidently say that it is just as fluid as the OnePlus 8.

There's a 32MP camera at the front along with a secondary 8MP wide-angle lens, and with 30W Warp Charge 30T wired charging, you'll be able to top up the battery from zero to 70% in just 30 minutes. When you factor in the hardware on offer here, it's easy to see just why the Nord is an absolute bargain.

OnePlus Nord

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

There's also the fact that the 12GB model of the Nord costs just ₹29,999 ($400) in India, which is less than what the 8GB retails for in other markets. Here's the breakdown of what each variant costs in India:

  • OnePlus Nord 6GB/64GB (Grey Onyx): ₹24,999 ($335)
  • OnePlus Nord 8GB/128GB (Blue Marble, Grey Onyx): ₹27,999 ($375)
  • OnePlus Nord 12GB/256GB (Blue Marble, Grey Onyx): ₹29,999 ($400)

OnePlus absolutely nailed the pricing of the Nord in India, and it should come as no surprise that the Nord will be well-received in the country. OnePlus already has a huge userbase in the country that has been clamoring for a mid-range phone from the manufacturer, and with the Nord, it has managed to deliver just that.

OnePlus Nord specs: Everything you need to know

Hardware is just one part of the story with the Nord. The phone runs OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10 out of the box, and it has the same software features as the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. OnePlus has managed to carve out a niche in India by delivering clean software on its phones; in a country dominated by Xiaomi and other Chinese brands with heavily-customized skins, OxygenOS feels like a breath of fresh air.

There's no shortage of great phones at this price point. The Realme X3 immediately comes to mind, with that particular phone starting off at ₹24,999 ($335) as well. And while it has a 120Hz panel, it is rocking an LCD screen, and Realme UI is still not as polished as OxygenOS.

The Indian handset industry is driven by price above all other factors, and with the Nord, OnePlus is showing that it is cognizant of that fact. The Nord delivers incredible hardware in the form of a 90Hz AMOLED panel, Snapdragon 765G chipset, 48MP camera at the back and dual 32MP + 8MP lenses at the front, and a 4115mAh battery with 30W fast charging.

Combine all of that with clean software, timely updates, and very aggressive pricing, and it is immediately clear that the Nord is the phone to beat in India right now.

OnePlus Nord hands-on: Flagship-class hardware at a mid-range price

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.