OnePlus Nord review: Why do people hate this phone?

The OnePlus Nord was supposed to be the device which brought the company back to their true north. However, when the smartphone actually launched, it was their biggest fans that ended up not liking this smartphone.

Curious, I decided to spend some quality time with the OnePlus Nord to find out why so many people hated it.

In case you can’t watch the video, here’s a quick rundown on what I like and don’t like about the OnePlus Nord.

What I liked

First, the display is solid. It has my preferred combination of a crisp and vibrant AMOLED display with a fast enough 90Hz refresh rate. That means you get a great viewing experience for stuff like movies, but also are able to enjoy the buttery smoothness of a 90Hz refresh rate.

Performance was also good enough for me. The Snapdragon 765G was good enough for pretty much all my daily needs, and I think for the most part people won’t mind. It’s responsive and I rarely had any hiccups, so it was more than reliable enough for me.

Software was excellent. Clean near-stock Android with a couple of useful enhancements is exactly what I want on this side of the pond so I definitely enjoyed it. Stuff like the Alert Slider is also as useful as ever, but I do wish it was a little harder to accidentally slide.

Body feels pretty good. I am a little disappointed that it’s made with a plastic frame, but at least it doesn’t feel terribly plasticky. Buttons are also nice and tactile.

Battery life is good too. The handset comes with a 4,100 mAh battery and I was easily able to last an entire day with about five hours of screen-on time and 30% left at the end of the day. Screen was also set to 90Hz so that’s really nice to see.

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I was also impressed with the speakers. It has a lot of volume despite being a mono unit, and that’s typically all I need from smartphone speakers.

However, I wasn’t super impressed with the camera system. It’s serviceable, but nothing to write home about. Here are some samples:




What I didn’t like

Honestly, there isn’t much to dislike here. Perhaps the biggest thing that I would complain about the phone itself is the lack of IP67/IP68 water resistance. But, even that’s not a particularly common feature to find on phones at this price point.

And, I guess the phone doesn’t look super interesting. Maybe in a different colour it would be better, but in this grey colourway, the handset looks a little too much like every other Realme smartphone.

But, honestly, that’s about it. I guess the biggest thing that would upset people about this smartphone is the price.

The Verdict

The abridged version is that I think the base model OnePlus Nord is the one you should get. For RM1,799, it’s still pretty good value, all things considered. The top-spec model, however, is not the one you want because at RM2,399 (even with the OnePlus Buds included) is a little too much of a premium. At that price point, you’re probably better off with something like a Poco F2 Pro or Xiaomi Mi 10.

However, if you can get a Poco F2 Pro for around RM1,800 or a Mi 10 for less than RM2,000, then I’d go for those instead because then I think they’d be better value than the OnePlus Nord. Personally, I think I’d still go for the OnePlus because I just prefer the software so much more than MIUI, but that’s more of a personal preference thing.

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Photography by Zachary Yoong on the Sony A7 III.